‘Now Eli was very old, and hear all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they laid with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do you such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.’
It is an amazing contrast: the sons of an Old Testament divine show utmost corruption. There is a warning underlying our text: indeed, within one generation a complete moral fall can take place. Our human face can be lost and we can become the opposite of our true self. However, there is a positive reading of the story of Eli’s sons. There is always an immediate and complete healing on offer. Grace, by its nature, wants to restore us every minute to our full potential.
Standing in front of the holy icons, one can contemplate and feel, this continuous ascent offered to our world. The upright posture of the figures of Our Lady in the icon of the Loving Tenderness, and the half-figure Christ Pantocrator (Ruler of All), points ‘upward’. The ‘vertical axis’ of their bodies make this healing ascent visible. Our ‘world of Eli’s sons’ are to realise that we life in the midst of these invisible strings of grace, and streams of Healing Divine Love… asking us to chose the elevation of our thinking and ways of life into realm of our truer selves.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..