An Iconic Painting for Contemplation:

Everything Being in Everything


Do you feel anything radiating from this site (i.e., the site of the Perpetual Rosary which appears on your monitor's screen upon clicking here)? The general answer is "a sense of peace". Apparently, this intuitive sense of peace can be further elaborated in terms of certain aspects of Eastern Orthodox* iconography, depth psychology and modern physics. Hopefully, our brief and imperfect answer could address somewhat also two other questions, i.e., Where is God's Uncreated Heaven? and Where is Our Heavenly Mother's heavenly radiance?


An Iconic Painting for Intuitive Contemplation

Strictly speaking, this iconic painting (i.e., the Perpetual Rosary with its sky-blue background, along with the sacred pictures of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary) is not and may not be compared to an Eastern Orthodox icon. In a broad sense, however, this religious painting on the Internet seems to possess certain mystical aspects of Eastern Christian art. First, like an Eastern icon, this repetitive Perpetual Rosary is primarily for our contemplative prayer. Intimately linked to the economy of salvation, it can bring out the two major aspects of Christ's redemptive work: the transmission of truth, and the communication of God's grace (cf. Tomas Spidlik, The Spirituality of the Christian East, 1986, p. 313).

Secondly, like an Eastern icon, this iconic painting is a perpetual symbol of divine grace and life, an ongoing instrument of prayer and communion with the Most Holy Trinity and Our Heavenly Mother. It can become also a powerful channel of God's divine light or Energy "that illumines, purifies, elevates, divinizes and glorifies the human being and creation in general" (Petro Bilaniuk, Theology and Economy of the Holy Spirit, 1980, p. 74).

Thirdly, just as how an Eastern icon is usually treated, we are invited to see through this iconic painting with our spiritual intuition. When such a faculty is fully used in synergism or cooperation with God's grace, contemplation of Christ's mysteries can lead us to experience intuitively "a foretaste of Heaven, a return to Paradise" (Tomas Spidlik, p. 328). In the footsteps of Kant, the founder of German idealism and the greatest of modern philosophers (cf. Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, 1967, p. 677), our modern scientific generation has recognized only the sensible, intellectual, logical and scientific aspects of intuition, overlooking its very spiritual or religious aspect. This is unfortunate. It may have been a central factor causing the present crisis of faith, hope and love for God and the church in Europe**, North America and the rest of the world.

According to Ileana Marcoulesco, "the following aspects of religious intuition may be distinguished: (1) the understanding of divine commands; (2) the perception of the divine in religious or numinous experience, in the sense of a peering into the mysterious elusive presence of the transcendent in ways simultaneously sensory (seeing, hearing, or "smelling" divinity), intellectual, and suprasensory; (3) the illuminating understanding of the meanings hidden in metaphors and other literary tropes of sacred writings; and (4) the means of communicating and communion among believers" (The Encylopedia of Religion, Vol.7, 1987, p. 269).

Praying the Holy Rosary intuitively at this site (or anywhere) can therefore become a means of better understanding of "divine commands" (ibid) and "meanings" (ibid) hidden in the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries. In addition, this prayerful venture can even be "a peering into the mysterious elusive presence of the transcendent" (ibid) and a "means of communicating and communion among believers" (ibid) in sharing the prayerful radiances and the hundreds of thousands of chaplets prayed.

What follows may further illustrate the above points.


The Mystery of Perichoresis: Everything Being in Everything

Modern physics tells us that everything radiates, i.e., everything possesses a certain radiance. Each radiation, radiance or ray appears to be able to reach far and wide -- even to the edge of the universe, although it becomes weaker and weaker as it travels further and further away from the source. At the same time, every ray appears to be passing through every given point in the universe, perichoretically, i.e., interpenetrating one another.

This perichoresis in nature should not puzzle us. Like St. Bonaventure and others, we believe that all things in creation are created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26; etc.). According to the mystery of God's Perichoresis, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit interpenetrate or compenetrate One Another perfectly, ceaselessly and eternally as Three Divine Persons in One God (cf. Gerald O'Collins and Edward G. Farrugia, A Concise Dictionary of Theology, 1991, p. 180; Michael O'Carroll, Trinitas: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, 1987, pp. 68-70).

