воскресенье, 21 февраля 2010 г.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Triumph of Orthodoxy.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
                   Triumph of Orthodoxy
                           1980

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Today the Orthodox Church is keeping the great feast of the Triumph of
Orthodoxy  over  all  heresies.  It is not the triumph of the Orthodox
over  other  people,  of  our  Church  over  another church. It is the
triumph  of  the  spirit  of  truth  within  the community of men, the
triumph of God in the midst of His people.

This  triumph  was  declared  when  the  doctrine  of  the  icons  was
proclaimed  and  it signifies once more the vindicating of two things;
on the one hand that God has truly become man. God Himself, the God of
Heaven, the Living God has become a living man, and also that the Lord
was made flesh and that it is within the compass of this created world
that  the  divine  presence  was  made  manifest and revealed. It is a
revelation both about God and about the created world. We recognise in
Christ  the true Man and true God, very Man and very God, the Lord who
makes  Himself a servant and the created that unfolds itself in depth,
in  vastness  to be great enough to become the place where God dwells,
and more than this - to unite itself to God, the Lord of all things.

The  triumph  of  Orthodoxy  was  appointed  to the day when the dogma
concerning  the  icons was declared, a dogma according to which it its
right  and legitimate to paint the likeness of Christ our Lord, of the
Mother of God and His Saints. And yet it is not simply images to which
we attach divine names. An icon is something far greater than this. We
do  not  possess  any  likeness  of  Christ  and  we are not trying to
reproduce  His  earthly  features  as  accurately as possible. An icon
painter  displays  in an icon the knowledge of the Church of God about
the word of God incarnate in human features, in lines and colours what
is  to  be  conveyed  to us is not the historical likeness of Jesus of
Nazareth, but the vision of the divine presence in human features. And
an  icon is even more than a revelation, a declaration of truth and of
faith  in  lines  and  colours. It is blessed and hallowed, it becomes
within  the Church a real focus of presence. And this is why we bow to
the icons, we venerate them, we kiss them, not only as likenesses, not
only  as  images  that reveal the invisible but as a dwelling place of
divine grace and divine power.

To  declare  this  means  simultaneously  to  speak  of the incredible
closeness  of  God Who unites Himself to man and makes history His own
but  also  unites Himself to the very matter of this world and reveals
its  greatness  and its incredible capabilities not only to become the
dwelling  place of God but to become pervaded with divine presence, to
be  filled  with  it. It is a message of great hope not only about men
but  about  all  things  around  us, and we, Christians, are called to
understand this.

This  is  why  it  is so important for us to try to understand all the
depth  of  the  Church's teaching about God, One in Trinity, about the
incarnation of the Word of God, about the Mother of God, about Man and
about  things created, because we are those who should bring the world
that  has  lost  the  sight of itself, an understanding of itself, not
only  words  of truth, but words of life, not only speak but live with
an  understanding and depth that the Christian alone should have if we
only were of the stature of true Christianity.

It  is  a message of hope but it is also a challenge to us. As long as
we  do  not  understand this we are still on the fringe of that Church
which is life eternal. Let us the try to learn, try to understand, try
to  live, and then we will be able to declare, not in words but in the
manifestation  of  the  spirit of God, what God has said, what He says
day  after  day  about the world He has created, about man whom He has
loved  and  willed  into the world and about Himself which is life and
joy and eternity. Amen.

                              ----

 * All texts are copyright: Estate of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

           Metropolitan Anthony of  Sourozh Library
                   http://www.mitras.ru/eng/

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