April 2011

Fr. Antony Portrait
Photo Courtesy of Photographer Eric Limon

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Christ is Risen!

Orthodox theology is a beautiful thing. It speaks of God as a loving Creator and of humanity as destined for union with Him. The Holy Fathers and Mothers were not academics, although many of them were highly educated and brilliant in their own rights. The greatest among them were mystics who spoke from an experience of the divine that they struggled with great effort to communicate in appropriate words. Trying to speak of things that cannot be explained in human language is a difficult thing indeed!

One aspect of theology I have found most wonderful is the relationship between God and His creation. He is present in all creation. There is no place he is not, writes Joseph the Hesychast. The implications of this are radical.

Think of Moses and the burning bush for example. What was the miracle? That the bush was burning and not consumed? No, that was not it. The miracle was that Moses' eyes were opened to see that the bush was burning. In fact, that bush had always been burning. What is more, all bushes are burning bushes! Why? Because “the Holy Spirit is in all places, filling all things.” So all of creation is one vast burning bush, one great, big Theophany.

We are preparing to welcome a special guest to deliver our Annual Fr. John Von Holzhausen lecture (Sunday, May 1, after Divine Liturgy). Fr. Michael Plekon's book HIDDEN HOLINESS is a beautiful description of the work of the Holy Spirit in and through human beings very much like ourselves, unique, eccentric, imperfect and yet, truly holy. It is a surprising and very moving account of the lives of people like St. Maria of Paris, Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, Paul Evdokimov, Thomas Merton, and Sara Miles. The book is thought-provoking. It pushes boundaries and envelopes in ways, I believe, that need to be pushed.

Fr. Plekon's approach confirms to me the Orthodox vision of the transfiguration of the whole of creation. 

I hope you will purchase one of his books which we have available at the Church (see Tiffany Conroy) so that when he arrives and speaks to us we can engage him in a meaningful and fruitful dialogue.

A blessed Pascha to all!

Love in Christ,

Fr. Antony Hughes