Friday, April 28, 2006

St. John of the Cross

This icon shows St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), a famous Spain mystic, teacher and poet. Together with St. Therese of Aviala he reformed the monastery of the Carmelitans back to old strictness and concentration. But most of all he was a big self-reformer.

The reform of monastical life did not only find friends, but his old order wanted that he should give up and return. As he objected he was imprisoned in the monastery in Toledo in a small windowless room for 9 months. Here in this darkness of the room and likewise of his soul he found unexpectedly the bright shining light of Divine Love lightening up from within with a force never experienced so far. It flowed over in spiritual love-poetry, which is famous until today.

The icon shows St. John of the Cross with pencil. The voice speaking is the Higher Power symbolized in the hand of God. The written sentence is from the "Spiritual Cantical", verse 28:

My soul is occupied,
And all my substance in His service;
Now I guard no flock,
Nor have I any other employment:
My sole occupation is love.

For those interested in more on St.John, see at:

Friday, April 21, 2006

Narada II

Narada sings in Sutra 2 of his Narada Bhakti Sutras:
"It [Bhakti] is indeed of the nature of intense love towards HIM".
For more please have a look at:
This icons shows Narada II. Don't wonder on that - Narada has been painted three times, and this here is the second one, called 'Narada II' - all the same, yet each with a bit other expression. Narada's right hand is not touching the string of the vina but actually rests at His Heart - the spiritual Heart at the right side of the chest according to Ramana Maharshi. It is the seat of God/Self. He looks earnest at you - His eyes say: It is the truth what I am saying and the truth where my hand is pointing to...

Monday, April 17, 2006

"Do not cling to me!"

This icon is according to a much moving story from the New Testament. It was after Jesus has died on the cross and was burried. Mary of Magdala came to the tomb, but did not find the corpse there. She wept bitterly as she thought, someone has brought the corpse of Jesus away. Then Jesus appeared to her as a gardener and showed her this way, that he was alife, and only the body has gone. At first she did not realize that the gardener was Jesus - but when she realized she called out: "Rabboni!" This means "teacher" in Hebrew. Jesus replied: "Do not cling to me!"(see Joh. 20)
So far in short the story from the New Testament.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Icon, detail

Cross of St. Damiano, detail

Easter Icon

With this Icon Cross wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

The icon shows Christ risen from death. Though still at the cross he is embracing the whole world. So it is a truly Eastern picture. It is a rare exception in Christian cross-art as normally the crosses only show the suffering or dead Jesus. This "cross" here goes much deeper in meaning.
There are also many figures who played a role during the life of Jesus, his mother, the disciples and angels ... .

The original from this here was painted in Umbria in the 12th century. It is strongly linked to St. Francis. Who is interested in the story and its Christian symbolics in details can have a look at:
But it is also fine just to look at it and let it "speak" without outer explanations. Enjoy!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Christ standing in the grave

Today we remembered the death of Jesus. It leads to his rising from the death.
The icon shows Christ standing in the grave - an unusual view. It was taken from an icon of the 12th century. The dead body is surrounded by gold - God/eternity. It is the base on which all happens.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Jesus Christ

Monday, April 10, 2006

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, detail

When He thus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into commotion, every one inquiring, "Who is this?"
"This is Jesus, the Prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee," replied the crowds.
(Mt 21,10f)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, people were full of praise:
"Then many spread their outer garments to carpet the road, and others leafy branches which they had cut down in the fields; while those who led the way and those who followed kept shouting "God save Him!" Blessed be He who comes in the Lord's name. Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our forefather David! God in the highest Heavens save Him!" (Mk, 11, 8-10)

Some days later He was killed there and surely some of those who had praised Him earlier now abused him. Such lots of praise and blemish within such a short time!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Theotokos of the Passion

You see here a special type of "Mother of God"-Icons. It relates to the Passion of Christ, which we will remember next week on 14th April as "Good Friday". The boy Jesus looks in anguish and awareness at the both angels, which show the instruments of his Passion to him. His hands are seeking hold at his mothers hand. Already with the birth of the body the "Passion of the Cross" is given for Christ.
Mother looks at us as to assure and ponder over its meaning.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

St. George and the dragon

About the legend of St. George and the dragon you can read at:

The dragon is the ego - and our task is to take off its power. One powerful means for this is surrender.