As the glorious Feast of the Nativity approaches where we celebrate God becoming incarnate in the world, we can’t help but remember these words from St. Maria of Paris: "Each person is the very icon of God incarnate in the world."
Axia! You are an icon of God in the world!
When we go to church, we see walls bedecked with the icons of saints we cherish. This is also true outside our parish walls—our world is bedecked with the beautiful image of God in the very people in front of us!
At Axia, we know that sometimes the images, stories, and the work of women--work that is incarnational--often isn't visible in our Church.
For a few important years, my family belonged to a New York parish that had inherited a Native American tradition. The parish was aging, with a huge set of crumbling buildings that had once been a thriving home to people from the Lemko region of the Carpatho-Russian mountains. During our time there, some core Lemko families still remained, but most had drifted away, back home to Poland, or moved in with sons or daughters who had transferred out of state. The pews filled instead with people of Russian ancestry, as well as people with roots in Georgia, Romania, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Ireland, Greece, Texas, and Italy. Two of those newbies were the recently-arrived priest and his wife.
In this piece, we have a rare example of an Orthodox writer giving us a look at how the events of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection might have been felt by someone who had been healed by Him:
When she met Him, she had not seen light since a year after she inherited her estate in Magdala, when her grief had been assuaged at long last by its roses and citrons and dill and olives and the little goats that leapt when she walked by. Then came the jealous rivals and the curses. Then the demons. Her bright world had disappeared. She saw as if through foul water. Her old nurse bound her in linen cloths and walked her all the way to Jerusalem to see the priests and offer her goats for her healing.
We want to tell you about some changes to our Board.
Dr. Gayle Woloschak has come to the end of her three-year term as our Senior Advisor. We have benefited immeasurably from her wisdom and the depth of her expertise in starting and running non-profits, especially in the Orthodox sphere. Gayle, you have been a true blessing and we are so glad you will be staying with us as advisor emerita!
This fall, in the middle of October, our family went to Chicago to see the Broadway production of the musical Wicked. The tickets were purchased as a gift for our daughter’s sixteenth birthday. She is crazy about musicals, and was anticipating this event with the highest expectations. I, on the other hand, went along without any specific hopes for the show.
For years I’ve thought that Catherine of Alexandria was an intriguing figure. Perhaps it was the painting I once saw of her in beautiful medieval garb next to the terrifying spiked wheel. More recently, I began to think about what her life might tell me about making choices.