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Archive for August, 2011

Icons and Truth

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

In his latest post, Father Stephen tells us that in Orthodoxy, to say something about the divinity of Christ is also to say something about the divinity of mankind. For Christ is (undeniably, even to atheists) an intrinsic part of what mankind is. It is here, principally,  that man comes to first understand and then know the “begotten” persona of God’s Christ, who

“ […] took flesh of the Virgin Mary and was made man.” The womb of the Virgin was not “borrowed space” which God inhabited until His birth. The womb of the Virgin is also that place and that source by which God “took flesh of the Virgin Mary.”

This is quite a departure from the western view of the Incarnation, which attempts to understand it by means of various syllogisms. The Incarnation can only be properly understood in the “apophatic of worship”, so to speak.

Allied to this is the idea of what Christianity is and what it is not. In the words of  Father Stephen ’s Paul Evdokimov it is

The face of Christ (or Christianity, …which…) is the human face of God. The Holy Spirit rests on him and reveals to us absolute Beauty, a divine-human Beauty, that no art can ever properly and fully make visible. Only the icon can suggest such Beauty by means of the taboric light (my italics and paenthesis) .

Let that Light shine where it will.

Categories: Apophaticism, Icons

Divine Liturgy and the Abolition of Death

August 8, 2011 2 comments

There is no greater reminder of the proper sequencing of things than the Feast of the Transfiguration which appears in the Liturgical calendar as a kind of Pascha before Pascha. In the words of Father Stephen, it is

a glimpse, (out of sequence in a place where sequence has no place), of the fullness of Divinity. Christ appears with Elijah and Moses, the living and the dead, the prophets and the law, and speaks with them concerning His Pascha. And this happens in the context of the Divine Light – a brightness that was beyond the disciples’ ability to bear.

The connectivity of certain aspects of the life of Christ stand out especially well.  To know the resurrected Christ is also to know the crucified Christ. What happened to him before cannot be understood apart from what happens to him after.  The Living One may have died, but He is alive forevermore (1 Rev 18).

The Feast of the Transfiguration falls on the 6th August in the Gregorian calendar, and again on the 19th in the old Julian calendar.

Categories: Religion

Being and Communion

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Religion