Look Upon His Love, and Be Silent

The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

“To live from love is to dry your Face, it is to obtain pardon for sinners.”

— St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

True love must be the care for the other, seeking only the good of the beloved. Love is renunciation, a willingness to sacrifice even unto death. What is this Divine madness that may be contemplated in His Face? In his book, “God is Love,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

“God’s passionate love for his people — for humanity — is that is turns God against himself, his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross: so great is God’s love for man that by becoming man he follows him even unto death and so reconciles justice and love.”

— Pope Benedict XVI
Christ as the Man of Sorrows; Quentin Metsys (Netherlandish, 1465 or 1466 – 1530); Belgium; 1520–1530; Oil on panel; 49.5 × 37 cm (19 1/2 × 14 9/16 in.); 2018.54

Pause a moment to contemplate the innocent, humiliated, and suffering Face of Jesus in order to grow in His love…

“Let us reflect a little. I am convinced that if we apply ourselves diligently to meditate on the soul of Jesus suffering, if we often cast our eyes upon His Countenance, we shall fall in love with His virtue, and that He will Himself gradually infuse it into us.”

— St. Claude La Colombiere

Silence in suffering can make the space for God’s grace to fill and transform our souls in love…

“When you experience something unpleasant, look at Jesus crucified and be silent.”

— St. John of the Cross

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