‘Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God’. (Col 1:) While reflecting on this line of Scripture I was inspired to write this short reflection on a painting on the Holy Face of Jesus which I have just completed.
This is not the first picture of the Holy Face which I have painted but always while painting I ask myself what did Jesus really look like when he walked on this earth? Our paintings, no matter how beautiful, can only be a pale reflection of the beauty of the God Man – the Eternal Son of the Father. Each painting looks different – I’m sure that it also contains some small reflection of each artist!
Our Lord asked St Faustina to paint the image of Divine Mercy that he had revealed to her, but it broke her heart because the artist could not capture the Divine beauty that St Faustina saw. In the end, Jesus told her that it will have to do. To this day this image is bringing so much healing and mercy to many in our broken world. Our world, right now, is in great need.
We are told that when we pray with an icon, heaven is present – but this can also be true for any paintings which are not exactly icons. I have in mind one painting in particular of the Sacred Heart which one of our sisters completed recently. It is a magnificent piece of work. When I look at it I find that Jesus’ eyes are penetrating and He speaks to me in ways that I can’t put into words.
Going back to my own little painting. I ask myself, what has the Lord being saying to me while painting this? As I was painting, a sister drew my attention to the expression of compassion on Jesus’ face. I pray that I may experience His compassion and in turn be compassion to others. Maybe he is asking this of me because I know I fail. But do I have compassion on myself first? If not, then I can’t give what I haven’t got!
My prayer is that this painting may speak to the hearts of all who look at it.
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