Archive for October, 2008

Earliest Icon of Christ Patocrator - ca 6th Century

Earliest Icon of Christ Patocrator, ca 6th Century. Discovered in St. Catherine's Monstary in Sinai.

I’ve long wondered about this icon of Christ – entitled Christ Pantocrator. The word Pantocrator comes from the Greek word meaning Almighty, All Powerful, or Ruler of All. Apparently this icon and those styled like it were some of the most commonly used images in the early church. The earliest version dates from the 6th or 7th Century which is surprising because many icons were destroyed in the Iconoclast dispute.  The icon to the right was discovered in St. Catherine’s Monastary in Sinai. In this image, the Christ is pictured as Christ the Teacher – with the Word of God in his hands and his fingers in the orator’s gesture. Notice that one side of his face is worn, wrinkled, and there is a tear, while the other side is more pristine. The gold represents holiness and heaven. Red is the color for divine life, in icons.

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Story of a Sign

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“In the spiritual life, the word discipline means ‘the effort to create some space in which God can act.’ Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere you’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on.” –Henri Nouwen

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