A Good Word on the Feast of the Transfiguration


The following excerpt is from Ocholophobist’s Website, as always well-written. It’s an excellent meditation for the feast.

Fr. Hopko speaks of the fact that when one encounters holiness, if it is indeed holiness one is encountering, one will be filled with both fear and a desire to stay in the presence of that holy place, thing, or person at the same time. If one encounters something which causes all fear, or all attraction, then one knows that the thing is not holy. Ours is an age of überattraction. We want to be comforted and entertained at all times. It would seem that the reintroduction of fear would be the right course, but I am not sure that such a direct approach would work anymore. Our age has no vocabulary of rightly ordered fear, it offers instead only despair. One is either comfortable and entertained, or one is in despair, and when there is no way of getting out of despair, perhaps it is time to crush something up in the applesauce and go to sleep forever, or so the evil story goes. The best tactic, it seems to me, is to counter überattraction with farce and godly ridicule – make a spectacle of it – show it for what it is – thus the need for a Holy Fool. Once the überattraction begins to wobble and loose its balanced, calculated control on the soul, perhaps then right and godly fear can be reintroduced.

The entire article can be read here.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.


4 responses to “A Good Word on the Feast of the Transfiguration”

  1. 60stadia Avatar

    “The best tactic, it seems to me, is to counter überattraction with farce and godly ridicule – make a spectacle of it – show it for what it is – thus the need for a Holy Fool.”

    I agree completely, when talking about the Civilized West. Compare Os Guinness’s “Afterword” in his book _The Gravedigger File_. There he speaks of three kinds of fools. Check out what he says about the third kind. Additionally, he discusses why “Holy Fool”ery is the best tactic for today’s Western Church.

  2. ochlophobist Avatar

    Thank you for the mention.

  3. fatherstephen Avatar

    I always enjoy your writing – thanks for letting me share.

  4. […] This, of course, is an excellent place for me to mention yet again the difference between a “one” and a “two” storey universe. In the two-storey world, you can have all the oddities you want, you just push them off to the next floor and let the world seem as empty as it does (Father Stephen, August 5th 2007). The transfigured Christ is seen in His glory by His disciples “as far as they could see it” (there is only so much the human eye can bear). But this glory is revealed so that when they see Him crucified “they would understand that it was voluntary,” that is, they would understand that the crucifixion is nothing other than the love of God. The Crucified God is the Beautiful God Who has entered into suffering freely on our behalf. Our words may say this, but they cannot speak with the eloquence of the Word Who was both transfigured and crucified (Father Stephen, August 6th 2007). […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to blog via email

Support the work

Your generous support for Glory to God for All Things will help maintain and expand the work of Fr. Stephen. This ministry continues to grow and your help is important. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Latest Comments

  1. This is a wonderful conversation! Father, thank you for your reply; it is beautiful. I’ll add that I IM’d you…

  2. Thank you Mark, so true! I am wondering if we can learn a lesson from the false predictions of the…

  3. I suppose to explain myself a bit better I would like to say that it seems to me that our…

  4. My latest commute listen is St. Augustine’s “Confessions,” Janine. These folks were indeed the most learned people of their day.…

  5. Indeed, Father, I should introduce that topic into my teaching—lest it be forgotten!

Read my books

Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman

Listen to my podcast