Thursday, December 04, 2008
worship in proper measure
St. John of Damascus (c. 676 – December 4, 749)
Liturgically, this commemoration was moved from March 27 (a Memorial during Lent from 1890-1969) in the Catholic Church to today, the anniversary of the date of his death and which also coincides with his day on the Byzantine Rite calendar.
"Worship is the symbol of veneration and of honour. Let us understand that there are different degrees of worship. First of all the worship of latreia, which we show to God, who alone by nature is worthy of worship. When, for the sake of God who is worshipful by nature, we honour His saints and servants, as Josue and Daniel worshipped an angel, and David His holy places, when be says, "Let us go to the place where His feet have stood." (Ps. 132.7) Again, in His tabernacles, as when all the people of Israel adored in the tent, and standing round the temple in Jerusalem, fixing their gaze upon it from all sides, and worshipping from that day to this, or in the rulers established by Him, as Jacob rendered homage to Esau, his elder brother, (Gen. 33.3) and to Pharaoh, the  divinely established ruler. (Gen. 47.7) Joseph was worshipped by his brothers. (Gen. 50.18) I am aware that worship was based on honour, as in the case of Abraham and the sons of Emmor. (Gen. 23.7) Either, then, do away with worship, or receive it altogether according to its proper measure."
(Source: from Part I of his Apologia against those who decry holy images; http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html)