Question 010.  

So our prayer is a search for a transcendent yet immanent God?

Without interruption or occupying space, with his immutable and exalted power, God is the most interior of all things, because all things exist in him.  Further, he is the most external thing, because he is above them all.  Thus… with his immutable eternity he is the oldest of all things and the first of all things; he is the newest, because he comes after them all.

from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.


It might seem paradoxical to say that God is the first and the last; the beginning and the end; the oldest and the youngest; the furthest from one’s self and closer than one’s own self; beyond all things and filling all things, but this visualization comes from positing God as an aspect, even the highest, of creation.  He is not, yet we are.  Therefore, any means of contemplating God, as these means will always be created means, will always be approximations, metaphors, allegories, or typologies, limited and finite as we ourselves are limited and finite.  This is especially true from approaching God without the aid of His self-revelation.  Narrowing this down to speaking of the transcendence of God, one will quickly find that they cannot do so without talking about the immanence of God.  God is not creation, this creation itself testifies to, yet creation, by being creation, has no aspect that is beyond and not dependent upon God.  God is exterior to all, yet more interior than the interior of all.  Likewise, God is the first because His eternity is antecedent to all, and God is posterior because all finds its end in Him.  The key in understanding this is humility – to understand all’s utter dependence in all things upon God. — PPP

Pantokrator Icon (insert on the Hungarian Holy Crown), c. 400