Monday, May 2, 2011

Mary of the Cross - Icon

It is a privilege to write an Icon.
Each time I start a new image it is hard work. It is a new challenge with all of its own issues.
Mary of the Cross, MacKillop

This is an icon of St Mary of the Cross which I completed in March 2011 for a school in Northern NSW.

I find prayer is a crucial element in its construction, gaining an understanding of the Saint and situation is invaluable.
When I prepare a scripture reading for our Sunday Liturgy I try to prise apart the words to find the message within. What is it that I need to understand for my life from the words of this passage? What is the essence of the message that I need to convey when I read the words?
Equally when writing an Icon. What does the Icon need to say? What is the essence of the saint being depicted?
When I looked at the photo of Mary of the Cross I see a spirit of joy and love. Her eyes speak of the compassion and love she has for Christ which she expressed through each person she encountered. I am sure St Mary showed that love and compassion to my great-great grandmother when she visited her on her sick bed.
St Mary's sayings give us an insight into her spirituality -
"Seek first the poorest and most neglected parts of God's vineyard."
"Let us humbly thank God alike for the trial and the blessing, for the bitter and the sweet."

St Joseph and Mary Mother of Jesus
 Writing an Icon has many bitter and sweet moments - as does life. Slowly I am beginning to understand that I need to slow down and not rush headlong into the painting of the Icon or into life.

Stopping and breathing is an essential part of seeing the whole picture and at the same time seeing the minute detail.

 St Mary of the Cross had a great love of St Joseph - 
"May St. Joseph shower many special graces upon each and every one of you."
Can I urge you to find St Joseph in your life just as Mary of the Cross found St Joseph.
He has always been a wonderful advocate and companion to me.
Feast Day of St Joseph the Worker - 1 May.