Matter Matters

While reading Chris Hall’s – Worshipping with the Church Fathers, I came across this great paragraph from John of Damascus on why matter matters;

Chris Hall introduces the importance of a sacramental (God’s graces transmitted in physicality) realism;

Those grounded in the tradition of the fathers believe that to reject a sacramental worldview is to cut oneself off from the very means God has ordained for human growth and flourishing. pp. 23

and then quotes John of Damascus

I do not venerate matter, I venerate the fashioner of matter, who became matter for my sake and accepted to dwell in matter and through matter worked my salvation, and I will not cease from reverencing matter, through which my salvation was worked …. I reverence the rest of matter and hold in respect that through which my salvation came, because it is filled with divine energy and grace. Is not the thrice-precious and thrice-blessed wood of the cross matter? Is not the holy and august mountain, the place of the skull, matter? Is not the life-giving and life-bearing rock, the holy tomb, the source of the resurrection, matter? Is not the ink and the all-holy book of the Gospels matter? Is not the gold and silver matter, out of which crosses and tablets and bowls are fashioned? And, before all these things, is not the body and blood of our Lord matter?

– John of Damascus – Three treatises on the divine image

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