God’s Delight in Himself

God created the world to reveal Himself. There is, then, a property in God’s being that not only delights in Himself but longs to show Himself. We might say that there is a divine self-love in God. But unlike the display of narcissism in God’s creatures, this self-love is not sinful, for God’s delight in Himself is not a vain misconception. It is just and right.

—John Hannah, To God Be the Glory, 18

“Homo adorans”

The first, the basic definition of man is that he is the priest. He stands in the center of the world and unifies it in his act of blessing God, of both receiving the world from God and offering it to God—and by filling the world with this eucharist, he transforms his life, the one that he receives from the world, into life in God, into communion with Him. The world was created as the “matter,” the material of one all-embracing eucharist, and man was created as the priest of this cosmic sacrament.

—Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, 15

Grace Enacted

The sacramental actions of the church—baptism and the Lord’s Supper—are concrete, tangible, and visible means by which the church takes the very stuff of creation, water, bread, and cup, and in response to the invitation and command of Christ reenacts the wonder of the gospel. In so doing, the material creation is a means by which God’s grace is known.

Gordon T. Smith, A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church, 28