ITO 2019: Bishop Ignatie presses need for inner beauty in ‘a world of photomaniacs’

The International Meeting of Orthodox Youth (ITO 2019) moved on Sunday to Maglavit Monastery. There, the over 4,000 young people attended the consecration service of the monastery’s church and the Divine Liturgy.

In his sermon, Bishop Ignatie of Husi told the Orthodox youth that inner beauty becomes increasingly deficient ‘in a world of photomaniacs.’

His Grace referred to the model of inner beauty par excellence of the Virgin Mary.

He warned against the increased interest for outer beauty in today’s society and on social networks.

‘Beauty is not the opposite of ugliness, but the opposite of meaninglessness,’ said Bp Ignatie.

‘We live in a world of photomaniacs. We photograph, we post on our accounts on social networks. If someone looks on Instagram, and young people know this, all the photos are perfect, round, they have no flaw whatsoever.’

‘Why? Because the soul of that young person and of each one of us seeks perfection, seeks inner beauty. Unfortunately, it focuses too much on the outer beauty.’

‘But when you focus so much on the beauty of the outside, it is more certain that there is a deficit of inner beauty inside of you,’ the Bishop of Husi cautioned Sept. 8.

The model of beauty par excellence

His Grace Bishop Ignatie noted that ‘the Mother of God is above all for young people and for each one of us a model of beauty and perfect love.’

‘The Mother of God is the model of beauty par excellence. Why? In the life of the Theotokos we observe so much peacefulness, so much quietude. There is nothing strident. The life of the Mother of God is one that has been consumed in complete humility, in the shadow of Christ.’

‘Through her life, especially through her inner beauty, through purity and love of Christ, her body became like a church in which God served the Divine Liturgy according to His will.’

The soul as a stained glass window

The Bishop of Husi compared the human soul to a stained glass window which is beautiful thanks to the light passing through it.

‘The same thing happens with the stained glass window of our soul where the Lord is. (…) We need the light of God’s grace to allow our inner beauty to shine.’

The consecration ceremony of the main church of Maglavit Monastery was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Irineu of Oltenia on Sunday morning, on the last day of the International Meeting of Orthodox Youth.

The 2020 ITO edition will take place next September in Timisoara.

Photography courtesy of / Raluca Ene

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