Reflection: The Art of Christ Loving Us
Today's reflection compliments of Christian Clerc.
All human endeavors are parts of a whole, a beautiful creation empowered by the Holy Trinity. When we try to separate out God from creation, we are left with unanswered questions. Take a few minutes to read this paragraph from “French Gothic Architecture of the 12
Centuries by Jean Bony.
“There is a particular fascination in the study of the beginnings of a movement of art, of the moment when a few men suddenly feel that a new road can perhaps be opened in some unexpected direction, and that no choice is left to them but to start on that venture. We have all seen this happen, sometimes more than once, in our own day and we have always felt involved in it. But even with our contemporaries it is only too easy to miss some of their most deeply felt intentions; and when it comes to reliving the avant garde movements of eight hundred years ago, how can we be sure that we do not overlook something essential? Were the creators of Gothic interested only in vaulting impossibly thin structures? Were they caught up only by the excitement of daring technical experiments? Or was that just a means towards achievements of another order, and toward exactly what kind of achievements?”
When you read the above passage, where did your mind go? Mine thought of the conversion of heart. I thought of the thousands of Christians before me. They gave their lives, in their own broken way, to praise, glorify and serve Christ. In the paragraph from Bony, the author peers into history as an outsider. The paragraph above jumped off the page. Why? I’ve always dreamed of building a glorious Church building to glorify God and I love being in Churches that do so… like our stained glass window of St. Stephen. Why did past generations put so much effort into that window? I know why. They loved God and wanted to express that love in a unique way. It is authentic as we still hear echoes of their identity centered around celebrating Christ in the Eucharist at Mass. For there is no comparison for love of Christ in energizing, connecting and growing a community.
“Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.”
1 Corinthians 15:8
Once you have experienced Christ, there is no way to explain its beginning. Like a birth, it must be experienced. Paul, perhaps, has communicated this best for our (and every) age. Your own conversion of heart to be consumed by Christ will not be re-written history, it will be unique to you as a person. Yes it will be broken, but like kintsugi you will be made more beautiful through your acceptance of Christ.
And what a gift from Philip in the Gospel today! How many times have we asked Christ to show us God the Father? Perhaps we aren’t articulating that desire as clearly as Philip, but we can confidently know that Christ is replying the same to us. The endless agitation of life will be calmed or confidently completed for all of our God given desires, ambitions, and hopes will be fulfilled as Christ has promised.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Like the generations who believed in Christ before us, we will be empowered, accomplish our purpose and reach fulfillment in this world and the next. But Christ’s artistic inspiration will never be known in either the road ahead or behind. We will only discover our full beauty by allowing ourselves to re-made, re-born in Christ. Then we will continue the great works of the Godhead through that love of Christ.
on Monday, May 3 at 12:00AM