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  1. ‘All that exists is God’s gift to man, and it all exists to make God known to man, to make man’s life communion with God. It is divine love made food, made life for man. God blesses everything he creates, and, in biblical language, this means that he makes all creation the sign and means of his presence and wisdom, love and revelation: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”

    ‘Man is a hungry being. But he is hungry for God. All desire is finally a desire for Him. To be sure, man is not the only hungry being. All that exists lives by “eating.” The whole creation depends on food. But the unique position of man in the universe is that he alone is to bless God for the food and the life he receives from Him. He alone is to respond to God’s blessing with his blessing. […] God blessed the world, blessed man, blessed the seventh day (that is, time), and this means that he filled all that exists with his love and goodness, made all this “very good.” So the only natural (and not “supernatural”) reaction of man, to whom God gave this blessed and sanctified world, is to bless God in return, to thank Him, to see the world as God sees it and – in this act of gratitude and adoration – to know, name, and possess the world. All rational, spiritual, and other qualities of man, distinguishing him from other creatures, have their focus and ultimate fulfillment in this capacity to bless God, to know, so to speak, the meaning of the thirst and hunger that constitute his life. […] The first, the basic definition of man is that he is the priest. He stands in the center of the world and unifies it in his act of blessing God, of both receiving the world from God and offering it to God – and by filling the world with this eucharist, he transforms his life, the one he receives from the world, into life in God, into communion with Him. The word was created as the “matter,” the material of one all-embracing eucharist, and man was created as the priest of this cosmic sacrament.’

    – Fr. Alexander Schmemann

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