Showing posts from February, 2012

Raking through the ashes: Living the Lenten journey

Take off your sandals, you are on holy ground! (Ex 3:5)
In its various moments, the liturgical year celebrates nothing other than the fullness of this mystery of walking continuously on holy ground in the company of the saints who walked the pilgrim way of Christ. It has its centre in the annual Easter, everything springs from it and everything tends to it. Christian spirituality is a paschal spirituality, that is, a spirituality polarized by the divine event of salvation, by the paschal mystery lived by Christ and celebrated memorially by the Church.
The imposition of ashes at the beginning of Lent is always a very poignant moment: ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’. Ashes and fire are two images which accompany me during the Lenten journey. On Ash Wednesday, the burnt palms, symbol of the joy and majesty which accompanied Jesus during his entrance into Jerusalem, are now ashes placed on my forehead…the liturgical cycle continues! I remember often raking out the fire at home and find…

Praying with icons: Vladimir's 'Our Lady of Tenderness'

Praying with icons
God is revealed not only by words to the ears but by images to the eyes aswell. Christ is not just the word (logos) of God but also the 'image' (eikon) of the unseen God. From there we receive the word 'icon' derived from the Greek. An icon is not a painting in the sense we normally regard pieces of art, although it is an image that is painted. An icon is a window into the divine whilst living everyday life and uniting it to the realm of God. Every brushstroke leaves an imprint which is the fruit of centuries of prayer. Icons are religious images that hover between two worlds, putting into colours and shapes what cannot be grasped by the intellect. They render the invisible visible.To the Christian, an icon is a constant reminder of God's presence in his church, his home and in his life.
You gaze on the icon, but it gazes on you too. When you are looking at someone you love, and they are looking at you, there is a lot that is communicated that can…