Becoming Veronica

As we begin our Lenten walk with Christ, let’s prepare ourselves to be ready to comfort Him along the way, as St.Veronica did. There’s a prayer for that – a beautiful way to bridge the end of Ordinary Time with the start of Lent is the Alpha Omega Novena of the Holy Face and, though it can be experienced at any time of year, it’s just begun for 2018. It takes up the nine days of prayer leading up to Shrove Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday). Shrove Tuesday is the Feast of the Holy Face. You can of course start praying this devotion whenever you are inclined and able. But what a great time of year to start! Read more about the Holy Face in my article published in Aleteia.

For today’s post, in honor of this incredible devotion, I give you art, poetry and music related to the Holy Face.

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MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine

Two Angels Presenting the Holy Face - Claude Vignon
Two Angels Presenting the Holy Face – Claude Vignon

From the Sufi poet Rumi, these are apt words to describe what it would feel like to behold the face of Christ

Looking for Your Face

From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it

Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for

Today I have found you
and those who laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did

I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you
with a hundred eyes

My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold

I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine

Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow

My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you

Your effulgence
has lit a fire in my heart
and you have made radiant
for me
the earth and sky

My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer
— Rumi