December 9, 2009

The Russian Icon



When the Russians were being converted, they didn’t know what to convert to. They didn’t convert to the Muslim or Jewish faiths because you couldn’t drink or there were too many rules and weird rituals. They didn’t like the Catholic faith because it felt too penal, to legalistic. But when they went to the orthodox…

When they went to a service at St. Sophia’s they saw a beauty that was not present in the other religions. When you go into an orthodox church, you see the icons, the fracas and everything is splendor, you see glory you smell incense. You are in a temple but a temple of a king, but someone who rules over the world. You hear voices, no instruments, only the voice to parse god. When you go into an orthodox service, you see aesthetics. 

1 comment:

C Maguire said...

Well put history Matt! Amazing that such a momentous choice in history (imagine how a Catholic Russia, much less a Muslim Russia, would have changed the dynamics of world history) came down to something lIke a "Religious Idol" game show. I still cracks me up that Islam was so readily dismissed because of the whole sobriety thing. Clearly, the Islamic representatives had not been through a Russian winter.