It was only fitting, after the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a year that had our retreat focusing on Divine Mercy, to adorn Cor Jesu Monastery with its newest piece of religious art. Only it is not just “religious art”. It is the Divine Mercy image itself. The canvas print of the restored painting from Vilnius, Poland came from our dear friends, the Marian Fathers in Stockbridge, and arrived, seemingly coincidently (there are no coincidences), just a day or so before we would be having Mass with our Bishop to celebrate the first Sunday of the liturgical year.
Bishop Stika joined us for Benediction and Mass and blessed not only our Advent Wreath but the newly installed image as well. Since his episcopal motto “IESU CONFIDO IN TE” (Jesus, I Trust In You) is the hallmark to the Divine Mercy image, he was excited to explain to the Sisters about the moment he chalked those
Latin letters into the very steel of the dome of the new Sacred Heart Cathedral currently under construction. He was even happier when one of the workman, on his own initiative, later flat welded those characters permanently into the steel itself over 130 feet in the air above Knoxville.
As we have named our monastery Cor Jesu (Heart of Jesus), it is fitting that the powerful symbolism of the red and white rays contained in the Divine Mercy image speaks directly of the blood and water flowing from Jesus’ Sacred Heart, poured out on the Cross for us. As in the case of much of the best sacred art, it is another way Our Lord expresses, through the medium itself as it were, “See how much I love you!” Is there any better response to give Jesus than to place ourselves confidently into those streams emanating from his pierced heart and assure him, “Jesus, I trust in You!”