The Path To The Invisible
The path of the Visible to the Invisible, or as the original Latin says Per visibilia ad invisibilia is a beautiful formula scribed by Richard of St. Victor, a theologian of the 12th century, to express the means used by God to introduce man to the spiritual world. It is by the finite channel of the visible things that we are introduced to the infinite world of the invisible ones.
By making use of our five senses, we apprehend the things that belong to the material world – the visible things - that God made for us men. But we should not stop at these visible things, but rather move higher to the spiritual things, the invisible ones.
Our Holy Mother the Church, who of always a good Mother and a good Teacher is making use of the visible things in order to help Her children to reach the invisible ones, the spiritual things, that are the reserved domain of God.
As most of our knowledge is coming from seeing and hearing, the Church is making ample use of visible and audible things in order to teach us about God, especially by means of the Liturgy.
More than ever during the Liturgical Year, the Church is making ample use of these visible things, to introduce her children to the highly elevated world of the mysteries surrounding the coming of the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus-Christ. The liturgy of Advent and of the Christmas season if filled up with images that uplift our hearts and souls to the level of the mysteries contemplated this time of the year.
As this poor world is sinking deeper in materialism, which is the rejection of God, we need to make generous use of those simple means that will allow us not only to keep our heads above water, but even more, to be lifted up to the level of heavenly things.
Look at the Nativity Sets and other decorations that are filling up our church buildings during the Christmas season. Enjoy humming the Christmas carols in your hearts. With all the crazy things happening in the world, we really need to make use of these simple things to lift up our hearts and rejoice over the most important event in the world history, the Incarnation of the Only Son of God.
Father Dominique Boulet