You are probably thinking, the poor old fellow has made a mistake in his spelling. Shouldn’t the title read “Son” of Justice?
When I made my preliminary drawing for this sacred image (it is based on the drawings and wood carvings of Brother Martin Erspamer, O.S.B) I desired to have an appropriate name that would be attached to it. I was in the final stages of finishing the image a few weeks ago. This image was to mirror the woodcarving work of Brother Erspamer, it is not intended to be an icon or sacred image in the traditional sense of Byzantine or Latin artists.
One Tuesday evening, a few weeks ago, a passage from Evening Prayer in the Divine Office caught my attention. It was the final prayer of the early evening and it read: “Father, yours is the morning and yours is the evening. Let the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, shine for ever in our hearts and draw us to that light where you live in radiant glory.”
Sacred image copyright © 2012 Deacon Paul O. Iacono All Rights Reserved
That prayer really struck me. There was the title: Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ. The message of that passage was so appropriate for the image meant to mimic carved wood. The image directs the prayerful observer to meditate on the truth that Jesus Christ is the Sun which, as a result of His obedient sacrifice on the holy wood of the Cross, shines in our hearts and guides us back to the Father. He is the Son of the Father, that is, the Light of the World. He is also, the Sun of Justice, in that we as individuals will all surely have His light illumine our souls and be judged by His standards.
This sacred image is a gift for our outstanding Assistant Pastor Fr. Joseph R. Upton. A wonderful priest who also serves us as the Chaplain of the Fra Angelico Institute for the Sacred Arts.
The face and garments are not painted in the traditional way in keeping with the woodcarving methods of Bro. Erspamer, whose work inspired my drawing. Even though it is not painted using the familiar “language” or style of traditional iconography, it has meaning; and I am happy to say that when you are in its presence it does provide comfort to the soul that prays with it.
Copyright © 2012 Deacon Paul O. Iacono Essay and photos – All Rights Reserved