Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday of the Third Week in Advent

Icons in my home - St. Michael the Archangel was "written" by me.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 7:18-23
At that time, John summoned two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?"  And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, `Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'"  In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight.  And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.
It always puzzles me when we repeat Gospel readings in the same week.  On Sunday, we had Matthew's account of the same thing.  I guess it bears repeating.  

Today is my 59th birthday.  Who knew God would keep me around for so long?  I was on a seriously self-destructive bend for the first half of my life.  I am constantly amazed that I got to live this long and that I have had so many years to reconcile my former horribleness.  I realize I have so far yet to go, so I hope the Lord grants me many years more.  

I took the day off work and am cooking today - I told my adult children that I would make dinner so that they could save their money for my present (ha ha).  

God has been so very good to me.


  1. Happy birthday Mary Christine.

    Readers of your blog may like to know something important about your icon which is full of symbolism. If they look at the right hand they will see it is formed with the two fingers upright (index and the next) and three joined together (thumb and next two). The art form is transmitting to us our faith (rather than oral or written tradition) statements in the Nicene and Chalcedon creeds. The two fingers together upright symbolise the two natures of Christ (human and divine) and the the three joined together represent the Trinity. We use this to make the sign of the cross in Greek and Russian Orthodox tradition.

  2. Happy Birthday Mary Christine.

  3. Oh my gosh, we share the same birthday! Today I'm 49 years old. We're ten years apart. If you go to my blog (which I share with two others) you can see a picture of me from my first birthday. Happy birthday to you Mary. :)

    That is a lovely icon. You are talented. I too would love to hear the meaning of your symbolism. Picking up on what Paul said, earlier this year my wife and I spent seven weeks in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet country, where I went to a few Russian Orthodox churches. I did find it quite interesting that they make the sign of the cross with the three fingers signifying the Trinity. Do we have a rule on how we're supposed to make the sign of the cross? I just dip my fingers in the holy water. Also the Orthodox cross themselves opposite from us. We go up/down, left shoulder/right; the Orthodox go up/down, right shoulder/left. Anyone know how either came about?

  4. Thanks everyone. I took a class from a great Russian Iconographer 5 years ago. They are so deep with spiritual meaning, I wouldn't even know where to begin to explain it. It was a week-long class, at the end of which we had all written our first icons. But it was not our own design, we were instructed clearly on exactly what and how to do it.