October 11th, 2022
Fascinating! Imagine it, St. Luke, the author of the third Gospel, is also the first Iconographer of the Holy Family--or was he?
It is no secret that when I travel, I want to enter every Church I see. On our trip to Rome and Florence last year, I drove my family mad with diversions and side trips to churches, famous and forgotten alike. After years of doing this, I am not surprised to find that the small, out-of-the-way, “has nothing to offer the tourist” churches, also contain some of the most inspiring and moving pieces of Christian art and iconography.
Christian art and iconography are products of God’s indwelling beauty. They are the outflowing of Spirit-driven adulation and devotion. We all have seen and been moved by wonderous paintings, statues, or Icons that can lift us closer to the face of God, but what if there is more to it than that?
There is a difference between a Christian painting and a Christian Icon. In the West, we in the United States gravitate naturally toward Christian paintings. We revere the skill and accomplishment of the paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and we easily identify all art of similar form. But we have a problem with Icons. Icons seem strange to us, even primitive when laid next to the masterful strokes of Michelangelo, Duccio, El Greco, or Raphael.
There are good reasons why Icons intrigue or confuse us. There are answers to why they are called “Icons” and why they are treated so differently than the art we are used to. There is a special place for Icons in our spiritual life, and the door is open (or should I say “window”?) for us to find a special connection to this unique expression of the Holy.
Starting this Sunday at 9:30 a.m., we begin our journey into the world of Christian Iconography. Please join us during the Sunday Morning Christian Education time for a six-week study, October 16 – November 20. Together we will follow the historic record, our fides quaerens intellectum, as we are inspired by God’s call to fellowship, and open ourselves to the spiritual opportunity that Icons provide.
I hope to see you there.
Peace in Christ,
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Father Bill Burk†