Thursday, October 04, 2007

Holy Father Francis

El Greco's Crucifixion in the Prado left me in awe.

Holy Father Francis: "
El Greco's painting of St. Francis is one of my favorites of this great saint. No sentimental depiction of him preaching to birds or animals, but only the saint in deep meditation upon the cross of his Lord. His sunken cheeks speak of the hard discipline his 'brother body' has endured, in order that he might experience the promise Jesus made to him during his prayer. 'Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.'

Francis' life became such a reflection of Jesus' that his hands and feet bear His wounds. The skull is a reminder to Francis and us of the shortness of our life. And although the painting is dark, the brightness of Francis' face draw our eyes to it, and Francis' gaze invites us to also focus on the cross and to join him in prayer, 'We adore you and we bless you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all the churches which are in the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.'"

(Via Intentional Disciples.)

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