About the illumination of Christ
"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Ephesians 5:14).
Saint Paul the apostle, similar to all the other apostles and Christian saints, whatever he teaches to others, he teaches from his own personal experience. For the Faith of Christ is an experience and proof and not a theory of human sophistry. Even Paul lay as one spiritually dormant and, he was spiritually dead while he opposed the Christian Faith. St. Paul was awakened, arose, resurrected in the spirit and was illumined by Christ. He knows himself from the time when he was spiritually dormant and from the time when he became awakened, and when he arose, and when he was resurrected by the Spirit and when he was illumined by Christ. That which he knows about himself as a Christian, he commends to others. As an apostle, he sees himself in a great light and believes that all other men, if they so desire, can be as bright as he is. The light is not his, but Christ's light. His is only the love for that Light, Who is Christ.
The illumination of Christ is necessary for man in the beginning as well as in the end. For without Christ's illumination man is unable either to awaken, or to arise, or to resurrect from the dead, as afterwards, he is unable to live alone by himself in faith or to die in hope. Christ is needed in the beginning as well as in the end. As to a drowning child the hand of the parent is needed to retrieve him from the water and afterward to lead him on dry land, protecting him and preventing him from drowning again; thus Christ is needed for those drowning in the waters of sin. The apostle himself received the illumination of Christ in the beginning on the road to Damascus and, again, he received it later. The first illumination was his conversion to Christ and the second illumination was the confirmation of himself in Christ. The first illumination we all receive through baptism and later, through faith, and the fulfilling of the commandments of the Lord. All of those who do not possess the illumination of Christ, either they have had it and lost it, are dormant as though dead.
O gentle Lord, awaken us, uplift us, resurrect us, for we cannot do any of these things without You.