Thursday, February 11, 2010

Portrait of Jesus

Over fall break I paid my first visit to Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was a glorious time, I got to see many dear friends, Jesus being one of them! While my friends were in class I would spend a lot of time in the chapel;"the port" as they call it. My dear Jesus made a fantastic model, didn't move an inch! Note that part of the image was cut off in scanning it. I always love drawing people from life, if you look through my sketchbook that would become readily apparent. I enjoy life drawing (or painting) because of the directness and the relational aspect to it. You get to really know a person by drawing them, and drawing Jesus was a way for me to know Him a little better. I was hoping that He would in a sense be transmitted through my eyes, my mind, my heart, and my hand, to the paper, through the viewer's eyes to their heart. I want to make art that is tranformative, moving myself and others toward God. What better exercise is there to study Jesus Himself? Drawing Him in the Eucharist is a way for Him to school me in communicating Him through my art.


I hope to head back to Steubenville for part of my spring break, and meet Him again there. But the great thing about Jesus is that He has been so generous in making Himself available to me in the Eucharist wherever I go. He has blessed me with a chapel here in Alfred that is always open, and there He awaits me...a prisoner of love. Some people will tell me that since God is present everywhere, they don't see the point of the Eucharist or see organized religion as irrelevant. Surely God's presence is everywhere, but in the Eucharist He makes Himself available in a very special the flesh! God revealed Himself to me through the Eucharist and continues to do so. I myself am a physical person so I desire to be with the One I love physically. For me it's all about the body...the invisible spiritual realities are made visible through the physical, especially through the human body since people are made in the image and likeness of God. God is an artist. The work of His hands communicates something about Himself. This is what my art is about, just bringing it back to this sacramental worldview. God is all about making Himself accessible to us, through the created world He communicates a message about Himself, but He doesn't stop there...He came to us, took on our human nature so He could redeem us and wed us to His own divine nature. In Jesus the human and divine kiss. Through the Eucharist, the human and divine meet and become one. A haiku from a certain nun friend of mine comes to mind which illustrates this point quite poignantly, (and humorously):

If our humanstuff
was God-incompatible:
Incarnation? Not.


Sometimes I wonder why God even made matter, that is physical stuff, if He is pure spirit. Angels are pure spirit, why did he make us humans a spirit-body mix? I tend to think that perhaps it was so we could come to know Him and freely love Him. Let me explain what I mean. Let's go back to the Garden, to Adam and Eve. God made and Adam and Eve and put them in this beautiful garden, full of all the wonders of God's creation. The beauty of the garden was meant to communicate the beauty of God, though in a mediated, indirect way. God didn't overwhelm them with the fullness of His glory right off the bat, but would reveal it gradually to woo humanity to Himself. I believe the time in the garden, though paradise, wasn't the final end for Adam and Eve but merely a preparation for something greater. He was preparing them for union with Himself, God's plan from the beginning was to wed humanity to Himself in Jesus. If Adam and Eve had not sinned and had freely chosen God they would have, instead of dying, been caught up and united with God. These are my thoughts on the matter.

Our time on earth is granted to us so that we may, through God's grace, make ourselves a capacity for Him. Jesus had given us Himself to us in His fullness, so that He may come into us and bring us to closer union with Himself. How lukewarmly I receive Him! I trust that as I spend more time with Him He'll give me the grace to love Him better.

1 comment:

  1. Great haiku!

    I stumbled across this blog by accident, but I’m glad I did! I graduated college with a Philosophy degree, and right now I’m studying for a Master’s in Theology, but when I was an undergraduate I spent three years as a BFA candidate at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Connecticut.

    There aren’t many Catholics in the world of fine art, but this field has so much potential for evangelization. (Not to mention that religious themes, with their depth and beauty, could be the basis for some incredible artwork in today’s world…) Keep up the good work, and I wish you all the very best in your discernment.