Iconography and Hand painted icons

He, passed over the earth and transformed the earth back to Paradise. St Justin Popovic


A Deer Lost in Paradise

by St Justin Popovic

ΓΕΝΝΗΣΗ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD _ byzantine icons“My heart is an inaccessible island in a boundless ocean of sorrow. Is every heart an inaccessible island? Say that you have a heart! Do you know what completely surrounds your hearts? Mine. Therefore my eyes are blurred by tears and my heart undermined by sighs. The pupils of my eyes are in pain, because many midnights have spent the night in them. Last night the sun set in my eye, and the morning did not give birth to it. It married the darkness of my sorrow. Something fearful and terrifying has begun to move through my being. It frightens me, everything around me and above me. O, would that I could flee from the fear of this world. But does any world without fear exist? I call out to my soul, frightened and chased away by the fears of this world, to return to me, but more and more heedlessly it flees from me, leaving me sad and dejected… I am a deer.

I have listened to the angels of Heaven, when they wash their wings in my tears. In ancient times the white deer told me that He, the All-meek and All-merciful One passed over the earth and transformed the earth back to Paradise. Wherever He stood, Paradise appeared. Out of Him unto all beings and all creation there would flow boundless goodness and love, gentleness, mercy, meekness, and wisdom. He walked over all the earth and brought Heaven down to earth. They called Him Jesus. We saw in Him that man can be wondrous and exceedingly beautiful only when he is sinless. He shared in our sorrow and wept with us. He was with us and against those human creations: sin, evil, and death. He loved all creatures gently and compassionately; He embraced them with a divine longing; and He defended them from human sin, human evil, and human death. He was, and has forever remained–our God, the God of the sorrowful and saddened creatures, from the smallest to the greatest. He–our Lord and God! He–our sweet consolation in this bitter world which is passing and our eternal joy in that immortal world which is coming…”

excerpt from A Deer Lost in Paradise:by St Justin Popovic

ελαφι_deer byzantine icons


Prepare, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened to all! Adorn yourself, O Ephratha, for the Tree of Life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave! Her womb is a spiritual paradise planted with the Divine Fruit; if we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam.// Christ comes to restore the image which He made in the beginning.

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