In reading the amazing book Acquiring the Mind of Christ by Archimandrite Sergius Bower of St. Tikhon Monastery, I wanted to share a bit from the chapter titled “Beauty That Saves the World: Beauty, Liturgy, and Liturgical Art.”
Fr. Sergius starts the chapter by quoting St. Gregory Palamas who is referring to the account of the Transfiguration of Christ as recorded in the scriptures:
…in accordance with the Savior’s promise, [the disciples] did see the kingdom of God, that divine and inexpressible light. St. Gregory of Nazianzos and St. Basil call this light “Divinity”, saying that “the light is the divinity manifested to the disciples on the Mount,” and that [this light] is “the beauty of Him Who is Almighty…” St. Basil …said that this light is the beauty of God contemplated by the saints alone in the power of the divine Spirit…
Since we just celebrated the Incarnation of Christ and His Light come into the world, I found this section so relevant and well, so beautiful!
Read what Fr. Sergius continues with…
The heart of the Orthodox Christian spirituality is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Eternal Logos became flesh (John 1:14) and restored creation’s beauty which had become contra-natural, disfigured, and made ugly by sin. The restoration to the world of this archetypal beauty, which is Christ Himself, is the essential part of creation’s redemption. The Church, as Christ’s Body, incarnates this beauty into the world through her Liturgy, with its symphony of liturgical arts.
Being mystically called by and witnessing this beauty of Holiness, we begin to participate in the deifying vision of God, which is salvation. To the degree that we participate in this eternal divine beauty is the extent that we actualize the beauty inherent in God’s creative act; we ourselves become transfigured in the process and through it find salvation.
As the summit of creation’s beauty, St. John Chrysostom tells us that ‘there is nothing more beautiful than a beautiful soul…’ He exhorts us therefore to ‘seek this beauty, in order that God might desire our beauty and impart to us the eternal blessings.’
I have read this passage a dozen times and I think it finally has sunk in. We are called to “seek this beauty”, this light! And the more we participate in this beauty the closer we come to God, to know Him.
This Light is “the beauty of Him Who is Almighty”! This makes me feel so alive, so filled.
When I take the time to seek His beauty and take the time to marvel in it, I truly can feel Him Who is TRULY Almighty! And He gives me strength and purpose and renewal!
Isn’t this so inspiring? Doesn’t it fill you with a desire to seek out this beauty? This inspires me so much to continue, daily, seeking His beauty, in all things!
I pray that you see His Light shine forth in glorious beauty today!