Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lamp of the Body

Who do you see in the first painting?
Who do you see in the second painting?
What thoughts are provoked?
What emotions are raised?

Good Christian art has a way of lifting the mind up to God. A painted picture can spark a prayer. In the very best Christian art, which I call sacred art, the eyes have a way of revealing the person depicted like a window into the soul: "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness." (Matt 6:22-23)

When I look at these pictures, I see a man whose interior is perfect. I see a completed person, one of perfect virtue, undivided heart, zero egoism, and all these things are channeled through the gaze of quiet solemnity. My mind falls upon these words of scripture: "I am gentle and humble in heart" (Matt 11:29).