22 June 2008

You are what you... think

A person not only reflects what is contemplated but becomes what is contemplated. While contemplating we become transformed into the image we contemplate.

This is a concept whose profound truth we are perhaps better able to grasp today. If at one time, at the beginning of scientific materialism, it was said that 'a person is what he or she eats,' now, in a culture wholly dominated by images and visual communication , it can be said that 'a person is what he or she looks at.'

An image has the power to penetrate not only the body but even the soul through the imagination.The eye is the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22), but it is also the doorway to the soul.

Therefore, the apostle (St. Paul) says that in contemplating Christ we become like him, we conform ourselves to him. We are allowed access to his world, his purposes, his sentiments, so that we can imprint them on ourselves; so that we can substitute his thoughts, his purposes and his sentiments for ours; so that we can make ourselves like him.

Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap.
The Mystery of the Transfiguration

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