St. Nicholas Slapped the Face of the Greatest Heretic of His Time and the "No Need to be Extreme" Bishops Sack Him: Guess Whose Side Our Lord and Our Lady were on?
We honor today the great defender of Catholic Orthodoxy at the Council of Nicaea and one of the most venerated saints in the Church, both East and West. Let us not forget, when everyone today wants to be "non-threatening" to the "Powers that Be" or the "Donors," that the truth often must be forcefully and adamantly presented, even if it means pointing fingers at those who have, in one way or another, been guilty of purveying error or misdirection.
For our meditation on St. Nicholas, I will cite a book on iconography called The Light of Christ and focusing on the Russian Eastern Revival Iconography of Gregory Kroug.
Here is the text's commentary on the typical icon of St. Nicholas of Myra: "With wonderful tenderness St. Nicholas holds the book of the Gospels close to his heart. His whole image, especially the expression of his face and the gesture of his hand, supports these two elements --- the stole and the book of the Gospels -- and shows them to be the very core of his being.
A story from his life illustrates this point. When St. Nicholas was present at the Council of Nicaea in 325, which condemned the heresy of Arius, he, IN HIS ZEAL, perceiving THE DANGER OF THE HERESY TO THE CHURCH, STRUCK ARIUS NOT ONLY WITH HIS WORDS BUT WITH HIS HAND. Embarrassed by his action, the members of the Council stripped from him the rank of bishop, until some of them saw a vision of Christ Himself giving back to St. Nicholas the book of the Gospels, and the Mother of God restoring to him his omophorion. We see his powerful hand in this icon, protecting the word of Christ's truth. The highlight on his shoulder, which resembles a comet in the night sky, is the symbol of his power, expressing his strength and aspiration.
Dr. Chojnowski: Let us celebrate St. Nicholas today and throughout the year as a model for those who wish to defend Catholic Orthodoxy. As if what you believe, actually matters. Let us meditate on who we would slap, to the consternation of the "donors," in our own day!
Holy St. Nicholas, Pray for us and our endeavors!