Reality Upturned into Perversity

Crucifix by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Santa Maria del Santo Spirito di Firenze, Florence.
Crucifix by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Santa Maria del Santo Spirito di Firenze, Florence.

We have heard so much in the past year about the mercy of God, as if the mercy of God does not depend on the justice of God. Without justice there is no mercy. The mission of the Church is not primarily to proclaim the mercy of God. The mission of the Church is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The mercy of God is surely seen and exemplified once and for all in the Cross of Jesus Christ. There is no greater symbol of God’s mercy and love. Those silly “resurrected Christs” that are placed on a cross over an altar in some Catholic churches are a product of sentimentality and denial of the justice of God. And yet when one looks at the Cross one sees there the terrible, horrible, judgment of God on this world of sin, that God would have to have his Son die in this way: what does that say about this world, about you and me? The obvious answer is quite negative. But you see, the deepest answer to that question is Love, there is the answer. But not the cheap love the world would have us believe in, love defined as what I want to do, love defined apart from the laws of God, love defined so as to upturn reality into perversity, a false love that is doomed to hell, as Dante saw, as Christ told us, as St. Paul wrote, that is doomed to death, for it is the opposite of Love.

— From homily on the Last Sunday after Pentecost, 2013,
Fr. Richard G. Cipolla,
Saint Mary’s Norwalk, Connecticut.

(h/t to Rorate Cæli)

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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  1. The image of Michelangelo’s Crucifix at your site is inverted. Note the writings on the sign in Hebrew, Latin and Greek to confirm this fact. His left leg should be over His right and the wound on His left side rather than His left.

    1. While I have not seen the crucifix in person, having examined a number of photographic representations of the piece, I believe that you are incorrect. The wound is indeed on the right side of the corpus in the photograph and I believe that the image is oriented correctly.

      1. Back in the day, old photographers like myself shot film and/or slides. It was quite common to invert an image when making a print from a negative or presenting a series of slides. It usually went unnoticed unless there was some text in the photo like wording on a billboard, hat or t-shirt.

        Many of those photographic representations you mention were probably derived from the Web Gallery of Art. They too were quite surprised to learn they had made the same mistake. Even though the gallery corrected their error the inverted image had made its way to numerous places on the web.

        The imagine quality at the gallery is quite good. In fact, you don’t have to read Hebrew, Latin or Greek to make out the words “Jesus” and “Nazareth” on the last line.

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