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.
“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:
I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not strive, nor cry aloud; neither shall any one hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench,
till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles hope”
(Matthew 12: 18-21)
This prophecy summarizes the life of this “servant” whom God “chose” and in whom His “soul is well pleased.” He is the chosen vessel of His “Spirit,” His Word “to the nations” revealing His love and His will, the Icon per excellence of faithfulness to the end, in extreme humility and utter confidence, in order to realize the marvelous providence of God “showing judgement” to all. This “servant,” of whom Isaiah spoke (42: 1-4), is none other than Jesus. He, through this providence, is leading His creature who fell away from justice – subject to sin, alienated from God, and left without his authentic humanity – towards the dignity which God shall bestow upon him, not only as the object of His love and predilection, but also for the beauty of the virtue that His creature shall acquire. It is this justice-dignity that was shown forth on the Cross of Calvary, sealed by the stone rolled from the door of the tomb, and which is offered forever to our suffering world to seek and acquire.
The Hebrews crossed the desert in order to reach the Promised Land; Jesus faced temptation in the desert after His baptism. We all struggle in our own desert where we feel abandoned and alone. Today, the “servants of the Lord,” who are in the “fire furnace” and “hope in His name,” are crossing the “desert.” In fact, they follow the way inaugurated by “this chosen Servant,” being “hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed… perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in [their bodies].” (2 Cor. 4: 8-10; 7; 11). These “servants” enrich many, thanks to the light of their living faith, along with their thanks to God from all their heart; instead of being the refuse of the world (1 Cor. 4:13), they have become the beacon of a living and eternal hope in a world which is losing “hope in His name.”
While crossing this desert to celebrate our mystical Passover, the Church of Antioch cannot but continue to contemplate this mystery in the person of one of its “servants,” who is “not striving, nor crying aloud; neither any one is hearing his voice in the streets,” His Eminence, Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo. While he is still invested with his “singular ecclesial mission,” and since he bears the grace of the episcopate, he prays for those who, like him, “hope in His name,” so that they shall be comforted; he prays also for those who ignore this name so that their conscience shall be illuminated, that they may know the “hope in His name”.
In this time of the gestation of our hope, I ask for your prayers in order to sing with you the hymn of the “servants of the Lord:” Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!
Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
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