Orthodox religious thought lays the utmost emphasis on the image of God in the human person. Each of us is a ‘living theology’, and because we are God’s icon, we can find God by looking within our own heart, by ‘returning within ourselves’: ‘The kingdom of God is within you’ (Luke 17:21). ‘Know yourselves,’ said Saint Anthony of Egypt. ‘… He who knows himself, knows God.’ ‘If you are pure,’ wrote Saint Isaac the Syrian (late 17th century), ‘heaven is within you; within yourself you will see the angels and the Lord of the angels.’ And of Saint Pachomius it is recorded: ‘In the purity of his heart he saw the invisible God as in a mirror.’
Because she or he is an icon of God, each member of the human race, even the most sinful, is infinitely precious in God’s sight. ‘When you see your brother or sister,’ said Clement of Alexandria, ‘you see God.’ And Evagrius taught: ‘After God, we must count everyone as God Himself.’ This respect for every human being is visibly expressed in Orthodox worship, when priest censes not only the icons but the members of the congregation, saluting the image of God in each person. ‘The best icon of God is the human person.’ [Paul] Evdokimov]"