“Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what he did was to call out this beauty.”
~ Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh of blessed memory.
Mostly I know Metropolitan Father Anthony Bloom from his writings on prayer, which have been very encouraging. They convey a fatherly exhortation, as much as to say, as our Father might, “Child, why have you delayed so long coming to sit on my lap?” There is a flash of sadness that you did wait so long, but it is swallowed up in the joy and comfort of sitting there, and the love that flows, even though, like a child, you are fidgety and not paying attention as closely as could be desired. You find that you have hopped off His lap, hardly noticing yourself, but He smiles and enfolds you the moment you climb back up.
Fr. Anthony shows you how this is so, and makes you want to get on with the work of repentance, of coming back into God’s presence again and again. Of course it is from Him that I have any hope of acquiring the loving attitude toward people that he talks about in the quote above. So the topics are connected.
This afternoon I went to a lecture by Father Mel Webber, author of Bread and Water, Wine and Oil. When he speaks I want to write down every word, which of course I can’t. But I hope to glean at least one good quote from my notes for next week’s posting.