This lovely image calls more on the ear than the eye. How can that be? The first two or three times I engaged it, I saw only the cross, and hardly noticed the small androgynous figure in the bottom right corner; my eye was engaged by the swirl of the cross and heart, and the sweep of Love in the whole of the painting. But as I engaged the image more deeply, it grew on me, and I began to hear it more strongly than see it.
I heard the figure in the corner not so much as a person approaching the Cross in prayer for him or herself, but rather as a plaintive figure standing, like Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalen and those other faithful grieving figures: staying with Jesus in love, not leaving. The figure was a cello, deep and insistent. I heard from the Cross, in an echo of the famous hymn “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” the words, “You are here when they crucify your brothers and sisters; stay here with me.” That figure, not easily made out in the image, is a violin, promising resurrection.
So what do you hear from the Heart of God when you are moved by the cross your brothers and sisters carry?
Reflection by Sharon Karam, RSCJ
Image by Sophie Maille, RSCJ
For the artist's explanation for her inspiration, click here.