When I look at this image, I feel safe and loved. I love the colors, the depth, the vitality, but most of all I love the emotion. I identify with what I perceive as a human figure in the lower right corner, sheltered by the cross and the Sacred Heart. There is warmth emanating from that little corner of the world, and the cross of Jesus, with its sturdy support and fiery center, protects her. In a world that offers too much violence, too much uncertainty, too much casual meanness and self-involvement, how many of us are looking for nothing more than security and love?
If you look very closely, you might also see figures in the darkness on the left. They, too, are sheltered by the cross but seem removed from the warmth and the light. I can relate to them, too, in the bleaker moments when life seems overwhelming, when I forget that I can trust in the love of my God.
Finally, I focus on the circle that unites each figure with the Heart, a reminder that we are all one family as children of God. Those figures in the cold represent the suffering of the world. By choosing to unite myself with them – by recognizing that we are in fact bound – and by sharing in their suffering and vulnerability, maybe, just maybe, I can relieve some of their suffering and bring them into the warmth of God’s love.
I know that I am loved by God. Surely the peace and security this knowledge offers me is the firmest foundation for loving others?
Reflection by Therese Fink Meyerhoff, Director of Communications
Image by Manfred Bugl