Potentially, depending also on the sensitivity or capability of our receiving antenna, we therefore can tape somewhat into every radiance being emitted from everything at any given point in the universe. One may then concur with many modern physicists, saying that everything appears to be in everything, or that every radiance appears to converge or interpenetrate each other at any given point in the universe (cf. Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 1976, pp. 301-319; etc.).

Apparently, many in the present modern scientific age stop probing beyond the physical dimension of everything being in everything, not knowing that there are also the human and spiritual dimensions of perichoresis. However, it must be stated here that the created perichoresis is far from perfection compared to the infinitely perfect Uncreated Perichoresis. Otherwise, we are only promoting pure panmonism (i.e., everything is one substance), pantheism (i.e., everything is God), or panmonistic energism (i.e., all is made of one single type of energy, without distinguishing between godly and ungodly energies, Uncreated and created energies, for example), etc.

Just as many tend to accept only the physical dimension regarding energy, many tend to overlook the very existence of human and spiritual energies. If we are open to all the dimensions of this mystery (of everything being in everything) in creation, the whole created universe may then be looked upon as a cosmic spiritual-human-material nexus (i.e., bond or connection). The entire cosmos seems to encompass countless types of spiritual-human-material nexus, energy, energy-being and environment. Following St. Paul's tripartite spirit-soul-body division (cf. 1Thess 5:23), we may say that a human person is a personal spiritual-mental-material nexus. We may even regard Christ Jesus or the Holy Eucharist as the Personal Divine-Human-Material Nexus. It is through Christ's or His Eucharistic Divine-Human-Material Radiances that the whole spiritual-human-material creation is transformed, transfigured, sanctified, divinized, Energized or Heavenized. The only exceptions are those who have self-condemned themselves to the everlasting Hell.***

There is then no empty space in the present universe (or universe of all universes). Any given point or space in the universe --- including our computer screen --- consists generally of several major dimensions. On the surface, at the most superficial, visible and detectable dimension, the whole universe and our computer screen are composed by and filled with physical energies. At the deepest, most invisible and undetectable dimension, this universe and our computer screen are also, as Gerard Manley Hopkins said, charged with the grandeur of God as "a Burning Bush, permeated but not consumed by the ineffable and wondrous fire of God's energies"(Kalistos Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, 1981, p. 78). In between these two major layers of energies, the same universe and any given point in it are filled also with our invisible human energies --- our holy and unholy energies, as well as countless difficult-to-detect spiritual energies of the Holy Angels and Saints, including even the diabolic energies of the fallen angels.

Hence, it is important to connect with the right or appropriate dimension(s) of energies at any given point in the universe. For example, one may be connecting with just the material dimension of energies at this Perpetual Rosary site. Without doubt, praying the Holy Rosary fervently here enables us to connect with various positive energies, such as God's Uncreated Energy, Our Heavenly Mother's heavenly radiance, as well as the prayerful, saintly energies of the countless Angels, Saints and Christians. As mentioned, these energies are being present everywhere perichorectically at any given point in the universe, with no exception to the screen in front of us. The important thing, as always, is to connect ourselves appropriately with the right energies wherever we are.

With or without our computer screen and the Perpetual Rosary site on it, all the energies in both the created universe and Uncreated Universe**** within and around us are ceaselessly permeating us from all directions. Our computer screen and the Perpetual Rosary site on it are only helping us, therefore, to focus on (to concentrate on, to tap into, to tune in, to connect with, or to touch base with) the appropriate energies.

Clearly, the above shows us also how important it is for us to click on the right website on the Internet. For example, if we visit a pornographic, diabolic or hate-filled site, we are only asking to be contaminated, demonized or subhumanized by those ungodly, unholy subhuman energies. Both sins and sinful energies blind. After a while, we become deformed or disfigured according to the amount of sinful energies which has entered and stayed in our individual spirit-mental-material nexus. In addition, our clear Christian conscience becomes increasingly blurred, confused and blind -- without knowing -- in our personal discernment between purity and impurity, integrity and shame, godliness and ungodliness, etc.


Conclusion: In a broad manner, this Perpetual Rosary site resembles an Eastern Christian icon for our prayerful contemplation. Apparently, when we pray slowly and with all our heart, it can become a heavenly window to Christ's Sacred Marian Humanity for us. In other words, this site seem to help us experience a sense of heavenly radiances converging perichorectically right before our screen. As we know, these beautiful, radiant fruits of the Spirit or personal fruits of Jesus (cf. Gal 5:22-23) are overflowing near or far away from the whole Divine Heavenly Family, as well as from our dear sisters and brothers praying out there on the Internet. Besides leading us to various God-pleasing desires and actions, praying the Holy Rosary here (or anywhere) gains for us many other blessings too.

