Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Christ Child, East and West

Subdeacon Benjamin Andersen has some interesting thoughts on the Infant Jesus of Prague.

As with any popular devotion (whether Western or Eastern), there can be unfortunate excesses. And different people may have an aversion to different forms of devotion (that's really an issue of taste and temperment, and not of dogma). But the core of the Infant Jesus devotion (the reality of the Incarnation, and the example of the Holy Family) seems to be right on target...It seems to me that in this depiction He is rather like the upright, regal, adult-looking Child Jesus of Byzantine iconography, blessing with his right hand. He's not just some ordinary cute pudgy baby: he is Christ the King, the Logos, the Power and the Wisdom of God. And of course the Child Jesus depicted in this Byzantine icon looks exactly like the Infant of Prague.
No, there are positively no similarities in these depictions:


I nearly held off on posting this until Christmas, as we are presently in Advent, the season when we contemplate the dread Second Coming of Christ and His final judgment.

Of course, there are no similarities in how we portray that, either....


In the words of Groucho Marx, "Who are you going to believe: me or your lying eyes?"

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