Tag: Icon

  • Within A Mandorla

    There is a small class of events within the gospels that are treated in a special manner by iconographers. This special treatment reflects the language of Scripture as well. In the icons of the Transfiguration, Pascha and the Ascension, there is a particular artistic device used called a Mandorla. Sometimes circular, sometimes almost star-shaped, it…

  • The Intuition of Narnia

    A child, in a game of hide-and-seek, enters a large wardrobe. However, the wardrobe is more than furniture – it is a doorway into another world. That entrance is the introduction of the world of Narnia. C.S. Lewis’ children stories, beloved by one generation, are block-buster movies in today’s empire of Disney. In that wonderland…

  • The Border of the Grace of God

    This Sunday, on the Orthodox calendar, commemorates St. Mary of Egypt, 6th century harlot-turned-saint. This meditation was written in Jerusalem in 2008 when I was on pilgrimage. The image is of the icon mentioned in the meditation. Today, walking and weaving our way through the streets of Old Jerusalem, shops on each side of the…

  • Smashing Icons

    The first Sunday of Great Lent, on the Orthodox calendar, is set aside to remember the restoration of icons to the Churches during the reign of the holy Empress Theodora (9th century). It commemorates as well the gift of the entirety of the Orthodox faith. I offer these thoughts in honor of the day. The…

  • Icons and Truth

    Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. From time to time, I have written about the iconic character of reality – the world about us has the character of an icon. I have also noted the iconic character of language and of Scripture. There is much to say about what is meant…

  • So Close to Heaven

    When I think of the Iconostasis of the Church (the wall that demarcates the Holy Place) I thinkof “boundaries,” and how the definitions that exist in the Church reflect even greater realities. I believe those realities are two-fold. The first reality is to be found within ourselves. Fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image…

  • Smashing Icons

    The first Sunday of Great Lent, on the Orthodox calendar, is set aside to remember the restoration of icons to the Churches during the reign of the holy Empress Theodora (9th century). It commemorates as well the gift of the entirety of the Orthodox faith. I reprint these thoughts in honor of the day. The…

  • Icons in a Literal World

    I wrote this reflection nearly a year ago. Today I found my mind wandering back to the topic – searching beyond what I could see to what is unseen and yet more real. I have become increasingly convinced that the “literal” world we see is deeply distorted by our own self-deception. It is not a…

  • Hidden and Triumphant – Learning the Story

    Orthodox Christianity has sometimes been called, “The World’s Best Kept Secret.” There is a certain truth to this – the ignorance in the Western world of Byzantine history, let alone Russian and Balkan history – is staggering. Many Orthodox are uninformed about the full story of their faith – as well as most modern converts.…

  • The Weight of Glory

    Several years ago I had opportunity to visit a parish where the icon, Our Lady of Sitka, had been brought for veneration. The Church was packed that evening and I had the privilege of concelebrating the Akathist to the icon. There are many stories told about wonder-working icons. Some are known to weep tears of…


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