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“[The] Church has a symbolic understanding of the world where everything is seen as a symbol of the action of God in the world and where the very existence of the universe is wholly dependent on, indeed is a function of, its relationship to God.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)

“The whole spiritual world seems mystically imprinted on the whole sensible world in symbolic forms, for those who are capable of seeing this.” (St. Maximus the Confessor)

“The strange, the extraordinary, thing, is that we did not really die, nor were we really buried or really crucified; nor did we really rise again; this was figurative and symbolic; yet our salvation was real. Christ’s crucifixion was real, His burial was real, and His Resurrection was real; and all these He has freely made ours, so that by sharing His sufferings in a symbolic enactment we may really and truly gain salvation.” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

“When the Fathers used the word “symbol,” they understood that something was actually, really and truly made present. A symbol makes present that which it represents…In our modern world, a symbol represents something that is not there, it is a sign of absence. Indeed, because our modern world-view is essentially one of nominalism, we believe that the ancient notion of symbol is simply impossible. It feels like superstition to the modern consciousness.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…we have lost our sense of soul because we have lost our respect for symbols; our modern mind is trained that symbols are illusion. We say, “It is only your imagination,” not realizing that all the missing parts of ourselves that we long for, the “lost lane into heaven,” are constantly mediated to us in the forgotten language of the soul: the symbols and images that emanate through dream and imagination.” (Robert A. Johnson)

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