Megan McKenna travels the world leading retreats and workshops on Scripture, story-telling, and justice and peace. In this exquisite devotional resource, her text accompanies 21 icons of Jesus by William Hart McNichols, a Jesuit priest whose work was also the centerpiece of The Bride by Daniel Berrigan. McKenna notes at the outset: "The icon speaks and the believer reads it, just as the iconographer writes it on wood. But the language is not only theological; it is also the language of beauty, of art, and delight in matter redeemed by God in the person of Jesus Christ. It seeks to evoke a response through loveliness and gracefulness."

Although Christians in the East held to the importance of creed and doctrine, they also sought to reverence through image the mysteries of Christ's incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and enthronement in glory at the right hand of God. Or as McKenna puts it: "The icon is a mirror held before our eyes so that we can see our faces, souls, and our lives as God sees us. The experience is always truthful, faithful, and clear. The icon is a gift, the face of God, the eye of God looking back at us in compassion and clarity, demanding that we become what God dreamed us to be when we were created in the image of God."

The most arresting icons in this paperback are the ones that jolt us into a fresh awareness of the relevance of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ to the contemporary scene. Feast your eyes on these icons and let your meditation be long and deep:

  • "The Passion of Matthew Shepard" catching the agony of a young gay man murdered by those seized by hatred;

  • "Santo Mártir Rutilio Grande, S.J., con el Santo Niño de El Salvador," a portrait of Christ as a wounded child savior;

  • "Holy New Martyr Sister Mary Antoinette, Daughter of Wisdom," a martyr from the Congo.