"I know well that the greater and more beautiful the work is, the more terrible will be the storms that rage against it."
Many times, it seems that the more virtuous we become or the more we progress in the spiritual life the more we are attacked, mocked, and tempted to give up. It seems so because what is genuinely Good, True, and Beautiful will inevitably be the cause of rejection and considered offensive to those blinded from the Truth. Yet, the closer we walk with Christ, the greater the sufferings we will endure; and the greater our deeds and desire to attain sanctity, the greater the obstacles and forces that will attempt to come in our way to prevent such spiritual progress. Everything that is of God is abhorrent to the Enemy- but that should only push us to strive for holiness ever more.
This painting attempts to illustrate what it may look like for such a soul to be confronted with those storms that rage against Goodness, Truth, and Beauty and that work even harder to dishearten a soul who has just come into the light of Truth. This boy is enveloped in a dark, unsettling storm, where he is found in deep thought. The deep purple color scheme adds to the uneasy, perhaps even ghostly, state of spiritual battle. Yet against the dark atmosphere, this boy's face is glowing with light- he is that great and beautiful work that is striving for sanctity. Even the golden flowers marked on his skin and emerging from beneath his clothing underscore the beauty and goodness of his being. Nonetheless, darkness encircles him, attempting to discourage and consume him, and he again begins to wonder, "Why is it always me?" His eyes serve as windows, revealing to the viewer that this is what his soul is battling because of his desire to live virtuously. His stature humbly and sincerely invites us to see this spiritual war. A purple tear falls from his eye, as if the purple storm has transformed, for it is the storm that is causing him unrest. However, for such a beautiful work, there is hope because Truth always prevails. As such, the stars in the background physically light up, providing a tangible portrayal that the soul's goodness and light will ultimately shine forth, and that because of this inner struggle, the soul will only become more perfected and sanctified.
mixed media on canvas (oil, liquid gold leaf, and LED lights)
30 x 40 in