23 January 2016

"Do not despise matter, for it is not despicable"


I found an article on Orthodox "veneration" on the blog "Glory to God for All Things" exceptionally helpful and well written and wish to commend it to you, dear Reader, for your perusal.  

Veneration of the Holy Cross of Christ
What follows below is the closing of the article ... which I know is a no-no — I can hear an old friend saying 'Let them read and work through it!'— but for those of you who cannot take time to read or visit the other website, it will give you something fruitful to chew upon and to take into your sacred ruminations this fine day. 

But if possible, do visit the other blog and read the entry in full.  It is well worth it, my friends.

Father Stephen Freeman writes:

The world is icon and sacrament. But it cannot be known until we see it face to face. Listen to these sweet words from St. John of Damascus (7th century):

I honor all matter, and venerate it. Through it, filled, as it were, with a divine power and grace, my salvation has come to me. Was the three-times happy and blessed wood of the Cross not matter? Was the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary not matter? What of the life-giving rock, the Holy Tomb, the source of our resurrection — was it not matter? Is the holy book of the Gospels not matter? Is the blessed table which gives us the Bread of Life not matter? Are the gold and silver, out of which crosses and altar-plate and chalices are made not matter? And before all these things, is not the body and blood of our Lord matter? Either stop venerating all these things, or submit to the tradition of the Church in the venerating of images, honoring God and his friends, and following in this the grace of the Holy Spirit. Do not despise matter, for it is not despicable. Nothing that God has made is. Only that which does not come from God is despicable — our own invention, the spontaneous decision to disregard the law of human nature, i.e., sin.

To read the blog article in full please click this link.