February 2011 Prayer and Reflection

From the February 2011 cover of Living with Christ

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imageSunrise (Easter), Big Sur, 2000 (acrylics on canvas) Arthur Poulin, OSBCam (1950– ) LOCATION: Private Collection

By Living with Christ Staff

For Camaldolese monk and artist Father Arthur Poulin, painting is a way “to proclaim the Good News of the gospel.” In an original style that echoes the tech- nique of the Impressionists, he begins by covering the canvas with black gesso (as many as 25 layers!). In the contemplative process he has developed, he then adds minute brush strokes and tiny dots of color that grow into a whole through a sacred journeying from darkness to light, from the unknown to the known, from chaos to unity.


In Sunrise (Easter), Big Sur, the stunning beauty and light of California’s Big Sur coastline radiates resurrection and new life. Suffused with light and air, the painting captures the power and vividness of one’s first impression of the breathtaking view from New Camaldoli Hermitage (the tiny silhouettes in the fore- ground). As art critic Sister Wendy Beckett says about Poulin’s work: “It is intense and strong, with a pure, clear inner radiance that is silent witness to his vocation.”


If you wish, sit quietly with the picture, and reflect on the following questions:

  • When have I experienced God’s light in my life?
  • How do I reflect that light to others?
  • What do I want God to help me see more clearly?

Living with Christ Staff