Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
It’s so relaxing to take a family vacation during the summer. We slow down, turn off the alarms and allow the day to go on without us. Yes, this is what vacations are all about. You probably even lost track of the days of the week, puzzled if it was Thursday or Friday, or what you had for dinner the night before. And in all that relaxing you might have forgotten that in August we celebrate 2 major feasts of the Orthodox Church calendar: the Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mt. Tabor (August 6) and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15).
Here’s a link to an insightful article on the Transfiguration of Our Lord from our partner Pemptousia to remind us of the importance of this feast. Below is a quote from the article.
At the Transfiguration, Christ did not assume something He didn’t have before, but revealed- in the measure that His disciples were able to receive it- the glory He had always had as God/Man. In other words, the glory the disciples saw on Mount Tabor was not a passing phenomenon, but the eternal light of the divine nature of Christ. This is what the hymnographer of our Church means when he wrote the troparion for the feast:
“You were transfigured on the Mountain, Christ our God, showing as much of Your glory to Your disciples as they were able to bear”.