This is a powerful devotional study of all existing pre-Iconoclastic icons that are still readable. In "Encounters with God Sister", Wendy Beckett traveled to remote churches and monasteries to view the earliest icons of Mary. In "Real Presence", she resumes this journey to see additional early icons of Jesus and the saints - icons that are among the few to survive the wholesale destruction of icons in the early eighth century. In contrast with the familiar and magnificent icons of later history, these early icons have a haunting simplicity and unfamiliar spiritual power. They come to us from a time closer to that of Christ, when faith was still alive with wonder and possibilities, and these images, a vehicle for prayer, can truly convey his real presence. Sister Wendy journeys to the heart of the great treasure-house of pre-Iconoclastic icons at Mt. Sinai to celebrate its unique historical and spiritual value, and to reveal the spirituality and devotional practices of our ancestors. Prayerful and heartfelt, "Real Presence" offers everyone 'a taste of the spiritual happiness that is there for the asking, for the seeking, for attention'.
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