He is Outside and Yet Within All Creation

“‘Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool… All these things my hand has made’ (Isaiah 66.1-2).

The whole heavens are held in God’s hand, the whole earth in the hollow of his hand… The heaven is also his throne and the earth his footstool. His throne and footstool are his infinite omnipotence, which embraces everything in the hollow of his hand. The imagery borrowed from created things signifies that God exists in them and outside, that he both transcends and pervades them, that he surpasses all creatures and yet dwells in them. The hollow of his hand symbolizes the power of his divinity revealing itself. The throne and the footstool show that he controls external objects because he is within them, but at the same time he envelops them and encloses them within himself. He is inside and outside everything… Nothing is beyond the reach of the one who is infinite… What came to light as a result of my search [for God] was well expressed by the prophet:
‘Where shall I go from Your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139.7-10.’
There is no place without God; place does not exist except in God… The sky and the air are beautiful, the earth and the sea are beautiful. By divine grace the universe was called by the Greeks ‘cosmos’, meaning ‘ornament’… Surely the author of all created beauty must himself be the beauty in all beauty?”

St. Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity, 1, 1-13. Text from translation in the profound book, Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement

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