Orthodoxy and Beauty
|Protection of the Holy Virgin Church|
Orthodoxy and Beauty are Inseparable
Orthodox Christianity attracted me from my very first encounter with the magnificence of it's churches and the grandeur of her divine services. Having grown up amid the natural beauty of Northern Idaho, with mountains and lakes that could take our breath away, I'd previously found inspiration primarily in the world of nature.
Orthodoxy and beauty are inseparable because God and beauty are inseparable. The beauty of a sunset is a reflection of our Creator, just as is the interior of a temple reflects our experience with this Creator God. We humans were formed as physical beings, placed in a material world and invited to commune with our Creator. The majesty and beauty of the created world inspires us to an awareness of God's presence.
A bouquet of flowers placed in our icon corner has an internal affect on us. Created in God's image, we in turn become creators. The beauty that comes from the artists brush or the poets voice, is an act of a creator. Taking our creative instincts into the realm of the spiritual unites us with with God and connects us to the eternal. This is why an artist or a poet can experience the eternal when creating something of beauty.
God is the Creator of heaven and earth and is present through His creative energies. The material world, being good, is an important means through which God expresses Himself. It is through God's created beauty that we are drawn into a relationship that is meant to be eternal and through which Divine Revelation can transform our nature. Then creation is completed and the created is united to the Creator.
Love in Christ,
|Hammi, our Norwegian Forest Cat|
Saturday July 16, 2011 / July 3, 2011
5th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.Martyr Hyacinth of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Translation of the relics (1652) of Hieromartyr Philip, metropolitan of Moscow (1569). New Hieromartyr Anthony, archbishop of Archangelsk (1931). Venerable Anatolius, of the Near Caves in Kiev (12th c.). St. Anatolius (another) recluse of the Far Caves in Kiev (13th c.). Holy Princes Basil (1249) and Constantine (1257) of Yaroslavl. Repose of St. Basil, bishop of Ryazan (1295). Venerables John and Longinus, wonderworkers of Yarenga (Solovki) (1544-45). Blessed John of Moscow, fool-for-Christ (1589). Venerable Nicodemus, abbot of Kozha Lake (1640). Martyrs Diomedes, Eulampius, Asclepiodotus, and Golinduc of Caesarea in Cappadocia (108). Martyrs Mocius (Mucian) and Mark (4th c.). Venerable Alexander, founder of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (430). St. Anatolius, patriarch of Constantinople (458). Venerable Isaiah the Solitary of Seeds and Palestine (370). Blessed Michael, Herodion, Basil, and Thomas, fools-for-Christ of Solvychegodsk (17th c.). St. Germanus, bishop of the Isle of Man and enlightener of Peel, nephew of St. Patrick of Ireland (5th c.) (Celtic & British). Martyrs Theodotus and Theodota, martyred with St. Hyacinth (Greek). Venerable Gerasimus the New of Carpenision (1812) (Greek). St. Claudianus, patriarch of Alexandria (167). St. Anatolius, bishop of Laodicea, and his successor, St. Eusebius (3rd c.). St. Symeon, the third stylite of Cilicia (6th c.). St. George the God-bearer of the Black Mountain, teacher of St. George of Mt. Athos (10th c.) St. Basil, archbishop of Novgorod (1352).
|The Monastery's Way of a Pilgrim Bookstore|
The Scripture Readings for the Day:
Romans 8:14-2114 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
From Suffering to Glory18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Matthew the Tax Collector
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”