by James Paulin
Perception of all things is limited by senses, intelligence and the ability to conceive. This is very apparent when looking back in history and comparing with what is known to be true now. Famous discoveries enlighten the world constantly and bring reality to new levels in things large and small. Yet, as much as has been uncovered there is certainly much more to come. We see a good deal but have never had all things exposed clearly, much like looking through multiple veils. Revelations remove some of the obscurities but some hold mysteries for ages. One veil that is mysterious in form and depiction is the relic held in St. Peters within one of the four pillars and is credited to St. Veronica.
Tradition, not scripture, is the only verification of the claim that Veronica wiped the face of Jesus while He carried His cross to Calvary and left her an image of His face upon her veil. There are many artistic impressions of the veil but the item itself is never closely examined by all but a few and never photographed. If the veil were a true portrait of Jesus at that point in time, it would insult the senses with the amount of torture He had already suffered to His head. The depictions only make suggestion of reality, again as if our view is through a veil of the veil.
The concept of Jesus is both personal and evolutionary as maturity and wisdom (or lack of wisdom) changes our understanding. Jesus has depths of endearment available for those who seek it. Sometimes the experience of divine adoration or private meditation will provide stimulation. Most of us seek Gods favor or guidance in desperate situations. Would it be a joy to have Jesus beside us all day and all night, always? As much as it sounds like a great thing, we still might take Him for granted after a time and crave some weakness of the flesh as the disciples did when Jesus asked them to pray with Him in the garden or as Adam and Eve did in Eden.
Not all would be pleased with the realities of the kingdom of God where there is endless joy just to be in the full presence of Jesus.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.