the natural elements of bread and wine are so affirmed that they acquire personal qualities — the Body and Blood of Christ

By the Metropolitan John Zizioulas (shortened version of a lecture given at the European Orthodox Congress given in October, 1993 that was reprinted here): Theology and Church life involve a certain conception of the human being: personhood. This term, sanctified through its use in connection with the very being of God and of Christ, is […]

He provided a new, sacramental mode of presence

From Patrick Henry Reardon’s book Reclaiming the Atonement: An Orthodox Theology of Redemption (Volume 1 of 3: The Incarnate Word). The Divine Liturgy, we may say, is the oven of the Holy Spirit. That grain of wheat which was sown in the earth on Good Friday sprang forth as the infinite paschal harvest and now […]

thickened wine: summer’s blood

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a glossy purple clot Among others, red, green, hard as a knot. You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it Leaving stains […]

the very food of our world became His body

In this world Christ was rejected. He was the perfect expression of life as God intended it. Th fragmentary life of the world was gathered into His life; He was the heart beat of the world and the world killed Him. But in that murder the world itself died. It lost its last chance to […]

celebrants of the sacrament of life

This is the first meaning of our bringing to the altar the elements of our food. For we already know that food is life, that it is the very principle of life and that the whole world has been created as food for man. We also know that to offer this food, this world, this […]

offering the world to God

It seems natural for man to experience the world as opaque, and not shot through with the presence of God. It seems natural not to live a life of thanksgiving for God’s gift of a world. …The natural dependence of man upon the world was intended to be transformed constantly into communion with God in […]

one all-embracing banquet table

From the opening of chapter one in For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann: “Man is what he eats.” With this statement the German materialistic philosopher Feuerbach thought he had put an end to all “idealistic” speculations about human nature. In fact, however he was expressing, without knowing it, the most religious idea […]