Jan Davidszoon de Heem, Vanitas Still life with Books, a Globe, a Skull, a Violin and a Fan The True Axis of the Earth

In C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, dead souls ascend by bus from a hellish suburbia to the edge of heaven. For the dead souls, everything in this new land overwhelms. The leaves are heavy, the light blinding, even the grass hurts to walk on because it feels “hard as diamonds” to the “unsubstantial feet” of the souls. Lewis’s image is more... [Read more...]

Dave Catchpole, Hidcote Manor Garden (CC BY 2.0) At the Hedge

The Word of God, solitary, magnificent amid the vicissitudes of human history, turns to me, his face shining from his vision of the Father, and speaks to me. As in all human love, only more so, I am exposed; I have no one to hide behind. Each occasion is the first and only time, and love’s Yes is as fresh as the days of creation. (Hans Urs von Balthasar) “At... [Read more...]

Adam Jones, Detail of Sacred Heart in Baroque Oil Painting (CC BY-SA 3.0) Hearts Like His

You’re always hurt most by those closest to you. The sharpest knives are wielded by family, religious brothers, or intimate friends, for they have a particular access to our hearts that is born of the strength of the bond between us. Through familial ties, religious profession, or the affection of friendship, we have given our hearts to imperfect... [Read more...]

Adolphe-William Bouguereau, Charity. The Look of Divine Love

“It is godlike to love the being of someone” (Gilead, Marilynne Robinson). In this short sentence from her novel Gilead, the author, Marilynne Robinson, expresses the deep, unflinching love of a father for his son. The Gospel of Luke provides an image of this love as the father runs toward his scraggy, prodigal son. Resolved, persistent, and old... [Read more...]

Mosaic in the Cathedral of Monreale In the Fisherman’s Net

Not ours the wounds, the bloodied flesh, of those fire-tested ancient souls; Theirs the bones for grinding lion’s teeth to gnaw to living bread Or the blood to spell their credo, a sanguine testament witnessed boldly As fisherman’s inverted across the sea from Calvary, dying Death body’s worthier Consort than Truth-less life. Not now trumpet blast... [Read more...]

Fra Angelico, Crucifixion By His Wounds

Jesus Christ did not die to save humanity. That is, not some abstract notion of it. Our Lord’s head was pierced with a crown of thorns. His back was scourged. His face was spit on. His clothes were torn off and gambled away. His hands and feet were nailed to a cross. His side was pierced with a lance. And he died a most painful death. He was born... [Read more...]

Next Page »