An essential element in the icons Brother Robert creates comes from his Franciscan roots. While each of his icons has Franciscan qualities, his Seraph on a rusted trashcan lid is completely Franciscan. Seraphim are the highest rank of angels, whose only task is to praise God ceaselessly. Depicting something as exalted as a Seraph on a rusted trashcan lid is startling. To some it might even seem blasphemous. For a Franciscan, however, rusted iron reveals God’s glory no less than gold leaf. As the iron lid rusts and returns to earth, it acquires again the rich colors of a desert canyon wall. The trash it once contained slowly becomes soil to support the miracle of new life. Surely this is part of the glory Seraphim praise, if only we had eyes to see!

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