The cross, once a mark of infamy, came to symbolize divine triumph over the wise of this world. By Christ taking the path of greatest resistance, a spiritual crossover was made. To the befuddlement of many, the cross brings to the center those normally on the edge of society. The cross allows them to be the first to “get” Christ. In the words of Luke, “what you [God] have hidden from the wise, you have revealed to the merest children” (Lk 10:21). God’s path of passover indeed is puzzling.
In our contemporary environment there are many images that are cross-wise or intuitively attuned to the Christian message. Being “on to” the cross is somewhat like mysteriously, even playfully engaging a crossword puzzle, but here its networked letters communicate the length and breadth of a human-divine relationship in flux. The artists in this exhibition come from a variety of religious traditions. Each explores in his or her unique way and chosen medium how Christ’s cross has become a universal symbol of humanity at odds with itself. To negotiate the crossroad, each artist finds visual nourishment and energy in what many envision as a new tree of life staring down not only death but also infamy.
- James Raymond Blaettler, SJ