We call the Holy Spirit “upon us and upon these gifts set forth” in order to accomplish the transfiguration of life, that life would acquire incorruptibility, that the gifts themselves and every man partaking of them would be transformed into a new creation, not subject to death—transformed into the Body of Christ.
Any tree not bearing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. God does not need just the leaves of the virtues—external, empty piety. God needs the real fruit of repentance —hearing the word of God and fulfilling it.
The miraculous appearance of the icon of the Mother of God in the ninth century, during the era of iconoclastic dispute, was literally a confirmation “from above” of what had been pronounced at the Seventh Ecumenical Council on the veneration of icons.