Unless I See: After Caravaggio’s “Incredulity of Saint Thomas”

No need to touch the scars; Caravaggio got that detail wrong. The sheer force of His presence made Thomas crumple, doubt ceasing where belief gained life, the parched taste, hesitant like salt, exultant like wine, as loosened lips croaked, My Lord and my God. Yet I am comforted to see both the outstretched hand andContinue reading “Unless I See: After Caravaggio’s “Incredulity of Saint Thomas””

Damascus 2: Pentecost

I missed the flames that day, was at my books, learning the whys and wherefores of Law, determined that every subscript iota would not be neglected when I stood before God. The Spirit blows wherever it wills. Mine was the letter, not the wind. When, years later, I clutched letters in hand, I held everyContinue reading “Damascus 2: Pentecost”

Damascus 1

Something ends here: paused mid-threat, flung groundward, the man called Saul can breathe no more murder while the horse kicks up its hooves and he points his arms half-desperate at heaven. Something begins here yet it looks altogether like dying: the fall, the pervasive dark, the eyes failing to see, and yet the spirit cognisantContinue reading “Damascus 1”

“…and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Emmaus 3)

How like him to appear this way: a walk alongside the mourners, an attentive ear, a willingness to linger, and then – the climax – seated at table, bread, the beloved symbol, poised in hand, and at its breaking all finally clear. How like him who broke bread with Zaccheus, with Levi, with Judas. HowContinue reading ““…and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Emmaus 3)”

Chiaroscuro

To Cleopas and his friend, the revelation and its impact no doubt stuck. Their paradigm, irremediably shifted, could hardly go back. Such things as resurrections we don’t forget in any hurry. Yet for those serving at table, I wonder: did the light dawn so quickly, so decisively? More or less a normal night’s work, andContinue reading “Chiaroscuro”

Recognised, Became Invisible: For Jean-Luc Marion

Was it the breaking of bread that did it, That act just so like the Bread of Life? Or was it how the Word opened up the word And our hearts were like flames within us? Our eyes Beheld but did not understand, intuit What lay behind all those parables, rife With intimations of truth,Continue reading “Recognised, Became Invisible: For Jean-Luc Marion”

Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand

“The LORD says to my Lord…” (Psalm 110:1). These are surely some of the more mysterious words to appear in the Bible. Who is the second Lord to whom the writer, King David, is referring? Who could even be understood to be David’s Lord apart from God, the LORD? David, after all, was king ofContinue reading “Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand”

20 Contemplations #15: Intimacy

He comes near, able to touch, to be touched, and be wounded, to kiss and to be kissed: the grateful kiss, the sleepy child dismiss- ing himself to sleep; the mother’s kiss, a smudge on freshly-bathed cheek; the plotter’s grudge expressed in the curl of doubled lips, the final, false farewell, the fatal tryst. He comesContinue reading “20 Contemplations #15: Intimacy”