Faith and Mosaics

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The Srodowisko's events in Summer 2012 focused on "Faith and Mosaics."

Project Teams

First Event (July 8-14, 2012)
Winged Man
Second Event (July 29-August 4, 2012)
Third Event (August 12-15, 2012)
Creator: The Life of Greg
Redeemer: ...or God?
Sanctifier: From Failure to Faith



Mosaics are an ancient form of art, often used to decorate the interiors of churches. The brilliant colors of the byzantine basilicas have endured for centuries. As a form of art, a mosaic not only reflects truth in the image it portrays, but also by the tecnique through which the image is brought about. Mosaics illustrate many things: the one and the many, beauty from brokenness, the importance of little things, the value of shattered pieces... the list can go on. The shards placed side by side show once again that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that a master artist has a design to bring that which is fragmented into a new relationship with other pieces to reflect in faith the light of love. The story of salvation is a story of paradox. The stone which the builders reject becomes the cornerstone. What looks like our greatest failure is often our moment of redemption. Faith sees the hidden pattern behind the pieces. The Cross (death and destruction) and the Resurrection (eternal life in love) are inseparable.

Each negative moment of life (a humiliation, an unfulfilled desire, a broken heart, etc.) can be turned into something positive when it's united to the cross of Christ.


Fr. M. Rupnik is a mosaic artist. He talks about holding the charcoal to design a mosaic. Charcoal is carbon--a substance capable of becoming a diamond. He reflects upon the pieces that make a mosaic. They were once broken or discarded; only love reveals their mystery. The mystery of brokenness and suffering leads either to despair or to faith: faith that God allows suffering for the growth and triumph of love.

"An impoverished rock--thrown in an unknown corner of the world and rejected--is nevertheless a precious rock, and it waits for someone to take it with love. It is necessary to listen to the rock, to feel it. You should not hit the rock with violence nor impose your will upon it; otherwise, it will close itself like a clam." -- Fr. M. Rupnik

Choose a cross you have known and write the story. Identify the suffering, death, and resurrection.


Jean Vanier talks about the truth of the Gospel: Jesus comes for broken people, not just giving them things, but giving them himself, sharing his life. We are limited and need one another's gifts. Simple people with learning disabilities often have a gift for relationships and faith. Complex people with busy lives often struggle with hope. We need each other.

Think of someone in your life who has been forgotten or has been broken by physical or emotional suffering. On the back of this page, write down the name of that person and do something for him or her today, like saying a prayer or writing a letter.


We receive our lives like a mystery puzzle piece, in some ways already formed. We did not choose our parents, our genetics, our homelands... In other ways we are being formed - by life's surprises and losses. Whether we become part of something greater than ourselves depends on our freedom. Can I trust God to place me in His mosaic?

Go within yourself. Go down the ladder of your own being until you discover -- like a seed buried in the broken, ploughed earth of your own vulnerability -- the presence of Jesus, the light shining in the darkness. (from The Broken Body by Jean Vanier)

How is my life a gift? How can I live it as a gift?


As individual mosaic pieces are bonded together to create a symbol of faith, so God bonds us together in the Church. In the Body of Christ, we are called to authentic love, to honoring others in our thoughts, to helping each other live virtues that make the whole Body stronger. Chastity is all about developing our capacity for life-giving love so that we don't use others. The proper context for the most intimate physical bond is a life-long commitment between husband and wife. If we bond and break too many times, the power to bond decreases, joy decreases, and family life becomes fragile.

"[The] dignity and balance [of human life] depend (...) on who she will be for him, and he for her." - Pope John Paul II, 8 October 1980

Loving rightly now gives freedom to make the bigger decisions that come with each new stage of life. Take some time today to pray about and write your own commitment to God and to your future.


The communion of Saints teaches us that healing and happiness are made possible by striving for holiness, by living life in a way pleasing to God. Faith tells us that the saints are also present now to help us on our way to heaven. Brokenness is not the point; wholeness is.

By his broken body, we, the body of humanity, are made whole, whoever we are and wherever we are, whatever our doubts or shame, our turmoil or anger. We are healed and can come together in the fullness of the Body of Christ. (from The Broken Body by Jean Vanier)

Who are the saints to whom I turn? Which saint has chosen me?

Ecclesial Art

See Mosaics.