Thursday, May 14, 2015


"Coming this close to him who is the Light of the world is always a humbling experience. If you remember Isaiah when he saw the Lord high and lifted up—this was in the readings, interestingly, last night for vespers—when the Lord gave the vision in the temple to Isaiah as recorded in the sixth chapter of his prophecy, and Isaiah was there, watching God, this theophany. What did Isaiah [say]? He said, “Woe is me because my eyes have seen the Lord of hosts, and I am a man of unclean lips, and I live amongst a people of unclean lips!” This is the natural thing: when so much light shines, when the sun hits you, you squint. This is what happens in childbirth, and this is part of the reasons that women need the blessing of churching and of purification, because when a woman participates like this with God in the miracle of giving birth and she draws near to him and he draws near to her, she has to squint." - The Mystery of Churching

In Orthodox practice in some places, the child is then placed on the floor of the ambo and the mother picks it up – the clear implication that God has accepted the child and now returns it to the parents to be raised in the Church. It also is a reminder that our care for children is underwritten by the childhood of Christ – that to misuse a child is to misuse Christ. He has radically identifed Himself with the “least of these.” - A Child Enters the Temple

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