Father Alexander is leaving us. A famous Oxford-educated scholar and Eastern Orthodox monk, he has had a profound effect on me. In the form of one of his writings: Liturgy and Mysticism. And in his very Presence. Both together actually. For his writing is of a piece with his Personal Presence.
|Archimandrite Alexander Golitzin|
When I first met him, I already knew him. Was already grateful to him. For his own words had already sunk deep into my heart. Reading his Liturgy and Mysticism had shown me how personal spiritual growth went hand in hand with the Liturgy. Were one and the same. The inner and the outer of a piece. Like the key to a puzzle in my heart.
Here is Archimandrite Alexander, reflecting on his consecration as Bishop and confirming so well what's already been said in this blog:
... when standing before the holy altar at the anaphora, the bishop images forth the one and unique High Priest, Christ, Who acts through His celebrant.
... while it is true that our Lord Jesus is true God and true King, it is also true that He did not come to us, His creatures, with the pomp and splendor of the King, attended by the legions of heaven, but rather in humility He emptied Himself and was found in the likeness of a servant.
They are very different images, the first set revelatory of the splendor of heaven, and the second of the humility, long-suffering, and charity of our Lord’s life and ministry. My first conclusion is that I must keep this difference firmly in mind throughout my life as bishop, by which I mean the glory of the liturgical iconography should have no place in my office and day-to-day demeanor. My actions, my patterns of speech, my service in short, is to be determined by the example given us by God the Word Himself.”The capstone of holiness indeed!