The glory of God is the love which binds us together as a people, and subsequently it also brings God great joy because we are His. Thus we, His church, are beautiful in His eyes and are indeed nothing short of His glory. If His love and beauty have been entrusted to us, who are His glory, we cannot but share it with the waiting, hurting, longing, hungry world with whom He counts on us to share. Let us seek to become God’s glory more deeply, that we might shine like St. Seraphim so “light shall rise in the darkness and the gloom shall become like midday.”
©Michele L. Catanese
Note: Next entry will be March 13
* This quote is from the testimony of Nicholas Motovilov and was found at the following link:
https://orthodoxwiki.org/Seraphim_of_Sarov. The complete testimony of Motovilov is found in a very lengthy article which you can find here if interested: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx
1. This is a photo which I took at Boothbay Harbor, Maine. At the time I took it, the reflection of the setting sun on the clouds caught my attention; the golden radiance upon everything truly reflected the glory of God.
2. I took this photo in Big Bend National Park in west Texas. This is a small offshoot of the Rio Grande River on the border of Texas and Mexico. It seemed to be a fitting example of what it may have been like for Ezekiel to be praying at the river in Babylon, perhaps struck by the beauty of the place just as the glory of God began to break through to him. I chose this particular shot because it captured the radiance of the early afternoon sun reflecting upon the water; but also there is a streak of light, a reflection from the overhead sun, caught by the lens of the camera as if God was beginning to reveal His glory as to Ezekiel.
3. This is The Transfiguration of Jesus by Bl. Fra Angelico. This painting, which resides at the convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy, captures the radiance of the event. He paints an egg shaped cloud, the Shekinah (the Holy Spirit's presence) around Jesus. I also love that he added the faces of Moses and Elijah who also experienced the glory of God, and that he added St. Dominic, who for Fra Angelico was a luminary. Fra Angelico was a Dominican priest and therefore St. Dominic was his spiritual father. Finally he added Mary, to whom he had a great devotion. (To be clear, Mary was not present at the Transfiguration, nor was St. Dominic of course!) This explanation might help, also: http://idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.com/2011/03/fra-angelico-transfiguration-in-cell-6.html
4. This painting depicts St. Seraphim radiant with joy before Nicholas Motovilov. I do not know who painted this, but I found it at the end of the page at https://orthodoxcatholicmonastery.com/tag/st-seraphim-of-sarov/
5. This is a modern version of a Russian icon and was written by Fr. William Hart McNichols. It is called Umilenie Icon Joy of All Joys. This type of icon was a favorite of St. Seraphim. It seems he had a great devotion to Mary as depicted here and that it was he who referred to the icon as "Joy of All Joys." In fact, it is said that he died while kneeling before it. I chose this one because it truly does convey the radiance of God which filled Mary. Her joy became the joy of so many who have come to know Jesus. You can find this icon at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/umilenie-icon-joy-of-all-joys-156-william-hart-mcnichols.html
6. This is a painting called Dawn Over Riddarfjarden by Eugène Jansson, (1899) a Swedish painter. I chose it because it captures the beginning of a sunrise and so the sun is just beginning to illuminate the sky and surrounding area. Jansson captured the slight glow of the sun in reflection upon the water, a touch that is masterful. It reminds me that God's glory can come in something as 'ordinary' as a sunrise. It does not have to be something dramatic to convey God's glory; we simply need to learn to see.
7. I took this photo in Boston while walking in a public garden. Once again, it is a reminder that the glory of God comes in many forms. This simple rose gave me joy in that it spoke of the glory of God reflected in that which He has made.