It is with great pleasure I announce the winner of the July "Post of the Month"!
...for his winning post:
The Letter to the Hebrews says that we, Christians, approach, ascend to the Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, where God, Christ and all the saints and angels are already gathered. That's a great image because you know that when your climbing a mountain, you see only your path and only a part of the landscape around, but the higher you get, the more you see. And the one who has got already to the top sees everything around perfectly, can see everyone who's still climbing. That's the position of the Mother of God and all the saints. They're not omnipresent or omniscient, but they are in the place where the whole reality can be seen at once, where all human paths converge.
But the same letter offers another image, that of the audience on a stadium observing the race and cheering the competitors. The audience has here again a priviledged position in which they can see more than those who are running in the race. And the audience in the letter is of course the great cloud of witnesses. So basically all depends eventually on how we imagine the reality is structured and how it functions.
Congratulations and Axios!
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria