Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Icon Insight

If you're a comitted Catholic, or a member of the separated Eastern communions, you are probably familiar with the very stereotypical icon above. One hand raised in blessing, the other clutching a richly bound tome, a serene and holy gaze.

A few details may have become so very familiar that we no longer notice them. Take the clothes that Christ is wearing. A scarlet tunic with a rich blue cloak. I am told that the red symbolises divinity and the blue symbolises humanity. The Word, initially Divine, also assumes a human nature.

Now have a look at the similarly familiar scene below. Mary, the human mother of Our Lord is dressed in blue, with red over the top. This is a wonderful pictoral explanation of God's sanctifying work. Mary, who is the perfect example of God's saving and deifying love, is shown as cloaked in the Divinity of the One to whom she gave her all encompassing "fiat".

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