Saturday, May 17, 2008

An icon for Trinity Sunday and every day

Tomorrow Christians in Israel and the world will celebrate Trinity Sunday.

This medieval Russian icon is actually called the "Hospitality of Abraham."
It depicts the appearance of the three angels to Abraham and Sarah at the Oak of Mamre (as told in Genesis 18).
But over the centuries Abraham and Sarah stopped appearing in the icon and  it  become known, and seen, as the icon of the "Holy Trinity."

In his book Behold the Beauty of the Lord, Praying with Icons,  Henri Nouwen contrasts the two different approaches: "St. Benedict, who has set the tone for the spirituality of the West, calls us first of all to listen; the Byzantine fathers focus on gazing."

Nouwen points out that "Andrei Rublev painted this icon around 1425 . . . to offer his fellow monks a way to keep their hearts centered in God while living in the midst of political unrest."

Unrest? Hmm, that sounds familiar, like here and now in Israel.
Perhaps we all need to take a few minutes a day to quietly gaze into this icon.
Whether you see Abraham's three angels (as I do) or the three persons of the Trinity, this icon surely has something to show us.
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday meme.)


reader Wil said...

This is a beautiful post Dina. You were right not many people comment on religeous posts. It's a pity,isn't it?!

ratmammy said...

beautiful icon. i have one in our house, had bought for my mother a few years back. brought it back home after her passing.

the donG said...

nice. icons helps us remember who we should honor and worship and of who we are to Him.

Jim said...

Good one.

Tom said...

Icons are such wonderful art!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Thanks for this, it was new to me.

ellen b said...

It is a beautiful Icon. It would have been something to experience the first Pentecost...

RedPat said...

It is quite beautiful, Dina. Thanks for the info about Sts Constantine and Helen. It now makes sense to me!