Eyes to See

The Redemptive Purpose of Icons

Mary E. Green

Oct/2014, 128 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819229380



Eyes to See: The Redemptive Purpose of Icons offers the discovery of life-giving spiritual insights found through learning to read the language of religious icons. Written especially for those whose traditions have not included icons, this book introduces eight icons written (painted) by the author. Historical notes, explanation of symbolism, related scriptures for interpretation, and a reflection for each icon deepens understanding and appreciation for the ancient holy images of the Church.

The book is eight chapters in length, each describing one of the eight full-color icon plates in the insert.

Mary E. Green was former chaplain at Iona School for Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. An Episcopal priest retired from ministry in hospital chaplaincy, she continues to teach about the power of icons as tools for meditation and spiritual formation, while further developing her icon writing skills. She lives on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound.

“Writing here with the humility, candor, and richness that are the hallmarks of her chosen art form, Green, through both narrative and image, renders us up an almost irresistible argument for the role of icons in present-day religious and spiritual growth. Even the casual reader—one who neither wants nor ever hopes to write an icon of his or her own—cannot help but be intellectually fascinated and devotionally enriched by this look into the intricacies and subtleties of the icon, its history, its creation, its place in holy instruction.”—Phyllis Tickle, Compiler, The Divine Hours

“What was once curiosity grew into a hobby became practice has become praxis is now holy writing and reading. The Rev. Mary Green's icons have rested on many an Episcopal altar before resting in the hands and hearts of those to whom they now belong. It is a pleasure to see a life’s work emerge in these pages and read the holy gazing back.”—The Rt Rev C Andrew Doyle, Episcopal Diocese of Texas

“Mary Green has beautifully and sensitively crafted a multi-dimensional and deeply personal engagement with writing and interpreting eight icons depicting New Testament characters and events. For those unfamiliar with icons, Mary introduces the nature and function of icons in the Christian tradition. Then, focusing on one particular icon at a time, she gently weaves together the unfolding story of her own artistic growth as a writer of icons and her spiritual transformation taking place through contemplation on the symbolic and metaphorical quality of these icons. Those who walk this personal path with Mary will quickly discover the revelatory power of her exquisite creations for new theological insights and interpretations in their own lives.”—The Rev. John G. Lewis, D.Phil., Director, The Workshop, San Antonio, Texas

“Mary Green is a patient, passionate, humble, and wise teacher. She displays the process of asking, listening, trying, failing, persevering, and learning that is icon writing, prayer, and spiritual transformation. She draws us into the mystery of making that is at the heart of faith. Her invitation to icons is a gift.”—The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President and Professor of New Testament, Seminary of the Southwest

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