Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On the Forefeast of the Life Giving Cross

Two separate worlds (visions/views) are possible within our one world. From these two sources, when pared together, are very eye-opening points of view :

BRETHREN, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him," God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. Paul 2:9-16

But God as Providence acts in the world not by coercing it, not by correcting or changing the principles of its being, but only by guiding, through spiritual causality, the world's natural, not supernatural and especially not unnatural. In other words, miracle refers not to the creation but to God's Providence for the world. But God as Providence acts in the world not by coercing it, not by correcting or changing the principles of its being, but only by guiding, through spiritual causality, the world's natural, or mechanical (so to speak), causality. This union of spiritual causality (through freedom) and mechanical causality (through necessity) is what constitutes the character of the law governing the cosmos. The world is not a mechanism, but rather and organism, growing and living. This connection of spirit and nature (here, the spirit can be subordinate to and enslaved by the flesh, but the flesh can also be obedient to the the spirit), this spiritual-natural structure of the world constitutes the permanent miracle of the world, the miracle of miracles as the foundation of all that is miraculous. Here, the domain of spiritual causality, we have two opposite possibilities: At one pole we have the corruption of mankind when it becomes "flesh (Gen 6:3) and at the other pole we have the spirit-bearing glorified flesh of Christ together with the spiritual body of resurrected mankind (1 Cor. 15:44,46) and together with the transfigured heaven and earth. Relics and Miracles, Two Theological Essays - Sergius Bulgakov, Trans. Boris Jakim p.52

Going on:

The difference lies only in the means of action: In one case, the action takes place within nature itself, while in the other case it takes place from outside, as it were; but of course in reality the miracle worker too does not accomplish a new creative act and even does not change the laws of nature, but only gives them a new direction by his spiritual power.  Ibid, p. 54

And the next page:

The person of the miracle worker is more miraculous for us than the miracles themselves.  The greatest Gospel miracle is Christ Himself, His person, His preaching; in general the phenomenon of the God-Man is a greater miracle that the individual Gospel Miracles. The most shattering and ineradicable impression is produced on us by the image of the suffering Christ, when He is no longer working miracles-i.e., by the image of Christ as the revelation of God-Love in man. Ibid, p. 55

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Have you ever been drawn to an icon in such a way that you feel pulled into it?

I think you probably have.  I wonder what icons you would pick specifically as ones that touch your heart?
It is an amazing thing to see into the window of the Eternal God in that way.  Such a powerful experience!

We had at Holy Annunciation Chapel in Taos, just such a powerful icon of Jesus Christ on the iconostasis that Fr. John (Bethancourt) brought to us for our use at the Chapel.

I have just blown that image up and am planning to write it as an icon.  I have a feeling that it will either be a remarkable experience... or it will be a disappointment because I will have missed the mark.

Here is a photo of the icon...It sweeps me away. You may be familiar with it as it is an old icon.

I will let you know how I progress by God's Grace.