“Man is made in the ‘Beautiful’ Image of God.” are the words inscribed at the bottom of the painting you see here by ‘Rose Nadeau’. (www.jesusandmaryssingingmessenger.com )
In this present day ‘Culture of Death’ it is of paramount importance to stress that man, both ‘born’ and ‘the unborn’ in the womb, is made in the ‘Beautiful’ Image of God.
“Man both ‘born’ and ‘the unborn in the womb’ is made in the Image of God.”
The painting, by an amateur painter and friend of mine, ‘Rose’, gives us in all its simplicity and beauty, the most critically important message that the world needs to hear today, within this ‘Culture of Death’: a message of LIFE. This painting was the result of a short hospital stay by Rose just recently wherein she experienced the ‘love and kindness’of the hospital nurses and staff. She wrote a ‘Thank You’ letter and drew this painting for them.
God made each one of us ‘Beautiful’ as Rose says in her painting, and we are beautiful inside and out. And this includes the ‘Downs Syndrome’ unborn child, the ‘spina bifida’ unborn child, the ‘unwanted’ unborn child, the ‘child of rape’, the ‘imperfect baby’. the disabled and the elderly, etc…
In Genesis 1:27-28, God said: “And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.”
God’s command to Adam and Eve was very clear: “increase and multiply and fill the earth”. Today man is doing the opposite of God’s command: man is killing the inhabitants of the earth even before they are born with a deadly selfish obsession.
This painting and the explanation of it from the painter illustrate God’s view of each one of us, His creatures. Like the ‘Rose’ we are ‘Beautiful’ because we are created ‘in the image of God’.
The painting shows at the top left the ‘sun’ pouring out it precious light and heat unto God’s creation. In full centre is the ‘Rose’ in all its beauty and splendour. The Rose is known to all as the ‘symbol’ of ‘Love’. To the right is a woman with her hands clasped in ‘prayer’.
The only person missing here is ‘Adam’. As ‘Genesis 2:21-23: “Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it.  And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam.  And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”
God created them ‘Adam and Eve’ and not “Adam and Steve’ and said to them: “increase and multiply and fill the earth” (cf: Genesis 1:27-28)
Today man is doing the total opposite to God’s command in Genesis 1:27-28. Man is obsessed and possessed with a selfish determination to reduce the population of the earth
To near extinction through contraception, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, etc…
My friend ‘Rose’ shared with me her story behind the painting. The whole world needs to hear her message, a profound message of the ‘Gospel of Life’ expressed in her painting.
In Rose’s own words:
“My original painting last night did not have the girl with her hands folded in prayer. She was just a beautiful girl, a beautiful girl reflecting the image of a beautiful rose. Then this morning when I went to Mass I began to say my ‘Angelus’ prayer. ( cf: http://www.fisheaters.com/angelus.html ) As I looked at the painting of the Angelus, the writing beneath the painting said it was one of the world’s most popular paintings.
I began a reflection, asking myself why it was so popular. To me it just looked like a man and a woman stopping their daily routine of work at midday to pray. ‘Big deal’, some would say. Well, it is a big deal when so many people in our world work and never stop to give God the ‘thanks and recognition’ He deserves for creating us and providing for us.
Because they stopped to give honour to their Creator who created them is a big deal. That is why the painting of the ‘Angelus’ became so popular.
“They were doing a simple yet profound thing, they were praying, praying.”
A simple everyday working class people like the rest of most of humanity they stopped to do what they were created to do. To give honour and glory to God, their Creator. To give Him their thanks and praise.
We are created to be a people of prayer, to give thanks to God for the beauty of life, for the beauty of Creation and for the beauty of each human being born in His image and likeness, to love Him, to know Him and to serve Him.
I then rushed home knowing I had missed the most important part of this painting. It is not the beautiful Rose so much, nor the beautiful woman/man. It was a woman/man of ‘prayer’ that makes us beautiful inside out.
“It was a woman/man of ‘prayer’ that makes us beautiful inside out.”
So I placed a set of praying hands on the girl I painted and stood back and took one last glance and said it is now complete.” (End of Rose’s sharing.)
I will now give my reflection regards the painting and what Rose has shared with us. To me, two vitally important things stand out. First, we are ‘Beautiful’ as Rose said, because we are made in the ‘Beautiful’ image of God. Each and every one of us is so precious to God. Secondly, it was a woman/man of ‘prayer’ that makes us beautiful ‘inside out’ as Rose said.
This present world is starving for ‘true love’. It is looking for love in all the wrong places, especially those who are ‘sex-obsessed’. True love is found only in God through His only Son, Jesus Christ and in each one of us human beings, who through our ‘baptism’ have become His children and have freely chosen to follow Him and obey and live out His desires, not ours. This ‘true love’ we will have forever if we obey God’s Commandments.
He tells us in His Word:
And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?  Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:16-17)
Prayer and a life of obedience to God’s Commandments is what enables us to become loving, to become holy, as He is Holy. Our loving presence in this ‘Culture of Death’ will bring the ‘Culture of Life’ to so many unloved people out there in the world. Let us pray and pray and love and love and become like that beautiful Rose, that beautiful human being…let us become a ‘Beautiful Rose’ among the thorns.
Donald Andre Bruneau.