Viriditas: Finding God in All Things:

  A polyptych (a frame with multiple images/icons) For  Loyola University Chicago

A polyptych (a frame with multiple images/icons) For Loyola University Chicago

By Fr. William Hart McNichols

When Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., commissioned me to paint his dream of these three saints holding up the World – Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, and Ignatius of Loyola – my question to myself was “How do they hold up the World?”

The answer you see right here, is a kind of map which might tell us where to go, but we have to actually make the journey. The map is a prayer, and the journey, I pray, will give us continual insights which will lead to action, so that with the holy three of Ignatius, Hildegard, Francis and the Holy Child Jesus, we might learn something about how the Holy Spirit continues to Green the World.

The Saints are grounded in the Blood of Christ, which feeds the World, as our Mother’s own blood feeds us in the womb. If you look at nature closely in the early spring, all green things begin with red (wounds) buds, shoots, and branches. Then they flower into green and abundant colors of life. The leaves, vibrant rocks and stones are living examples of how nature praises the Creator.

Earth’s atmosphere, usually a thin line of blue, is, in this version, green, with the life of the Holy Spirit. Twelve tongues of the Spirit’s flames hover round the World as in a New Pentecost which Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II prophesied for the 21st Century.

The Holy Spirit is seen just at that moment when God speaks the Word from Genesis: “Let there be Light” and life as we know it began to swirl from the void.

The gorgeous frame by master woodworker Roberto Lavadie of Taos, chants the Holy Holy Holy ... as with Hildegard’s inspired chants, she claims to have heard immersed in God, the Living Light; Heaven and Earth are full of God’s glory. Christ the Deer, or hart, is at the bottom standing in precious water which nourishes all life.

Father McNichols is a priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  All rights reserved Fr. William Hart McNichols. Image reproductions available here.