Our daily lives are overflowing with images, especially those that come to us through screens from computers, televisions, advertising signs… An image holds a great power of fascination and has a strong impact on our imaginations. Images seduce, while books and debates originate in conviction and reasoning. Over the last few decades, we have moved from being societies of conviction to societies of seduction.
Look at politics. Arguments – that require effort and reflection in order to be understood – tire us and no longer generate interest. And yet, the image of power and wealth that a Donald Trump reflects, seduces a large part of the electorate. It is no longer about convincing others (through the mediation of a written text) but it is about seducing them (with the immediacy of images).
The consumer is seduced with attractive and flashy packaging as he strolls through the aisles of a store. Even social networks like Facebook, invite the posting of self-flattering photos.
How preoccupied are we with the image we present as a Congregation, as a religious and as an individual ? In some cases, we have taken years to build an image of ourselves, a flattering image that others reflect back to us, or simply an image that allows us to keep our place in the world. In an opposite kind of way, we are sometimes imprisoned by an image we never wanted to give, that our past has created and that no longer truly corresponds to who we are. During times of truth, we need to look in the mirror and remind ourselves of our true image, and we need to risk showing ourselves to others without a mask.
This true mirror is none other than the look of Christ who reveals, in the depth of our hearts, who we truly are. And so, we are no longer preoccupied with the image we project. We are only concerned with reflecting Christ : he who is the center of our lives and whose image does not mislead but is the faithful icon of the Father. As we celebrate Consecrated Life on February 2nd, ask for the grace to be freed from those images that try to seduce us, so that we can become living icons that reflect, day after day, the tenderness and mercy of God.
Sr. Anne Chapell - Angelica n°32 - February 2017