Ruberval Monteiro da Silva, OSB, is a Brazilian monk living and teaching at a pontifical university in Rome. His art and murals can be found in his home country and throughout Latin America and Europe. This month’s cover image, Stelliferi conditor orbis (Creator of the Star-Bearing Heavens), is painted in one of the chapels of a community of Benedictine sisters in Amandola, Italy. This means that relatively few people have seen the image in person—a shame, one might say, given its beautiful geometric design and intense colors.
“I love this Father’s face!” Fr. Ruberval exclaimed in our correspondence regarding this image. I had initially assumed the image to be the face of Christ, so I was intrigued to discover that he intended it to represent the face of the Creator surrounded by the stars of heaven. The Latin title comes from a poetic text in The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius (also known as Blessed Severinus Boethius), praising the architect of the universe—who alone preserves all things in order—while also questioning why that very God also refuses to restrain the unjust deeds of human beings.
We too may ask the same question, especially amid the chaos that exists in our world at times. Why does our free will to choose between good and evil so often go wrong? St. Paul was clear about the paradox of the human condition: “I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want” (Rom 7:19). As we ponder the face of the Creator, we pray that God, whom we also know as the Immortal Three-in-One, will grant us the grace always to choose mercy, love, justice, and right.