Friday, November 28, 2008


The ear is as symbol of the betrayal of Christ. At Easter we will be reminded of this in the telling of telling of the story of how Peter took a sword and cut off the ear of one of the soldiers that came to arrest Jesus.

At St. Rose’s on Cleveland’s East side there was a giant eye painted in the ceiling. I think that it has since been painted over. Unfortunate. Anyway, it was painted around a light fixture so that the iris was actually a light bulb. They eye represents our omnipotent, omnipresent God Who sees and knows of all that we do. The eye surrounded by a triangle is used both to represent the Trinity and in some cases only God the Father. Surrounded by a circle with rays it suggests “the infinite holiness of the Triune God.” Saint Lucy is often seen holding platter with eyes on it. Sometimes in statues they look more like olives. This is in reference to the story that she tore out her eyes to dissuade a suitor that would not stop pressing his suit for her. Eyes are particularly important in Iconography as they become the windows to heaven.


Anonymous said...

When teaching Catechism to third graders, I have an "all seeing eye." Whenever the kids get out of hand--I pull out the eye, on bright yellow paper, and hold it up--then the kids know that someone is getting close to going to the office--they quiet down immediately. Most years all I have to do is just mention the eye, and they immediately become quiet. This year--however, I have the best class ever--no need for the eye.

Deacon Bill Burns said...

Perhaps that eye in the triangle looked a little too masonic. As you describe, it sounds exactly like the image on the back of a dollar bill (which is frequently attributed to masonic sources).

Anonymous said...

Theocoid: But the eye was not meant to be a masonic symbol. There is a lot of history just on the dollar bill, especially the way the eagle is facing.

It is too bad that some symbols are lost or painted over. Of course, I never knew the meaning or symbolism behind the Jesse tree either.