If someone turns with his spiritual world to the spiritual world of another person, he encounters an awesome and inspiring mystery[…]. He comes into contact with the true image of God in man, with the very icon of God incarnate in the world, with a reflection of the mystery of God’s incarnation and divine manhood. And he needs to accept this awesome revelation of God unconditionally, to venerate the image of God in his brother. Only when he senses, perceives and understands it will yet another mystery be revealed to him – one that will demand his most dedicated efforts[…]. He will perceive that this divine image is veiled, distorted and disfigured by the power of evil[…]. And he will want to engage in battle with the devil for the sake of the divine image.

Saint Maria (Skobtsova) of Paris, quoted in Sergei Hackel, Pearl of Great Price: The Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova, 1891-1945(DLT / St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1981) 13.

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