This book was first written as a study guide and was never meant to be a systematic theological treatise of the Orthodox liturgical tradition. However, after reaching a wide audience the demand could not be ignored and it was eventually published by St. Vladimir’s Press.
In order to understand and see the good in creation we must understand the role of humanity in this situation. What are we as God’s creation defined as? Father Alexander would say that by definition we are the priest. Now Fr. does not mean the physical priest that wears his vestments on Sunday and takes confessions. The priest in this situation is the one who stands in the center of the world and unifies the world in his act of blessing God, of both receiving the world (creation and all that is good) from God and then offering it back to God. During the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom during the Anaphora prayers the priest recites a part that speaks of this dynamic. “Your own of your own we offer unto you on behalf of all and for all”. Notice how the priest does not say “I” but rather he speaks on behalf of everyone. This goes back to the priesthood of all and that the entire community gathered is offering the sacrifice that is placed on the holy of holies. In doing so then the entire community is offering back what God gave to them; the beauty of the entire creation. By filling the world with this Eucharist the community then transforms the dynamic of this life as they receive the beauty from the world, making it life in God which ultimately results into communion with God.