‘I saw him and I sought him’
JULIAN OF NORWICH & THE HOLY ICONS with Afterword by Sheila Upjohn
Hardback with 16 coloured plates
Today the word icon means a computer symbol; an entry point to hidden information. A holy icon has a similar purpose; it is an entry point to hidden mysteries. Icons enable us to use our gift of sight to strengthen our relationship with God and the saints, and to bring us closer to them.
For an image can, in a mysterious way, make present the person shown. Totalitarian regimes, which are quick to destroy religious images, are just as quick to replace them with giant posters of their own leaders. An icon is not a life-like portrait, but an expression of the subject’s holiness; their ‘inner light;’ their direct and living link to God. Gazing on an icon can open the heart to God.
The practice of ‘holy gazing’ has been forgotten in the west but has continued in Orthodoxy. I saw Him and I sought Him places passages from Julian and from the liturgies of both Western and Orthodox traditions, opposite full page colour icons. There are directions on how to pray with icons and the hardback book can be propped open and the icons used for contemplation.
The Afterword gives an outline of the thousand-year history of the Universal Church before the disastrous separation between the Christians of the East and those of the West in the 11th century; the Soviet Union’s determined campaign to destroy Orthodoxy; and the attempt by the present regime to subvert it.
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I Saw Him and I Sought Him is also available from the Julian Centre.