Meeting the Resurrected

Moral theologian Father Miklós Papp gave an extraordinary guided tour of the Greek Catholic Museum on 14 May.

The church should be God’s home that the glorious heavenly King and the poor Jesus on earth can find their place – that’s why I love the simple world of wooden churches,” Father Miklós began, referring to the title of the museum’s permanent exhibition.

We must be careful not to make our churches intrusively lavish. Christianity was born among simple, poor people. Peter’s house in Capernaum preserves this simplicity.

According to Eastern theology, the icon points to God, and its teaching effect on man is somewhat overshadowed. The icon is made from raw wood, held together with straps to prevent it splitting, then sanded and painted. We ourselves are such raw wood – and we are all different. This raw wood must be cultivated and held together with straps. This strap is discipline. Without it, our lives, our families, our work will fall apart.

Father Miklós closed his thought by speaking about the iconostasis. As he said, iconostasis tells us thousands and thousands of messages, but for him, the iconostasis is also a model of masculinity. At the top is the cross, below it is John, the greatest theologian who became a theologian under the cross. We men, as theologians, must also bear the cross, the suffering. It is terrible for a man to be hysterical about suffering. We must also embed theology in suffering, raise our suffering to the cross of Christ, and then we will suffer differently.

Text and photo: Király András