Friday, May 10, 2013

These Four Evangelists

As I wrote here a few days ago, I want to look a bit into my own 'spiritual ideolect' (a term coined by blogger Connie Rossini); that is: those saints and writings that have formed my heart for God.  These are the saints and writings that have formed the concept of the 'cloistered heart' as well, because for me the two are essentially inseparable.  

With this in mind, I was delighted to find the painting used on this post.  I don't recall ever seeing the four writers of the Gospels pictured together, by themselves, and certainly not in such an appealing composition.  

I look at the scene in wonder.  Did they know the responsibility they were shouldering, the weight of what they were writing?  Could they have imagined the people, centuries later, who would experience their words leaping from pages and into the readers' own hearts? 

How I thank God for these four evangelists!  Their writings teach us of our Lord and Master.  What they wrote nearly 2,000 years ago is the very basis of my (our) spiritual ideolect, because any 'formation' not based on the Gospels, as taught by the Church, would be no formation at all.  It would be built on quivering, unstable ground.  

The writings of these God-inspired and God-called evangelists, by the action of the Holy Spirit, bring the Word Himself into our souls. 

"In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God.  He was present to God in the beginning.  Through Him all things came into being, and without Him nothing came to be.  Whatever came to be in Him found life, life for the light of men.  The Light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it."  (John 1:1-5)

"When all the people were baptized, and Jesus was at prayer after likewise being baptized, the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.  A voice from heaven was heard to say: 'You are My beloved Son.  On You My favor rests.'''  (Luke 3:21-22)

"The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve - to give His life in ransom for the many."  (Mark 10:45)

"Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: 'Full authority has been given to Me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations.  Baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.  And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!"  (Matthew 28:18-20).

Painting:  Jordaens, Four Evangelists, Louvre

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