Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ to my right, Christ to my left.
CHRIST WITHIN ME.
This icon is precisely about that last line: the fulfilment of it all, the calling of all creation, the true self of each of us: my Creator within my being.
Press your hands against your heart and feel Christ – I’ve seen the old fathers in my monastery make this gesture as they were praying the Jesus prayer. Completely unaware of what they were doing, entirely caught up in the reality of whatever they were experiencing – something almost like an unwilling confession, they were pointing to their heart as if to say: here, here is where Christ lives. I remember feeling ashamed to witness this. I remember looking down, as if trying not to stain what I was witnessing with the unworthiness of my own heart. That gesture of theirs, those fingers pressing against their chest have been with me ever since, and this icon is about THAT.
Press your hands against your heart and feel Christ. He is already there, His Kingdom has always been there. Not as a metaphor, not as a symbol, but Christ-God Himself, as real as His Body and Blood.