August 17, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
I read an interesting article on icons some years ago. It is important to understand these images that come from the Eastern tradition and contain in themselves its whole theology. For example, the clothing of Jesus and Mary shows the colors red and blue, but they are reversed in that Jesus usually has a red tunic and a blue mantle while Our Lady usually has a blue dress and a red mantle. Why, you might ask? Red symbolizes divinity, while blue is a symbol of humanity. In this way, it can be said that Jesus is God made man, while Our Lady instead is a human creature who has been in a certain sense divinized.
As another example, while Jesus is represented with His feet uncovered, placed directly on the earth, Our Lady wears shoes placed lightly on her feet. This expresses the concept that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, true man like us in all things except sin, while Our Lady is a human creature through and through because by supernatural grace and her faithful response to grace she is raised above the earth.
Truly, icons are wonderful works of art. Some have called them “windows into heaven” because they so clearly express spiritual and theological truths and become schools of Christian learning.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.