“Those in love try to see each other. People in love have eyes only for their love. That’s logical isn’t it? The human heart feels this need. I would be lying if I denied my eagerness to contemplate the Face of Jesus Christ. ‘ Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram.’ I will seek your Countenance, O Lord”–St. Jose Maria Escriva
The desire to seek the face of a loved one is written in the human heart by God, who loves each soul as though it were the only one on earth. God in turn, longs for us to return His love, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, searching the horizon each day for the sight of his lost son. Visit any airport terminal and you will find someone standing with eyes riveted on the arrival gates with anxious anticipation for the familiar face of a loved one to appear, followed by great joy when their hope is fulfilled.
Jesus waits for us, with great longing, but do we have the same longing to see Him? It would be the greatest tragedy if we simply walk past Him because we didn’t recognize Him. Why is it so difficult to keep our focus on seeking the Face of the One who loves us most? The reason may be that we see His Face “only dimly.” Every day a million distractions prevent us from recognizing Jesus, and divert us from seeking the Face of the One who should be our “All in All.”
“At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully as I am known. So Faith, Hope, and Love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.” (1 Cor: 12-13)
Jesus tells us, “Seek and you will find.” To seek the Face of God requires an exercise of the virtue of Hope united with Faith and Love to come to know Him. We can seek Him not only by spending more time in prayer which is the source of our love, but also in recognizing His loving presence in Scripture, in the Eucharist and in our neighbor. One way to exercise the virtue of Hope, in Faith and Love is to repeat often the words of King David: “Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s Face”; your Face, LORD, do I seek! Do not hide Your Face from me!” (Psalm 27:8-9) …and to remember that He “Only has eyes for you!” Though we may forget to seek God, He never ceases to seek us so we may find life and happiness in Him. His love is blind, though sins have marred our souls, He seeks only to beautify and fill with virtue each individual soul, created in His image and likeness, so that by His gaze, He may find there the original truth and beauty – a reflection of His Face.
I Only Have Eyes for You
My love must be a kind of blind love,
I can’t see anyone but you.
Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.
The moon may be high
but I can’t see a thing in the sky.
I only have eyes for you.
I don’t know if we’re in a garden
or on a crowded avenue.
You are here and so am I,
Maybe millions of people go by,
but they all disappear from view
and I only have eyes for you.
(By songwriters Al Dubin and Harry Warren)
“Truly, truly, I tell you the truth. Whoever will invoke the Holy Spirit, he will seek me and he will find me, and it is through the Spirit that he will find me.” ~Our Lord to Sr. Miriam of Jesus Crucified.
The Annual Feast of the Holy Face of Manoppello and Procession was celebrated on May 20, 2018. A beautiful account of the day, written by Antonio Bini, together with many wonderful photo’s may be found here on the HolyFace of Manoppello Blogspot.
A new documentary about the Holy Face of Manoppello will be released soon. To read more about it click here for the article on Holy Face of Manoppello blog.
(A preview – in Italian)