Monday, April 20, 2009

Yannaras on the Eucharist

"all these, and a host of other nightmarish syndromes, form the world which today greets every infant who becomes a godchild of the Church through holy baptism. And in the face of this world, all we Christians seem like complete infants, feeble and powerless to exert the slightest influence over the course of human history and the fate of our planet. This is perhaps because, through the historical vicissitudes of heretical distortions of our truth--distortions which lie at the root of the present cultural impasse--we seem to have lost our understanding of the manner in which our weakness and powerlessness 'perfects' the transfiguring power of the Church. Our power is 'hidden' in the grain of wheat and the tiny mustard seed, in the mysterious dynamism of the leaven lost in the dead lump of the world--in the eucharistic hypostasis of our communal body.
"The eucharistic community, the resuscitation of our eucharistic self-awareness and identity, the nucleus of the parish and the diocese--these are our 'revolutionary' organization, our radical 'policy,' our ethic of 'overthrowing the establishment': these are our hope, the message of good tidings which we bring. And this hope will 'overcome the world'. . . ."

Christos Yannaras, "The ethos of liturgical art," chap. 12 of The freedom of morality, trans. Elizabeth Briere, Contemporary Greek theologians 3 (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984): 262.

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