Father Z at WDTPRS linked on the sidebar of HSH blog, kindly put up some pictures of first vespers for the Octave of Christmas. Present were seminarians of the Pontifical North American College. One of them in the above picture was one of my students at the Pontifical College Josephinum just before I became a hermit. Good to see he is doing well and is still on his way to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
In the picture below, you’ll notice the bit of orange to the upper right of the Pope Benedict XVI, who is presiding at Vespers.
Just to get some perspective of that, here’s the view from the back balcony of the basilica:
A close-up of that alabaster Holy Spirit window, depicting why the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter (a depiction of whose cathedra, or teaching chair, is below that window), is infallible when he speaks on faith and moral to the universal Church as the Vicar of Christ: The Holy Spirit!
Closer up yet:
The colors are hard to get right…
Just take note of the utterly intense and determined ferocity of love by which the Holy Spirit is swooping like any bird of prey into our hearts and souls so as to take them captive in love. He’s already slightly turned, on edge, readying Himself for the tightest grip on us, not willing to let us go, instead forming us into the image of Him who sends Him to us, Jesus, the Word of the Father. The Holy Spirit will not stop at anything, including our deaths as witnesses to His love for all of us. We need only look to Him in humble thanksgiving. This is not quietism, for this friendship is most alive!
Now then, here is some progress on the painting that will become the baldacchino for Holy Souls Hermitage. Thanks go to L.T. and her entire family for their endeavors. I only include some pictures here. More to come in future posts. This is no longer the test canvas. We’re starting the real thing:
All the intensity of love. The eyes tell the story, of course. The talons tell the story! Yikes!
We might think that we’re just so expert at avoiding the Lord. And we are. But He knows all about it. He’s prepared. He will grab us. I love that.
Whatever the circumstances are that we will face this coming year, know that the Lord knows, and provides or permits these things for the benefit of our growth in love in view of all eternity. Have your eyes fixed on heaven, which means both love of God and ferocious love of neighbor here and now. It’s the Holy Spirit working for us, in us. He is untiring, always in zillion ways arranging this and that for us, that we might be simple children of His.