Theology and Beauty by Anthony of Sourozh

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By Anthony of Sourozh

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Sample text

I know that I am just giving you sort of directions of thought and perhaps puzzling ones, but I want to speak of another side of things which is related to what I have just said and to my first point. I was asked this morning at the end a question that might really be the subject of a whole conference or certainly of one talk: what is the meaning of the word “meaning”? May I as an approximation say that an object, a person, a situation, anything of which we can speak, has meaning to the extent to which it relates to ultimate things; in my thought obviously and in yours, to God.

If you read the Gospel, you will find similar elements in the way in which Christ sees people. Peter meets Christ on the banks of the Lake of Tiberias, he has betrayed his Lord, renounced Him three times, for the first time he meets Him face to face, and Christ does not ask him whether he repents, whether he is ashamed, He asks whether he loves Him, whether he loves Him with the purity of complete love—the agape, and whether he loves Him as a friend loves a friend, the filia. Both are untrue as far as the events can prove.

You remember that when the servant of Abraham was sent to Mesopotamia to find a bride for his son, he was told that he would be shown this bride by a sign, and this sign was that this woman would come to the well carrying an ampulla, a pitcher of water. It was a sign, it was an act of God. Now, what is there which we can put in some sort of parallel in the marriage of two Christians? The Christians or non-Christians are not revealed to one another by any formal ritual or miraculous sign. What is then the sign?

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