Clothed with the Sun

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This is the 2015 theme.

Project Teams

First Event (July 26-August 1, 2015)
Second Event (August 9-15, 2015)

Notes for Teaching

The theme, "Clothed with the Sun", a reflection on human dignity, ties in with many of the current emphasi in the Church. The Extraordinary Synod on the Family 2014, the encyclical "Laudato sii" on care for creation, the 2015 Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, the 2015 synod of Bishops which will carry on the reflections of the 2014 synod... and even the preparations for World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow - a return to WYD's and theology of the Body's origins and the "original" Środowisko of JPII.

The path we will take in reflecting on one's personal dignity runs from the general to the specific:
1) accepting that reality is created and intelligible, handed to me by a Creator, and that my "being" shares its nature with other "beings";
2) understanding that human nature has a special dignity among all created beings;
3) differentiating between "male" and "female" and perceiving sexual identity as a gift;
4) accepting sexual difference as a call to communion and respecting the mystery of the nuptial destiny of the body ("vocation");
5) naming those commitments which are fundamental for my identity and allow me to live out the mystery in a concrete way;
6) my "Haecceitas" - the uniqueness one's own irreplaceable and unrepeatable identity and capacity to give.


  • Reflection -- Being
Goodness of creation. Why something instead of nothing?

All possibility for faith begins from the perspective of creation, createdness.

Belief in a Creator is the Judaic-Christian world view, space-time and matter have a point of beginning, have a story and have an eschatalogical end.

Belief in a Creator/ Creation is compatible with some ideas of evolution and space-time, creation (or intelligent design) is the prerequisite for scientific research (pre-requisite for belief in the intelligibility of nature).

Belief in a Creator/ Creation is NOT compatible with an "Eternal" world (the medieval criticism of Aristotle), it is not a fundamentalist perspective of creation in seven 24-hour days.

Many have criticized Pope Francis for issuing his encyclical letter on the care of creation, “Laudato sii”, saying that perhaps he would have done better to issue a letter on the Church’s teaching on gender or on the sacrament of marriage. Yet belief in creation, and respect for it, form the foundation for other themes such as human dignity.

Humans share the category of "being" with all other created entities. Respect for "being", acceptance of the given-ness of existence, and embracing a place in the story are the foundations for discovering our own very unique place in it.

  • Icon: Sanding and Gesso


  • Reflection -- Human Nature
What is the shared "ground" and dignity of human nature?

Reflection on the origins of the theme: “Clothed with the sun” (Rev. 12)

We are clothed by God with dignity, not deserved or earned but given, it must be received and accepted.

"All media should enhance, uphold and reflect human dignity, it should reverence the human body and the human spirit it should bring people together, it should promote the understanding of human persons and human communities and it should shed light on what makes the human person unique in all creation. Cf. Third media key: a Infinite Bandwidth

Discussion: How will we demonstrate the dignity of the human person in our use of media?

CCC 1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.

CCC 1701 […] It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.4

  • Icon: Tracing


  • Reflection -- Male/Female
What is different, how does complementarity impact our lives?
  • Icon: Basic color


  • Reflection -- Nuptiality
Chastity, tenderness, ascesis (self denial)
Ontological character of relationship
How to form right relationships.
  • Icon: Shading


  • Reflection -- Making the Gift
What is different, how does complementarity impact our lives?
Accepting those given to us (family, friends, mentors, etc.).
  • Icon: Highlights


  • Reflection -- Uniqueness
Same destination but every path is different
  • Icon: Gloss



Ecclesial Art Project

See Icons.

  • What icon will we write? The Anastasis

We've chosen to focus our retreat on one icon in particular to aid a shared reflection. The Anastasis shows the redemption of man and woman and focuses on the Resurrection of the body, tying in nicely with the theme. The figure of Christ in the Anastasis icon is "clothed with the sun", shining with glory, the same glory in the icon of the transfiguration.

  • What is the best way to mix the paints to create the skin color? Ask Britta.
  • What materials do we need?