The Purpose of the Orthodox Artist in the World

The Purpose of the Orthodox Artist in the World


Jonathan Jackson


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.

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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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Pemptousia Partnership

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.