Icons And Offering It Up

Lectio Divina is a classic prayer form. You begin by reading the Bible. Start anywhere. It doesn’t matter. You keep reading until either an idea or a paragraph or a phrase or even a word catches your attention. Then you put the book down. You chew on that word. You think about it. You consider the implications of that word in the current situation in the world. You consider its application to you. In this way, you are delving deeper into the Word of God

Instead of using the Bible, I like praying with icons. I use it as a form of Lectio Divina. I’ll look at a particular aspect of an icon. It could be a hand or the colors or an article of clothing or one of the physical attributes aspects of the person. Next, I consider what’s important about this particular object in the icon. Why did the iconographer paint it? What does it say about me or God or my relationship to God or other people?

Recently I was looking at an icon of St. Lucy. In the icon, St. Lucy is holding a cross in her head. What is curious is that the cross is rather diminutive and small in size. It is very thin. Also, St. Lucy is holding the cross very delicately. She only uses two fingers to do so.

What’s the message?

We live in a society hooked on adrenaline. It drives the new cycle. Good and happy news doesn’t excite. Bad news does. We’re addicted to big, bad, news. Thus we sometimes worry about the big things that could happen to us. We worry about getting cancer - when we’re healthy. We worry about getting in a car accident - when our Guardian Angel prevented us from that. We worry about losing our jobs, and the financial difficulties that would cause - when we’re gainfully employed. The situations we worry about are specters. They don’t exist. Yet, at the same time, it is the little challenges and problems that set us off and ruin our days.

St. Lucy is saying. “Yes, these are crosses, but they’re little ones. They are also potential moments of grace. Don‘t grasp and hold them on with a death grip. You can carry them with two fingers. Turn them immediately over to the Lord. Then drop them. Give them to God and let them go.

There’s grace there.

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