God's grace works miracles in our lives. Meeting God is a miracle in itself. Such meetings can be rare, and you can count them on the fingers of one hand. They are also short; in sum, they may not last even a few minutes. In the daily grind of our usual routines, we might even forget that these special moments had ever happened.
To a degree, this reminds me of icon painting. We add ground minerals to egg yolk to make the paint, and we use only some of this paint in the two or three days that it normally takes to finish an icon. After this time, the paint becomes unusable. Sometimes, we use only a few specks of it out of a whole box. 'What a waste!' we might think. Yet, the unused paint is less important than the finished icon. The result justifies the expense.
Our lives are very much like that. Our encounter with God lasts a moment, but we spend a lifetime waiting for it. Yet this brief moment justifies the years and decades of our wait. So once our meeting occurs, we must not miss its single second; we should keep each of these seconds close to our hearts as our most sacred treasure. For the rest of our lives, it will bolster our spirits and give us much-needed reassurance at times of our greatest need. This treasure is real. It is not fiction or myth.
I wish that you can all experience these long-awaited moments of meeting God at every liturgy. Think about your every liturgy as a special event. Imagine yourself as a mountaineer ascending a mountain peak, as each liturgy we attend takes us to a new spiritual height. We are ascending our own mount Everest in the spirit. When we reach a new dizzying height, let us stop for a moment before we begin to descend to remember the sensation. Let us hope that the time we dedicate to the liturgy and the sacraments will not be spent in vain, but will contribute to our growth in the spirit and bring change to our lives.
Priest Sergius Nezhbort
We haven't heard about iconoclasm for many centuries now. Icons are no longer destroyed like they were in the 8th and early 9th century. Sadly, the struggle with the image of God is apparently still going on.
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