Being fine tuned to Revelation (1 Samuel, 17,31-54; 1 Peter 3,8-4,6.) /Matins, Thursday After Frist Sunday After Trinity/
It is not the heroic straggle of David with Goliath what is of interest for us. From a bird’s eye view it is only one of the painful events of unstoppable violence in human history. The light of God’s self-revelation can hardly come through our thick darkness. Wars and conflicts are signs that we filter out God from our world. The wars in early Jewish history invite us to think about what we hinder God’s revelation; and how God wants to shine through his Creation and wants to come close to us.
Peter’s letter shows the miracle when God’s Light wins over against our violence. ‘But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.’ In contrast to wounding wars and murderous conflicts, we can see what a wonderful creation the human heart is! It is a vital organ through which Divine Life can become manifested.
Peter’s catalogue of virtues shows, in a positive way, that God created a world, where God’s infinite Power, can be perceived, without it ‘breaking apart’. God’s infinite energies ‘can be translated’ into our limited perception. The way in which we live, think, and love are manifesting a bit of his Infinity. ‘Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his toungue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it.’
When we look at the holy icons, we can see how their golden background and the face of the Saints are absorbed in divine Light. There is a particular nature of this ‘gently pulsing light’. There are parts of the body – the face, the hands – which are very intensely bright. Yet, on the whole, this Light is gentle and restrained. The light on the icons is a bridge. They invite us to look into the depths of God’s Love, which is a powerful, infinite energy: an all consuming Brightness. Yet, this also tells us that we are safe, God’s revelation respects our limits.
Revelation, expressed through our bodily life, action, prayer, and meditation, all invite us to be grateful for what we are, the way in which God created us, that our finitude is ‘tuned’ to participating in His Revelation.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..