May 2012 Prayer and Reflection

From the May 2012 cover of Living with Christ

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Breath of Spring Arthur Poulin, OSBCam (1950- )

By Living with Christ Staff


The landscape paintings of Father Arthur Poulin (1950- ), a Camaldolese monk and priest, are created through a highly contemplative process. He first covers a blank canvas in layers of black gesso; then, using dots of color, he brings his light-filled images out of the darkness of the black canvas.

In Breath of Spring, thousands of minute brush strokes portray the beauty of a blossoming tree in spring. Father Poulin explains that the tree’s dark branches symbolize the cross of Christ, while the blossoms speak of resurrection. This representation serves to remind us: we cannot have one without the other.

This month we hear Jesus say, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit” (see John 15:1-8, from the Fifth Sunday of Easter, page 90). While we remain rooted in Christ, we also have a responsibility to bear, to “Grow,” the fruits of Jesus’ resurrection.

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

  • When has God given me light in a time of darkness?
  • How is Jesus calling me to remain in him and bear the fruits of his resurrection?
  • What areas of my life could use some pruning in order to live a more fruitful life?

Living with Christ Staff