The mere heartbeat in which I realised that connecting with the sacred mystery is ultimately a matter, not of belief but of practice, was a singularly transformative moment for me.
It was one balmy summer evening more than a decade after I’d given up on believing in God that ‘God’ turned up right outside my back door, uninvited, unexpected, but unquestionably there. This fleeting accidental liaison with the ‘presence’ of a non-existent being who somehow managed to brush up against my soul before vanishing again into the twilight like a cat over the garden fence, left me deeply touched by the ‘peace that passes understanding’, and, if I may indulge in a little paradox, somewhat disturbed. Continue reading “A Matter Of Practice”
To one side of the altar in my parish church is a quiet little chapel where my meditation group meets for an hour every Saturday morning. On the chapel wall is a magnificent bronze figure of the crucified Christ suspended, as it were, in space, for there is no cross. To the right of the cross-less crucifix is a small carved icon of a very young Madonna and Child. There is something profound about the juxtaposition of these figures that, while possibly never intended by the devout person who installed them, opens the door to a magnificent truth. Continue reading “The invitation”
I saw this icon recently at an exhibition at the Ballarat Art Gallery and was utterly transfixed. This particular piece is probably 15th to 17th century and is held in a private collection in Sydney. Known in Russia as Spas Blagoe Molchanie or ‘The Saviour of the Blessed Silence’ or alternatively ‘The Angel of Great Counsel’, it is an example of a complex iconographic type that is also represented in Greek iconography and associated with Hesychia, the personification of silence. Continue reading “Blessed Silence”