St. Maximus on Image and Likeness

The first objective of God was for the human being to come to be “according to the image and likeness of God,” and what is “according to the image” is incorruption, immortality, invisibility, which image the divine: and he has bestowed these on the soul for it to possess, having bestowed along with them both self-governance and self-determination, which are all imagings of the essence of God. And “according to the likeness” is detachment, meekness, long-suffering, and the remaining marks of the great goodness of God, which are all indications of God’s energy. Therefore, those things that are of his essence, the things that manifest the “according to the image,” he has given to the soul by nature. And those things that belong to God’s energy, characterizing the “according to the likeness,” he left for our voluntary deliberation, anticipating the perfection of the human being, in the case that someone might establish him or herself “like” God through imitation of the godly characteristics of virtue.

St. Maximus the Confessor

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