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“Worship is reserved for God alone, but the veneration of the holy things used in worship is natural and right…The…Church worships God alone. Yet, she does offer veneration to individuals who have been important human instruments of God in the history of salvation. Among those so venerated is Mary…The… Church greatly honors Mary because she was chosen to give birth to the Son of God.” (Dynamis 9/24/2013, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)

“…must we attend all the church services in order to “church” our life? Or hang an icon in every room and burn an icon-lamp in front of it? No, the “churching of life” is the realization of the whole world as one great church, adorned with icons—persons who should be venerated, honored, and loved, because these icons are true images of God that have the holiness of the Living God within them.” (Maria Skobtsova, Michael P. Plekon)

“There is a right instinct in the teaching of the Church regarding worship and veneration. Worship (that which belongs to God alone) is utterly essential for our well-being. That we are – inherently includes that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” In the same manner, our well-being requires the presence of veneration. It is an acknowledgement of the structure and shape of the universe. Mathematicians cannot ignore first principles, even as they perform the most subtle and speculative calculations. Our cultural history has largely made us tone-deaf to any hierarchical structure in the world around us. Indeed, I think some are deeply troubled at the thought that God Himself is somehow greater than we are.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The God who appointed a handful of men to be Apostles, is the same God who warned them against abusing that position by “lording it over” others. Instead, He offered Himself as the pattern. He washed their feet. He came among us as a servant. He did not, however, come among us as an equalizing bulldozer. Our refusal to acknowledge the “uneven” character of creation is also a turning away from what it is within us under the false notion that the problem is outside us. Veneration is a movement of love. The rejection of veneration is a movement of management (that always fails). St. Paul’s simple admonition, “Give honor to whom honor is due,” is of a piece with the self-emptying love of Christ.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“From the first moment of the creation of humankind, the natural world has been in a position between us and God, particularly since one of the two components of which we’re made, the body, is itself part of nature. Indeed, if we bear in mind life as it was in the first paradise, nature contributed significantly to the communion between God and humans…‘The sky is good, but was created so that people would venerate its Creator’.” (Apostolos Nikolaïdis, St. John Chrysostom)


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