June 13, 2011

Basil the Great

Almighty God, you have revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like your bishop Basil of Caesarea, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; for you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

ikon by TSH

6 comments:

MarkBrunson said...

Let's not get carried away . . . Basil was okay, but great? I dunno . . .


:D

Teach us of Basil, oh, teacher. I know little of him, and the collects are (and I say this with all due respect) a sort of Bovarism of their own.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Mark, Basil earns his "great" in part due to his multiple skills as a theologian and bishop. He was a great defender of the doctrine of the Trinity against both the Arians (who denied the completeness of the Incarnation) and those who held that the Holy Spirit was not co-equal with the Father and the Son. He was also able to reconcile some on the edges of these heresies back into the fold.

The Liturgy of St Basil bears his name, and he likely had a hand in its origin, though how much is not certain. More certain is his role in compiling the Philokalia -- a treasure house of Eastern spirituality, and the creation of the Great Rule for Monks -- which is as important in the East as Benedict's in the West.

Rick+ said...

I don't comment on your icons often, Tobias, but I always enjoy them and am so impressed with your ability to communicate the divine both through language and iconography. It impresses me all the more since the height of my own artistic accomplishment was the hand-turkey in Kindergarten.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thank you, Rick. I do wish I had a bit more time for the more formal icons in tempera, but I've been enjoying dong some of the more "immediate" ones in other media, adapting some of the same techniques. I led a workshop on "seeing" in Memphis last year, and learned as much as I taught. The major learning" people are taught to draw based on concepts rather than vision -- to draw what they "know" the shape to be rather than what the eye actually reveals it to be. It's a hard habit to break, but the reliance on "what is" is so much more satisfactory in the long run! ((This applies in other areas too...)

MarkBrunson said...

I knew of the Liturgy, but I didn't realize he was the compiler of the Philokalia.

Thank you, Tobias!

Grandmère Mimi said...

The ikon of Basil is wonderful, and I'd say Basil himself is well deserving of the "Great" honorific.