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Comparing notes – Pascha (Part 1)

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Matthias Grunewald's resurrection (Gothardt Niethart)

Fr. Stephen, who needs no introduction has done it again with this unforgettable piece titled Forgive Everyone for Everything. This paragraph bears much repeating, short as it is

There is a further thought that is of great importance. Forgiveness and unforgiveness are not private matters. As Christ taught the Apostles, “Whosoever sins you loose are loosed, and whosoever sins you retain are retained.” This, of course, has a particular meaning for the Apostolic ministry given to the Church. But it also alludes to another reality. My refusal to forgive is a force for evil in this world – binding both myself and others around me. It may not be an intentional binding – but bind it will. In the same manner, forgiveness is the introduction of Paradise into this world – both for myself and for others around me. Whether I intend it or not, Paradise comes as a fruit of such love.

How easy to forget that we are not the source of anything.

Categories: Apophaticism, Truth

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