Quote of the day, 12 April: Iain Matthew, OCD

“They seek the living image within, who is Christ crucified, and thereby they are pleased rather to have everything taken from them and to be left with nothing.” #StJohnOfTheCross #Easter

“The living image within, who is Christ crucified” [Ascent of Mount Carmel, III.35.5]. This is a paschal realism: one which believes in the dying, rising Jesus, as the axis of one’s own relationship with God.

Dying (“Christ crucified”), as the one who has searched out the unretrieved corners of the human spirit and sat with us there; rising (“the living image within”), as he who, finding us there, folds us into his own life.

Faith appears as that: the act of Christ, claiming us from within—as he claimed Mary Magdalene on Easter morning “with the warmth of his presence” [Cf. Jn 20:11–18] or the disciples on Easter evening, “inflaming their hearts in faith” on the road to Emmaus [Cf. Lk 24:13–35, Ascent of Mount Carmel, III.31.8].

Iain Matthew, O.C.D.

Chapter 19, Prayer: Should we? Can we?

Matthew, I 1995, The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross, Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd, London.

Featured image: The Supper at Emmaus by the inimitable German artist Father Sieger Köder takes a prominent place in the chapel of Alpenklinik Santa Maria (St. Mary’s Alpine Hospital), in the Oberallgäu region of Germany. The photographer, Zvonimir Atletić, is a legend himself. The renowned Croatian photojournalist met St. Teresa of Calcutta as far back as 1977 when he first took photographs of her in her Mission in Calcutta. They met several times since then as Atletić escorted her during her travels in Croatia and India, documenting her work and life as well as the work of her Order, the Missionaries of Charity in Croatia and India. Atletić is the photographer who, most probably, has had the most frequent opportunities to document her work with the sick and the poor; his photographs show the absolute dedication of Mother Teresa to help the helpless and abandoned. Looking at several of his photos of the Saint, you will recognize the images. The Croatian Photography Center says that Atletić’s black-and-white photographs “do not speak a thousand words. They actually do not speak at all. They are enveloped in sacred silence,” which is “the only way to open a space in one’s soul for a dialogue” with the Creator.

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