Various influences were dropped into my path that lead me into the Catholic Church, one of the most prominent being the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Comparatively, my theology classes took a backseat. Although long discussions with priests and scholars were sufficient for my intellectual inquiry, my real transformation came through story (in this case, The Brothers Karamozov).
It is through story that we enter into truth on a “supra-rational” level. Beautiful works of art, whether literary, visual, musical, or otherwise, communicate a story to our deepest souls and lift us outside of ourselves.
Icons, like Dostoevsky and the Liturgy, tell the story of our faith, open a window into the eternal, and touch a part of us that is greater than our intellect. They are written full of symbolism, in their colors, the position of the figures, the objects included. Each icon tells a detailed story, and when we place them in our homes, where we see them as we come and go, they have an effect on us. Even in the rush of our daily lives, we absorb their subtle direction, turning our subconscious minds to Christ.