“Jesus Wants to be Seen”

“Finding the Face of Jesus” a photographic restoration by Kathy Falls of the Shroud of Turin (with permission)

Kathy Falls, a Secular Carmelite from the Michigan Upper Peninsula, is a multi-talented woman; a singer, musician, writer, artist, and photo-restoration expert. Thirty-five years ago a growing desire was planted in her heart to share the Face of Christ seen on the Shroud of Turin, and to use her talents to make the face more visible to others.  Kathy received permission to enhance the original famous photograph, which was taken in 1978 from Barrie Schwartz, the official documenting photographer and leading expert for the Shroud of Turin Research Project. Using computer technology, as well as dyes and pencils, Kathy enhanced and re-touched the image, which has won a blue ribbon from the Professional Photographers of Michigan. The inspiring  image entitled “Finding the Face of Jesus”  will be recognized at the Professional Photographers of America’s International Print Competion, which will be held from January 14-16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kathy Falls, with her photographic restoration of the Face of Christ

Studying the Face on the Shroud of Turin these many years has led Kathy Falls to a deep devotion to the Face of Jesus.  The writings of the “Little Flower,” St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, also inspired Kathy in her work and increased her devotion. Kathy says, St. Therese “reeled me in.”  Carmelite spirituality is contemplative and what could be a more perfect subject to contemplate than the Face of Jesus? Kathy says, “You can imagine sitting in front of him for years, looking at His Face. A lot of people don’t take time to do that, to really meditate and look at what He suffered for us.” Kathy has not signed the work, which is obviously a labor of love, wishing only that His Face be seen and hearts transformed by gazing upon His Face.  She says simply, “Jesus wants to be seen!”  

Click here for more about Kathy Falls story and her work by The Michigan Catholic.

 

Happy New Year 2018 – Let His Face Shine Upon You!

In God’s beautiful design, the Christmas liturgy continues at the beginning of the New Year by drawing us toward the Face of Christ with three holy feast days. We begin on January 1, with the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, who teaches us how to contemplate the Face of her Son. The first reading for this feast day is the priestly blessing on God’s chosen people from the book of Numbers.

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The Feast of Mary, Mother of God

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.” (Num 6:22-27)

In celebrating the centenary of Fatima, Pope Francis gave this reflection of that scripture passage: “This blessing was fulfilled in the Virgin Mary. No other creature ever basked in the light of God’s Face as did Mary; she in turn gave a human face to the Son of the eternal Father. Now we can contemplate her in the succession of joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious moments of her life, which we revisit in our recitation of the rosary…With Mary’s protection, may we be for our world sentinels of the dawn, contemplating the true Face of Jesus the Saviour.”

At the last New Year Pope Francis said,

“Begin the year by recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary, in the maternal face of the Church, in the faces of our own mothers…”

The next holy feast, on January 3 is…

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI teaches us, The expression “name of God” means God as He Who is present among men.  His name, is the concrete sign of His Existence. The Hebrew term, “panim”, which means “face” means to see The Face of God, or the presence of God.  “Panim” is a term that describes relationships.  The Hebrew word “shem” meaning “name” is also a term of relationship.  God has a Face and a Name!

To rejoice in the splendor of His Face means penetrating the mystery of  His name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of His interior life and of His will, so that we can live according to His plan for humanity.  Jesus lets us know the hidden Face of The Father through His human Face; by the gift of The Holy Spirit poured into our hearts. This, is the foundation of our Peace, which nothing can take from us.”

And the third great holy day drawing us to adore the Holy Face is…

Adoration of the Magi,
Fra. Angelico & Fra. Lippi

The Feast of the Epiphany

 The Epiphany is closely linked to the Holy Face–because the Epiphany is the feast on which Jesus Christ first shows Himself to the world represented by the Magi–and He shows Himself through a human face, the face of an infant. On the feast of the Epiphany, we ask God to shine His Face upon us, to reveal His Face to us once more as we come before Him in adoration.

On the occasion of the Closing of the Holy Door, January 6, 2001, Pope St. John Paul II prayed for the Church:

“May the Lord grant that in the new millennium, the Church will grow ever more in holiness, that she may become in history a true epiphany of the merciful and glorious Face of Christ the Lord.”   

Amen!

May Our Lord grant us, in this New Year, through intercession the Blessed Virgin Mary, the grace to contemplate always His Holy Face.

“Vladimirskaya” icon

Happy New Year!

Epiphany – Show us Thy Face, O Lord

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St. Pope John Paul II “In the Eucharist, the Face of Christ is turned towards us.”

Webster’s Dictionary gives these definitions for “epiphany”: 1. January 6th observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the three wise men to Jesus in Bethlehem or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of Jesus’ baptism. 2. an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being 3. an intuitive discovery or realization [derived from Late Latin epiphania, from late Greek, plural, probably Greek epihaneia “appearance, manifestation,” from epi + phanein “to show.” 

The feast of the Epiphany is thus closely linked to the Holy Face–because the Epiphany is the feast on which Jesus Christ first shows Himself to the world represented by the magi–and He shows Himself through a human face, the face of an infant. On the feast of the Epiphany, we ask God to shine His face upon us, to reveal His face to us once more.

The words inscribed on the Holy Face Medal, which bears a replica of the Holy Face image from the Shroud of Turin, and which inspired St. Pope John Paul II to dedicate the millennium to the Holy Face, are based on Psalm 66:2: “Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos,” which means, “May, O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us,” or as it has also been interpreted, “Show us Thy Face, O Lord.”  On the other side of the medal, there is an image of a radiant Sacred Host, the monogram of the Holy Name (“IHS”), and the inscription “Mane nobiscum, Domine,” that is, “Stay with us, O Lord,” which recalls the words of the disciples to Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35). “So he went in to stay with them and it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, and said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.”

On the occasion of the Closing of the Holy Door, January 6, 2001, St. Pope John Paul II prayed for the Church, “May the Lord grant that in the new millennium, the Church will grow ever more in holiness, that she may become in history a true epiphany of the merciful and glorious Face of Christ the Lord.”  Amen!