This is a powerful devotional study of all existing pre-Iconoclastic icons that are still readable. In "Encounters with God Sister", Wendy Beckett traveled to remote churches and monasteries to view the earliest icons of Mary. In "Real Presence", she resumes this journey to see additional early icons of Jesus and the saints - icons that are among the few to survive the wholesale destruction of icons in the early eighth century. In contrast with the familiar and magnificent icons of later history, these early icons have a haunting simplicity and unfamiliar spiritual power. They come to us from a time closer to that of Christ, when faith was still alive with wonder and possibilities, and these images, a vehicle for prayer, can truly convey his real presence. Sister Wendy journeys to the heart of the great treasure-house of pre-Iconoclastic icons at Mt. Sinai to celebrate its unique historical and spiritual value, and to reveal the spirituality and devotional practices of our ancestors. Prayerful and heartfelt, "Real Presence" offers everyone a taste of the spiritual happiness that is there for the asking, for the seeking, for attention.
Sister Wendy Beckett
Sister Wendy Beckett is the author of the internationally bestselling The Story of Painting (Dorling Kindersley, 1997) and a frequent presenter of programmes on art for the BBC. Her most recent books include The Christ Journey (2011), Real Presence (2010), Encounters with God (2009), and The Art of Christmas (2008). Formerly a Sister of Notre Dame, Sister Wendy has lived since 1970 as a contemplative nun within the grounds of a Carmelite monastery in Norfolk.
This book is descriptive and devotional...to have the whole range of these icons considered in one place is a gift indeed.
- The Church Times Books for Christmas Supplement,
Prayerful and heartfelt Real Presence engages with the spiritual imagination of the early Church, giving insight into all the emotion and drama of early Christianity, and readers will find their own faith enriched.
- Methodist Recorder, Reviewed in the Church of England Newspaper
Sister Wendy has a poets ear and writes very tenderly about the significance of these extraordinary early artefacts.
- Good Book Guide