“Persevere in labors that lead to salvation.
Always be busy in spiritual actions.
In this way, no matter how often the enemy of our souls approaches,
no matter how many times he may try to come near us,
he’ll find our hearts closed and armed against him.”
St. Cyprian of Carthage
(detail from one of the paintings by Fra Angelico at the Convent of San Marco /
Florence, Itlay / Julie Cook / 2018)
“Give me all of you!!!
I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work.
I want YOU!!!
ALL OF YOU!!
I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman,
but to KILL IT! No half measures will do.
I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there;
rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit,
all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams.
Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—
in my image.
Give me yourself and in exchange, I will give you Myself.
My will, shall become your will.
My heart, shall become your heart.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
In many paintings of the crucifixion, as well as free-standing vintage crucifixes,
there is often a skull positioned beneath the cross.
(Crucifixion with saints, Fra Angelico / Convent of San Marco / Florence, Italy /
Julie Cook / 2018)
The reason for this is symbolic…and actually quite simple.
It represents Christ’s triumph over death…and in turn, our own triumph found
in Christ Jesus.