Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Trinity and the Cross

This icon is about the Trinity and the Church.
God the Father is concealed in cloud unseen by the protagonists, the Holy Spirit hovers between the Cross and the Father.
Written large is the Son, "the perfect icon of the Father", as St John says. The Lord is passive, "sleeping on the Cross", his immolation, by being rendered immobile, co-joined to the Cross, fixed like a pinned butterfly, frozen in an act of self giving shows the timelessness of this act of self giving. This image of the Most Holy Trinity is a timeless as any other, it is an expression of concurrent, not consecutive, time. The Son is always gaining himself to the Father, the Cross the Crucified Son is the eternal representation on earth of the Father's Love, and of God's Eternal Will to save mankind. The Cross, the suffering God is at the Heart of the Trinity. This is expressed in the vertical axis of the icon.
The horizontal axis shows the mystery of the Church which meets the vertical in Christ, united to the Trinity by the presence of the Crucified in the midst of the world, this happens outside of the wall's of the world. Behind the walls which are an integral part of this icon we can imagine the ordinary events of daily life continuing but beyond their veil, for those who believe, who are faithful and gather at the foot of the Cross there is in Christ communion with the All Holy Trinity. For the Church touched by the water and blood pouring from the side of the crucified there is salvation and glory. The use of gold in the icon repesents the present of grace which unites those gathered at the cross. The bishop and monk (whose names I cannot read) behind Our Lady, the Holy Women, St John and Longinus remind us that the mystery of the Cross continues into the present day. The grave of Adam below the Cross indicates the retrospective action of Christ's sacrifice and reminds us that Christ is the New Adam, and that from his fall man's salvation arises.

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