Jesus in all His Splendor


christ aux beaux yeux1


                 Here we are with our Easter celebrations!  

           Our Lord has given His life in full obedience as a humble Servant, resurrected in glorious majesty, luminous and resplendent.


The saints of Carmel have down the ages contemplated the grandeur of Jesus both in his passion and in the mystery of his resurrection.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus - and of the Holy Face – must we not forget, unceasingly contemplated the Face of the God-Man:

"O Adorable Face of Jesus, the only Beauty that delights my heart, deign to imprint in me your Divine Resemblance, so that you may not look at the soul of your little spouse without contemplating You yourself.

« O my Beloved, for love of You, I accept in this earthly life to not enjoy the sweetness of your Gaze, nor to feel the inexpressible kiss of your Mouth … rather, I implore You that I may radiate Your love, and be instantly consumed in You as Your reflection”: Teresa of the Holy Face (Prayer 16).

An unmistakably characteristic of Christian art is to evoke the integrity of a life given by love for others and for God, in spite of trials and sufferings, which in themselves, seem insignificant. This is visibly revealed in our Lenten Liturgy, introducing us in a particularly eloquent fashion by Cardinal Ratzinger (our Holy Father emeritus) as noted in his collection of articles published shortly before his papal election: the texts of Holy Monday are in fact juxtaposing the description made by the prophet Isaiah of the suffering Servant, appearing "without brilliance or beauty" to attract our attention, and Psalm 44,3, speaking of the Messiah as "the unblemished of the children of men." How do we apply these two texts to the suffering of Christ? The answer, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, was that the true beauty of life lies above all in the giving of one’s own self, so much so that one can say of Christ that he is never as magnificent as in the moment of his passion. (see"Paths to Jesus p 21-23 in French version).

This thought, of course, is not new. Commenting on John 17: 1, Thomas Aquinas demonstrates, playing on the Latin iterations between “to glorify” and “to clarify”, that "glorification" promised to the Son by the Father does not apply merely to the glorious events of the Resurrection and Ascension, but already begins on the Wood of the Cross, in which the love of God is mysteriously revealed in all fullness.

"That I may prove by my Passion, that I am your Son: GLORIFY YOUR SON, and as the centurion, in the presence of these miracles declared: This was truly the Son of God."

The Pontifical Council for Culture explores and develops this intuition: "The Christian sees in the disfigurement of the suffering Servant, stripped of all external values as a manifestation of God’s infinite love, and in this, exposing the ugliness of sin, that we may strive to the elevated heights of sanctity, lifted beyond our own limited self to the divine beauty which surpasses all other beauty and is never changing. The icon of the Crucified with the disfigured face contains, for those who want to contemplate it, the mysterious beauty of God. It is beauty that is accomplished in pain, in the gift of oneself without asking for anything in return. It is the beauty of love that is stronger than evil and death. "("The way of Sanctity" p.111 in the French version).

The resurrection is the infinite revelation of God’s beauty. Our Holy Mother, Saint Teresa of Jesus, had an overwhelming experience of it:

"One day, on the Feast of Saint Paul, at Mass, this Sacred Humanity showed itself to me as explicitly as one would paint the Risen Christ in all His grandeur and majesty, and which I described to Your Grace when you presented me with a formal command.   It was very difficult for me to explain, for we cannot speak of such without being overwhelmed; I talked about it as best as t I could, so I would not have to return and explain further. I only say that if   I were in Heaven, so as to delight in the presence of this great and beautiful sight of such glorious bodies, it would be an immense bliss, especially to see the Humanity of Jesus Christ our Lord; and yet His majesty is indeed revealed to us here below. We in our wretchedness cannot bear it: what will it be like when we fully enjoy such splendor? » (Life 28,3)

May we be united in the Joy of Easter!                                                                                                                           Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed!