14 November: Memorial of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki
St. Gregory Palamas came from the city of Constantinople, the City of Sevenfold. He was born in 1296 to virtuous parents. His father was a senator and then became a monk. He had many innate gifts, but the acquired gifts of knowledge and scholarship were very quickly projected into his personality because of his intelligence.
While he was asked to climb the steps of the royal palaces, Saint Gregory Palamas nevertheless followed the monastic and angelic life of departure, exercise, and prayer. According to the Gospel, he distributed his possessions to the poor and, abandoning the vanities of the world, he followed the path of perfection in Christ Jesus.
He died on Mount Athos, where he was taught every kind of virtue, and above all, the loss of hypocrisy and the putting on of the authenticity of a simple mind.
Afterward, he came to Megisti Lavra and from there he went to Thessalonica where he was ordained deacon and elder and then bishop. As Archbishop of Thessalonica, he was literally consumed with supporting the flock of the Church, both with his virtuous life and his theological writings.
He confronted theologically the Western Barlaams and Akindinos, who identified essence with the actions of God.
Then, St. Gregory Palamas, expressing and extending the theology of Basil the Great, pointed out that man can know God, not by intellect or emotion, but by the experience of the Holy Spirit. The Christian can share in the light and life and glory of the Holy Trinity through uncreated divine actions because the divine essence remains infinite and inaccessible to finite man.