* Complementary as they are, the Eastern Church has frequently been compared to the contemplative, mystical Mary and the Western Church to the active, practical Martha (cf. Lk 10: 38-42; Tomas Spidlik, p. 328). Hence, Pope John-Paul II solemnly declares: "The Church must breathe with her two lungs" (John-Paul II, Ut Unum Sint: That They May Be One, in The Pope Speaks, Vol. 40, 1995, pp. 319, 322). Karl Rahner, a well-recognized theologian, pointed out that the Christian of the future will become either a mystic or a non-believer (cf. Karl Rahner, The Spirituality of the Church of the Future, in Theological Investigations, Vol. XX, 1981, p. 149). Because of the many false mystics in this postmodern pluralistic age, God's people -- as never before -- are in great need of the Magisterium as well as the sound example and teaching of her canonized mystics.

** Please correct the editor with your latest accurate statistics: the average regular Sunday Mass attendance in Europe today varies from 15 to 30% and that in North America alters from 30 to 40%. Ask any truly responsible student, parent, teacher or professor if 15 to 40% in a major examination is a good, acceptable mark. Obviously, the answer is a big, serious "no". Whether we like it or not, we have to face the fact that both Christians and non-Christians on the average -- for whatever reasons -- have failed in their love for God and His Church! Apparently, Pope John-Paul II was the first person humble enough to admit this fact and bold enough to give us the following vision: "We need heralds of the Gospel, experts in humanity… and who, at the same time, are contemplatives in love with God. That is why we need new saints. The great evangelizers of Europe were saints. We need to beg the Lord to send us new saints to evangelize the world of today." (John-Paul II, Discourse to the Sixth Symposium of European Bishops, in L'Osservatore Romano -- October 22, 1985 -- 1,4,5) Accordingly, the Church today are in great need of people who are holy, contemplative and ingenious to evangelize herself and others.

***Those lost in Hell have deprived themselves forever from Christ's salvation and the Church has formally forbidden us to pray for them. "If anyone says that a man can be justified even after death; or if he says that the punishments of the damned in hell will not last forever: let him be anathema" (Schema of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Principle Mysteries of the Faith, The Vatican Council, 1969-70, Canon 6, in Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary's College, The Church Teaches, 1973, p. 353).

God is forever a forgiving God. If those in Hell could only say sorry to God, their sins would be instantly forgiven. Apparently, they can only continue to curse God (cf. Rev 16:8-11; 12:10; etc.) , forever and forever, falling deeper and deeper into the dark, bottomless abyss. The poorest of the poorest, therefore, are those poor souls who are dying unrepentently in the state of mortal sin. Both Divine Justice and social justice demand us, then, to pray, to reach out, to make sacrifices and beg God's divine mercy for them, as much as possible. Without surprise, Jesus told Bl. Sr. Faustina in a private revelation that the prayer most pleasing to Him is the prayer for the conversion of sinners and that this prayer is always heard and answered [presumably according to God's timing] (cf. The Diary of Bl. Sr. Faustina Kowalska, no. 1397). Our Heavenly Mother has been also crying out loud for these poorest of the poorest among her children (cf. here).

**** Heaven grows. It appears that our present Heaven is limited to a certain space in creation, but God "who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light" (1Tim 6:16) is everywhere living in His omnipresent Uncreated Heaven. In fact, we may say that God Himself is the omnipresent Uncreated Living Heaven. As the omnipresent Uncreated Light or Uncreated Tri-Personal Energy-Being, God's radiant Heavenly Light or Energy permeates the present universe everywhere, through and through, as its infinitely unshakable Foundation and Transformation. We may say, then, God's Uncreated (Energetic) Heaven is everywhere being the deepest layer of reality, attempting always, with our cooperation, to Energize or Heavenize the whole universe. The process of salvation may hence be also called a process of Energization or Heavenization.

This present site is dedicated to all our beloved Saints in Heaven --- as well as those sisters and brothers praying at this Perpetual Rosary site --- by © the editor of Grace Institute of the Holy Eucharist, here in Canada on All Saints Day, November 1, 1999. Praise God and all His Holy Angels and Saints. Thank you.