Beauty Now and In the World to Come

St. Isaac the Syrian (7th Century AD) wrote some wonderful poetry reflecting on creation and the Creator.  

He noted the wonderful beauty of the world, and yet recognized that this world created by the eternal God is not the only reality, nor the permanent one.  

Rather our marvelous earth given to us by God as a blessing to be enjoyed and a treasure for our wise care is still only a foreshadowing of life in the world to come, which is the permanent reality.  St. Isaac writes:

“How did God bring creation . . . out of non-being into being?  

And how will he again cause creation to perish from its wondrous harmony, the beauty of nature and the well-ordered course of its creatures:

times and seasons,

the union of night and day,

the beneficial changes of the year,

the many-hued flowers of the earth,

the beautiful buildings of the cities,

their magnificent palaces,

the swift course of men and their nature which endures hardship from its beginning in life till its departure?

 How will he suddenly abolish this wondrous order and establish another age, wherein the memory of the former creation will never again enter into the heart of any man,

“I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:5)

but a change of another thought will come to pass, and other deliberations, other concerns? (St. Isaac)”

 (Hilarion Alfeyev, THE SPIRITUAL WORLD OF ISAAC THE SYRIAN, p 272)

St. Isaac goes on to say that despite the wonders and beauty of this world and all that we find to enjoy as a blessing from God, we who love God will never regret leaving this world behind when we experience the blessedness of life in the world to come.

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