On a recent trip we stopped at the shore of a lake in Colorado. The rocks there were incredibly eye-catching because of the hues of red that were interspersed with rocks of other colors. Many of the rocks were blood red, and one looked like a slice of red velvet cake, perfectly cut as if for a party. That particular rock made me smile because I had never seen anything like it. What was most amazing to me was that with all the beauty of the shore and the mountains across the lake, the rocks under my feet were the most captivating. I wondered what the origin of these rocks might have been; what mountain had they come from? How long had they been there? Though inanimate, I wondered what story they could tell. In all this, it seemed to me that each one was giving glory to God in its own way, especially the one that resembled a slice of cake.
The apostles were so overwhelmed by being in the presence of the glory of God that they became speechless; it was probably because they were so overwhelmed by the mystery and the glory of God that they became ‘verklempt.’ But these three did not need to say a word. The very rocks were crying out of the glory of God which had appeared amongst them. Mount Tabor was never the same, nor would the world be: the Son of God had been revealed and was now headed to Jerusalem to further glorify the Father. However, we discover that the silence of the apostles was only when they were completely awed by the Transfiguration event. They began to ask questions on the way down the mountain in an attempt to understand. Surely such an encounter made a deep impression and changed them, even if they could not yet understand it.
May we draw strength and courage from the immeasurable light of the love of God! May we bring that light into our world through our good works, our patience, our perseverance, our kindness, our trust, and our prayer! May we do what we can to take the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the glory of God when we are in places which reflect His beauty in nature, which often is right in our own backyard! And may we give praise to our God who reveals Himself in the glory of His love! Let us continue to meet in His heart! Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
*I have to give credit for this description to Fr. William Hart McNichols who taught me this (in quoting Paul Evdokimov in his book Orthodoxy) while helping me to grow in my understanding of iconography. The icon just below the quote is one of Fr. Bill's works, Hagia Hesychia Jesus Christ Redeemer Holy Silence. It can be found at http://www.fatherbill.org/all-categories/product/283-hagia-hesychia-jesus-christ-redeemer-holy-silence. By the way, some reproductions of Fr. Bill's icons can be found on a new medium, glass, and are ready for purchase, just as the giclees and plaques are available. See http://www.fatherbill.org/glass-art-prints for more details. These are truly beautiful so do check it out. (Remember by promoting his work I get no remuneration. I do get the pleasure of sharing the wealth of his work, however.)
The photos are mine, all taken in Colorado.
The first painting is The Transfiguration by Bl. Fra Angelico, and is located in St. Mark's in Florence, Italy. This image was found at http://www.joyfulheart.com/easter/images/fra_angelico_entry425x620.jpg
The second painting, The Entry into Jerusalem was pointed by Giotto and can be found at https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Entry-into-Jerusalem-Giotto-di-Bondone. The original is found at the Arena Chapel (Cappella Scrovegni) in Padua, Italy.