A true icon cannot have hate

I spent a week in an icon workshop with the late Xenia Pokrovsky. I recall her statement concerning an icon that depicted a very grievous incident. She declared, “This is not an icon!” I remember looking at it and thinking, “But it’s painted in the correct style, etc.” She said, “It has hate. A true icon cannot have hate.” And I could see that it was true. Nothing that breeds hate in the human heart has about it the nature of truth. This is a hard saying.

(Fr. Stephen Freeman, Goodness and a Word in Due Season) There is much more food for thought here, but I didn’t want anything to distract from this gem.

(This is not Fr. Stephen’s point, but mightn’t it be an extension of this insight to say that almost nothing about our politics today has about it the nature of truth? “Put not your trust in Princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation ….”)

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Men are men before they are lawyers or physicians or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers and physicians. (John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address at St. Andrew’s, 1867)

“Liberal education is concerned with the souls of men, and therefore has little or no use for machines … [it] consists in learning to listen to still and small voices and therefore in becoming deaf to loudspeakers.” (Leo Strauss)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.