The Gospel of Life – 2

When the sense of God is lost, “enclosed in the narrow horizon of his physical nature, man is somehow reduced to being ‘a thing,’ and no longer grasps the transcendent character of his existence as man. He no longer considers life as a splendid gift of God, something ‘sacred’ entrusted to this responsibility, thus also to his loving care and ‘veneration.’ Life itself becomes a mere ‘thing,’ which man claims as his exclusive property, completely subject to his control and manipulation.

“In relation to life at birth and death, man is no longer capable of posing the question of the truest meaning of his own existence, nor can he assimilate with genuine freedom these crucial moments of his own history. He is concerned only with ‘doing,’ and using all kinds of technology, he busies himself with programming, controlling, and dominating birth and death. Birth and death, instead of being primary experiences demanding to be lived, become things to be merely ‘possessed’ or ‘rejected'” (John Paul II, 1995, Evangelium Vitae, 22).

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The Gospel of Life

“When the sense of God is lost, the sense of man is also threatened and poisoned . . . when God is forgotten, the creature itself grows unintelligible. Man is no longer able to see himself as mysteriously different from other earthly creatures; he regards himself merely as one more living being, as an organism which, at most, has reached a very high stage of perfection” (John Paul II, 1995, Evangelium Vitae, 22).

On beauty and the world

Now is the time to portray beauty in actions and in art, not in words. For as the world descends increasingly and unfailingly into darkness and despair, it is beauty, not words, that is going to give hope to humankind and light up the path to Him Who is Beauty, Hope and Light; thus saving and restoring our dying world to the fullness of grace.

Was Christ a narcissist or not? Christianity v. psychology

Jesus ChristUsing Christ as the epitome of the martyr, some have attempted to define the Christian martyr as a first-class egotistical, fanatical narcissist for whom nothing else counts except the unbrokenness – the unfragmented purity and integrity, if you will – of the self-image. This attitude and disposition was termed “extraordinary.” The Christian martyr was also defined as starving of all natural desire, to attain this unattainable fantasy-based goal.

In the attempt, however, to explain the martyrdom of Christ’s human nature from within such a weak – starving – purported viewpoint of psychology, these writers failed, intentionally or otherwise, to consider five basic facts (four of them spiritual) that cannot be reduced to mere psychologizations. These facts are that

  1. Christ was the only-begotten Son of God (the Father);
  2. The difference between image and likeness in the nature of mankind;
  3. The ontology of the extraordinary;
  4. The natural desires experienced by Christ the Man; and
  5. The real reason He died on the Cross.

Specifically, Christ was not just a Man, but also the Son of God the Eternal Father. As such, unlike the rest of mankind (common man), Christ did not have just a human nature and a human will, but also a divine nature and the Divine Will. Although He deliberately divested Himself of His divine nature at the very instance of His human conception.  Continue reading “Was Christ a narcissist or not? Christianity v. psychology”

Relics of the Saints: January-February

Relics of the Saints Bk 1 Front CoverHere is my latest book, just out, co-authored with Villanova University professor of art, Fr. Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A. Below is the Hope and Life Press release for the book. Enjoy!

Relics of the Saints: January-February is the first of six volumes in the HOPE AND LIFE PRESS SERIES on relics of the saints of the universal church. Written by the Reverend Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A., and Marcelle Bartolo-Abela, Relics of the Saints (Vol. 1) features in large, full color illustrations the first and second class relics, many of them rare, of 42 saints and blesseds venerated by the Catholic Church and/or the Orthodox Church during the liturgical months of January and February. Included are relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints Anthony the Great, Basil of Caesarea, Cyril and Methodius, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ephraim the Syrian, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, the Japanese Martyrs, John the Baptist, John Chrysostom, Josephine Bakhita, Marcella of Rome, Maximus the Hagiorite, Seraphim of Sarov, Symeon the God-receiver, Thomas Aquinas, and the Three Kings among others. Highlights of the lives of the saints and blesseds are also presented from authoritative sources, together with details of where the relics may now be found. Relics of the Saints: January-February is available in paperback and ebook editions directly from Hope and Life Press, Amazon globally, and major booksellers.

About the Authors

The Reverend Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A., is professor of studio art at Villanova University and one of the foremost iconographers today. He is also a master watercolorist and world-renowned designer of liturgical vestments. Cannuli is the iconographer-author of the book Approaching the Divine: A Primer in Iconography  (2014, Hope & Life Press). His icons can be found in several churches and collections across the globe, including in the possession of Pope Francis; Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, and at the famous monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, Egypt.

Marcelle Bartolo-Abela is a Catholic Christian writer on faith and spirituality in daily life. She is also the founder and director of Hope and Life Press. Bartolo-Abela is the author of the books A Voice Calling God’s People, Deification of Man in Christianity, God’s Gift to Humanity: The Relationship Between Phinehas and Consecration to God the Father; The Divine Family: Experiential Narratives; The Divine Heart of God the Father, The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon; The Warrior-Prince: Saint Michael the Archangel; and Thoughts for the Day: Reflections for the Soul. 

 

For those who consider icons of God the Father verboten

Source: The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon – Chapter 3 – Critical Review

As previously shown, icons of God the Father were originally depicted based on the prophetic theophanies of Daniel (7:9-15), Ezekiel (1:26-28, 8:1-5), Isaiah (6:1-5), and Moses (Ex 24:9-11, Nb 12:6-8). Such icons were both symbolic as well as Biblical and traditional, according to (St) Pavel Florensky’s (1996) typology of icons. God the Father was also commonly depicted according to Continue reading “For those who consider icons of God the Father verboten”

New icon of God the Father – In progress

God the Father Roskrysh 1 God the Father

Underpainting and roskrysh #1 for new, Catholic panel icon of God the Father. Dimensions: 20cm x 30cm, 23.5kt gold leaf.

Icon of the Woman Clothed With the Sun

Woman Clothed With the Sun

Above is the panel icon of the Woman Clothed With the Sun (Rv 12:1) which I have just finished. Dimensions: 26cm x 26cm. Natural pigments with egg tempera and 23.5kt gold leaf on linen-covered wood with traditional gesso. After it dries, it will be varnished with olifa then taken to the church to be blessed. This icon is going to be in the possession of an interfaith family in Malta (EU).

Icon drawing of the Virgin of Tenderness

Virgin of Tenderness

Drawing of another icon I am working on, this time of the Virgin of Tenderness (Eleusa).

Icon drawing of Christ with Joseph the Patriarch

Christ & Joseph iconHere is the basic drawing of another icon that I am presently working on. It is a panel icon of Jesus Christ with Joseph, the Patriarch of the Old Testament.