The Transfiguration

The light of the Transfiguration has become a very important part of Byzantine spirituality, it is real, and a way we become united with God. Our holy Father Seraphim of Sarov had a conversation with Nicholas Motovilov, in the midst of which this happened: “Then Father Seraphim took me very firmly by the shoulders and said: ‘We are both in the Spirit of God now, my son. Why don’t you look at me?’ I replied: ‘I cannot look, Father, because your eyes are flashing like lightning. Your face has become brighter than the sun, and my eyes ache with pain.’ Father Seraphim said: ‘Don’t be alarmed, your Godliness! Now you yourself have become as bright as I am. You are now in the fullness of the Spirit of God yourself; otherwise you would not be able to see me as I am.’”

The Transfiguration, by tradition, happened forty days before the crucifixion, and this feast is now celebrated forty days before the Exaltation of the Cross, so that when we would see Christ disfigured on the Cross, “Even as many were amazed at him – so marred were his features, beyond that of mortals, his appearance, beyond that of human beings, (Isaiah 52:14) even so, we would see always the glory of his infinite love, “present everywhere and filling all things.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras