This is the magnificent Christ of the Duomo of Cefalù in Sicily. It was artist Adé de Béthune who introduced me to the Christ of Cefalù over forty years ago. When Adé would speak of the Christ of Cefalù her eyes would shine, she would grow radiant with the childlike enthusiasm that she kept for all things true and beautiful until the end of her life. Adé used her many gifts to show people the beauty that she saw in the Christ of Cefalù. She did this by making her own images and by teaching others to make images worthy of being sacred signs. Thank you, Adé.
At Matins on Friday:
From the Commentary on the Prophet Ezekiel by St Jerome, Priest & Doctor
The glory of the God of Israel enters by the East Gate through which it departed when the anger of the Lord struck the city. It enters, or, rather, it returns to it, for this glory was the distinguishing mark of the Lord’s Temple on the mountain. Yet something much greater follows: “The Spirit of the Lord lifted me up and brought me into the outer court. And behold, the house of the Lord was filled with his glory.” First the glory of the Lord merely entered; now the fullness of the glory is said to be in the Temple. Of this glory Isaiah wrote: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and lifted up.” Our house is full of this glory when with unveiled faces we contemplate the glory of the Lord, and are transformed into the likeness of our Creator.
The voice of the Lord was “like the sound of many waters” — like the sound of many peoples throughout the world, or like the voice of an army, or of multitudes massing together as the hosts of heaven come to know the mysteries of God. In another place it is said: “The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands.” The heavenly hosts, the thousands upon thousands, all make the same utterance since all are united in the praise of God. To the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit they sing: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts; heaven and earth are full of his glory.”
“And the earth shone with his glory.” This was only really fulfilled in the coming of Christ when the preaching of the Apostles went forth through all the earth, and their words to the utmost bounds of the world. It is daily fulfilled in believers, and will come to perfection when this corrupt nature puts on incorruption and this mortal nature is clothed with immortality. “I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple.” This must surely have been the Lord, for who else could have said, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne, the place where I set my feet, and where I shall dwell among the Israelites forever,” but he who dwells in the Church, in the midst of the Israel that recognises the Lord, and who will dwell there, not only for a time, as he did in the Temple of Solomon, but forever. “And his dwelling-place,” writes the Psalmist, “will be peace,” that peace which passes all understanding.