May 2012 Prayer and Reflection
From the May 2012 cover of Living with Christ
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?