The Purpose of the Orthodox Artist in the World24 January 2017
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The purpose of the Orthodox Artist in the world is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, whereby thousands around us will find salvation, as Saint Seraphim of Sarov said. Her mission is to turn water into wine. To take what seems ordinary, what seems plain, colorless and flavorless and by the grace of the Holy Spirit transform it into something bursting with flavor, beauty, richness and depth.
It is the artist’s vocation to permeate the world with the fragrance of humility and mercy. After all St. Paul says that we are the fragrance of Christ. “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15) The purpose of the Orthodox Artist in the world is to be filled with the Joy of the Resurrection!
This, is my last act of defiance. This is my sacred rage, my holy madness. This is my soul’s rebellion—to live in the radiance of your joy, and swim the insanity of your bliss. This, my darling one, is our blessed vengeance upon the enemies of Love.
They shall not steal from this tower of devotion. They shall not prevail over this spirit of praise. I hold within my will, the blade of divine joy, and I shall have my vengeance upon the minions of despair, which lurk behind every thought. Do you know, beloved, how they tremble to see us rise with the morning light?
Come with me, my dove, to a castle of ecstasy and longing; where both torch and shadow stand naked before us, fusing our spirits with solace and rage; the cold of the stone and the warmth of your body, moaning, in silent echoes of praise. With the wound of love pressed against our souls in hallowed fury.
And the flame, the flame of the Presence between us, holding back the darkness from within, and the darkness from without.
May all of us, as true Artists, clothe ourselves in humility and meekness, in genuine love and prayer for one another! May the world be attracted to the beauty of those who follow Jesus Christ. And may the grace of the Holy Trinity, the prayers of the Mother of God and all the Saints continue to sanctify those who love the beauty of Thy house.
Let us echo St. Porphyrios and say,
“Love Christ and put nothing before His Love. He is joy, He is life, He is light. Christ is Everything. He is the ultimate desire, He is everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ.”
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Spirit, amen.