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Author Topic: Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying With Icons  (Read 258 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: January 09, 2012, 02:42:58 AM »

I recently read Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying With Icons, by the Roman Catholic priest Henri J.M. Nouwen. The book I have was released in 1987 by Ave Maria Press, though there is also a revised edition from 2007. I have a spiral bound copy, though the revised edition may be paperback. The book has eighty pages, with an above average sized font. Scripture quotations are from The Jerusalem Bible. There are four full color icons, roughly 5" x 7" in size: The Rublev Trinity, The Virgin of Vladimir, The Savior of Zvenigorod, and an icon of hte Descent of the Holy Spirit. There are also small black-and-white icons at the beginning of each of the four chapters.

The four chapters of the book match the four icons chosen, with each having a special meaning: "The first [ie. Rublev Trinity] invites us to dwell in the house of love, the second [ie. Virgin of Vladimir] assures us that we truly belong to God, the third [ie. Savior of Zvenigorod] unveils for us the face of the Lord and the fourth [ie. Descent of the Holy Spirit] commissions us to liberate the world." (p. 15) The chapters range from nine to fifteen pages,  and are very autobiographical. That is, this is a book about a man's subjective (and transformative) experience with the particular icons discussed.  Definitely popular level, but an interesting read and insightful.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction which appears on the back cover: "For you who will read these meditations it is important to gaze at the icons with complete attention and to pray with them... the words in this book come from my own gazing at these icons. They may or may not touch you. But if they help you only a little to start seeing these icons for yourselves, my words will have fulfilled their purpose and may be be forgotten. Then these icons will have become yours and they can guide you by day and by night, in good times and in bad, when you feel sad and when you feel joyful. They will begin to speak to the unique way in which God has chosen to love you."
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 03:22:21 AM »

That sounds good. I may get a copy.   Smiley
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