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A Man in the Wrong Suit

A reflection by Anne-Marie Bos, a Carmelite sister of the Dutch Province.

John Dons, an inmate who had to portray the camp-leaders, also made drawings of a few of his fellow-inmates. The drawing he made of Titus became famous and in it we see Titus as John Dons pictured him: a man in the wrong suit.

It doesn’t fit at all.
He has accepted it
and made it his own with his watch and his pencil,
that doesn’t seem to belong to this soldier’s garment.
On this garment his number, 58,
and the triangle, red as a sign of political inmate.
His famous lock is shaved.

Also in this face of Titus I see different expressions.
I see sadness in his face, but also a small smile.
The right and the left side of the face differ.
When I look at his eyes,
I see that he is looking and not-looking at the same time.
As if he is staring at something beyond, at a far horizon.
It seems like he is knowing.
His firm fist on the table presents determinedness.
His mouth is closed, and shows a tension.

I see that he is looking friendly, mild,
but also determined and with a concern.
He shows compassion.

Time after time, my eyes are drawn to his eyes.
I see sovereignty, mercy, kindness, compassion.
Looking at this face, makes me calm.
In this drawing, Titus is personal and close-by.
Like he is listening with attention, with compassion.

At the same time, the picture screams silence:
silence and simplicity.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."