Look To The Lord And Be Radiant
Harmony. Balance. Order. Peace. Beauty. Are these not all things that each of our hearts yearn for in their very depths, as we live in the swirl of a seemingly chaotic world? This is perhaps why the rose window in the main chapel has been my favorite piece of art at St. Mary’s Seminary from the time I first beheld it. In the Catholic tradition, rose windows are tremendously theologically rich with layers and layers of symbolism. One of these is that the window is the image of a human soul as it should be, as it was made to be. At the absolute center of the window is traditionally a cross or another symbol of Christ. Our souls were made to be entirely centered on the Lord, with Him as the focal point of both our own vision and what others are to see in us. Yet what would happen to the window if Christ were to be displaced from the center? Every shard of colored glass, every aspect of our lives, would be thrown into conflict with the others, leaving a scrambled mess. Some panes would even have to be removed to make space, leaving dark spaces of filler.
“Look to the Lord and be radiant,” says the Psalmist in the 34th Psalm. What does your soul and mine look like? Is it more like the luminous and ordered rose window, where everything finds its proper place, or the scrambled mess filled with dark spots? The difference is in what is our center, what is the focal point of our attention and devotion. If He is put first, nothing is lost. Everything plays its part in forming a work of exquisite beauty.
May we commit again today to surrendering to the work of the Divine Artist who is at work in us, the living Spirit of Love. He loves us and has wonderful plans for us, and, as long as we permit him, is bringing to full blossom the beauty our eternal Father already sees.
Written by seminarian Taylor Elzner (Diocese of Amarillo, TX)