"One must also in the name of truth be bold enough to affirm that the Cause of all things, through the beauty, goodness and profusion of His intense love for everything, goes out of Himself in His providential care for the whole of creation. By means of the supra-essential power of ecstasy, and spell-bound as it were by goodness, love and longing, He relinquishes His utter transcendence in order to dwell in all things while yet remaining within Himself." - St Maximus the Confessor

"One must also in the name of truth be bold enough to affirm that the Cause of all things, through the beauty, goodness and profusion of His intense love for everything, goes out of Himself in His providential care for the whole of creation. By means of the supra-essential power of ecstasy, and spell-bound as it were by goodness, love and longing, He relinquishes His utter transcendence in order to dwell in all things while yet remaining within Himself." - St Maximus the Confessor

"We human persons, created in the ‘image and likeness’ (Gen 1:27) of this same Trinitarian God, are called to grow in authentic relationship with God, with our own selves, with other person, and with the creation.  With this bold affirmation, we recognize that we are not meant to be autonomous and self-centered individuals.  To live in this manner is, ultimately, contrary to our basic human nature that is rooted in the reality of the Triune God.  We are meant to be persons in relationship… . This means that genuine human life must be lived in relationships that are loving, nurturing and healing."  - Kyriaki FitzGerald

"We human persons, created in the ‘image and likeness’ (Gen 1:27) of this same Trinitarian God, are called to grow in authentic relationship with God, with our own selves, with other person, and with the creation.  With this bold affirmation, we recognize that we are not meant to be autonomous and self-centered individuals.  To live in this manner is, ultimately, contrary to our basic human nature that is rooted in the reality of the Triune God.  We are meant to be persons in relationship… . This means that genuine human life must be lived in relationships that are loving, nurturing and healing."  -
Kyriaki FitzGerald

Today is the feast of St Aidan of Lindisarne, a 6th century Irish monk from the Scottish monastery of Iona who carried the Gospel to Northeastern Britain at the request of the local king, Oswald.
Perhaps the most famous story of Saint Aidan’s life was that of the gift horse. After King Oswald died, his successor Oswin, gave Aidan a fine horse to carry him on his journeys around the diocese. Aidan humbly accepted the gift, only to sell it and give the money to the first beggar he passed. Oswin was offended. “My lord bishop,” he cried, “Why did you give away the royal horse which was necessary for your own use? Have we not many less valuable horses which would have been good enough for beggars without giving away the one which I had especially selected for your personal use?” In response, Aidan replied, “What are you saying, Your Majesty? Is this child of a mare more valuable to you than this child of God?”

Today is the feast of St Aidan of Lindisarne, a 6th century Irish monk from the Scottish monastery of Iona who carried the Gospel to Northeastern Britain at the request of the local king, Oswald.

Perhaps the most famous story of Saint Aidan’s life was that of the gift horse. After King Oswald died, his successor Oswin, gave Aidan a fine horse to carry him on his journeys around the diocese. Aidan humbly accepted the gift, only to sell it and give the money to the first beggar he passed. Oswin was offended. “My lord bishop,” he cried, “Why did you give away the royal horse which was necessary for your own use? Have we not many less valuable horses which would have been good enough for beggars without giving away the one which I had especially selected for your personal use?” In response, Aidan replied, “What are you saying, Your Majesty? Is this child of a mare more valuable to you than this child of God?”

"See how the sky, the sun and moon and stars, the darkness and light, and the earth that is laid upon the waters, are ordered, O Lord, by thy providence! See how the different animals, and the birds and fishes, are adorned through thy loving care, O Lord! This wonder, also, we admire: how thou hast created man out of the dust and how varied is the appearance of human faces: though we should gather together all men throughout the whole world, yet there is none with the same appearance, but each by God’s wisdom has his own appearance. Let us also marvel how the birds of the sky go out from their paradise: they do not stay in one country but go, strong and weak alike, over all countries at God’s command, to all forests and fields." - Prince Vladimir Monomakh of Kiev

"See how the sky, the sun and moon and stars, the darkness and light, and the earth that is laid upon the waters, are ordered, O Lord, by thy providence! See how the different animals, and the birds and fishes, are adorned through thy loving care, O Lord! This wonder, also, we admire: how thou hast created man out of the dust and how varied is the appearance of human faces: though we should gather together all men throughout the whole world, yet there is none with the same appearance, but each by God’s wisdom has his own appearance. Let us also marvel how the birds of the sky go out from their paradise: they do not stay in one country but go, strong and weak alike, over all countries at God’s command, to all forests and fields." -
Prince Vladimir Monomakh of Kiev

“‘Lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest’ (John 4.35). The Word is in the midst of his disciples. He is asking his hearers to lift up their eyes toward the fields of the Scriptures and toward that other field where the Word is present in every creature, however small, so that they may perceive the whiteness and the brilliant radiance of the light of Truth which is everywhere.” - Origen

“‘Lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest’ (John 4.35). The Word is in the midst of his disciples. He is asking his hearers to lift up their eyes toward the fields of the Scriptures and toward that other field where the Word is present in every creature, however small, so that they may perceive the whiteness and the brilliant radiance of the light of Truth which is everywhere.” - Origen

"I will never laugh at anyone for grieving over a loved beast. I think God wants us to love Him more, not to love creatures (even animals) less. We love everything in one way too much (i.e., at the expense of our love for Him), but in another way we love everything too little.
No person, animal, flower, or even pebble has ever been loved too much—i.e., more than every one of God’s works deserves” - C. S. Lewis

"I will never laugh at anyone for grieving over a loved beast. I think God wants us to love Him more, not to love creatures (even animals) less. We love everything in one way too much (i.e., at the expense of our love for Him), but in another way we love everything too little.

No person, animal, flower, or even pebble has ever been loved too much—i.e., more than every one of God’s works deserves” - C. S. Lewis

“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord!”

—Elder Joseph the Hesychast

“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord!”

—Elder Joseph the Hesychast

"Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God — both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. Flowers, for example, have their own grace; they teach us with their fragrance and with their magnificence. They speak to us of the love of God. They scatter their fragrance and their beauty on sinners and on the righteous." - Elder Porphyrios

"Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God — both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. Flowers, for example, have their own grace; they teach us with their fragrance and with their magnificence. They speak to us of the love of God. They scatter their fragrance and their beauty on sinners and on the righteous." - Elder Porphyrios

"A new heaven and a new earth": man is not saved from his body but in it; not saved from the material world but with it.  Because man is microcosm and mediator of the creation, his own salvation involves also the reconciliation and transfiguration of the whole animate and inanimate creation around him—its deliverance ‘from the bondage of corruption’ and entry ‘into the glorious liberty of the children of God’ [Rom. 8:21].  In the ‘new earth’ of the Age to come there is surely a place not only for man but for the animals:  in and through man, they too will share in immortality, and so will rocks, trees and plants, fire and water.” - Met Kallistos Ware (h/t: gospelofthekingdom)

"A new heaven and a new earth": man is not saved from his body but in it; not saved from the material world but with it.  Because man is microcosm and mediator of the creation, his own salvation involves also the reconciliation and transfiguration of the whole animate and inanimate creation around him—its deliverance ‘from the bondage of corruption’ and entry ‘into the glorious liberty of the children of God’ [Rom. 8:21].  In the ‘new earth’ of the Age to come there is surely a place not only for man but for the animals:  in and through man, they too will share in immortality, and so will rocks, trees and plants, fire and water.” - Met Kallistos Ware (h/t: gospelofthekingdom)