… So I had these long posts written out about same-sex “marriage” and then another regarding washing the feet of girls by the pope and I realized neither one of those posts was the least bit edifying. Controversial maybe, good for getting people riled up, great for page views… but nothing really to lift the spirit. So I nixed them both. I came to this decision after spending time looking online for a nice Visual Treat to share with you for Good Friday. Looking at art renderings of scenes from the crucifixion kind helped put that in perspective. So yeah.
Getting back to the important things today…
Gaudenzio Ferrari c. 1513
The bad thief who doesn’t make it to paradise. We may never hear about Hell any more in our sermons but at least we have art to remind us it’s very real.
Mary Magdalene, my patron saint, clutching the cross and why I chose her as my saint. Not because she overcame some scandalous past, though that part is fitting, but because she is always depicted in art clutching after Christ… almost desperately.
With Christ in the middle of the chaos surrounded by grieving angels…
and such a look of peaceful, surrendering countenance.
Now this particular fresco, covers a large dividing wall so right at the viewer’s eye level is this guy … staring back and pointing to Christ as if to say, behold, He died because of you and for you.
And he’s right, you know. In Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion, Gibson used his own hand to hold the nail being driven into Christ. He did so to illustrate his responsibility, as a sinner, for Christ dying on the cross. In the Isenheim Altarpiece painted by Matthias Grünewald, Christ is depicted with the same skin condition the patients of the hospital suffered from, plague scars and ergotism [also referred to as St. Anthony's fire].
He took our sufferings and sins onto the cross with Him. And meditating on that for any length of time removes all desire for me to publish controversial subject matter on the day of His redemptive sacrifice. If I sound ashamed of myself it’s because I am. Over the past few days I’ve engaged in some not so edifying conversations and various bits of calumny on facebook and in private email exchanges. Gossip. And this gossip just fed my own doubts and struggles and probably infected others who read them with doubt as well. At least I hope it didn’t. I pray it didn’t. Words are powerful and I need to constantly remind myself of that in this medium. My words, if not carefully chosen, can be driving nails as well.
At the end of the day, at the end of our lives, we are judged by every deed and word we said. Every. Single. One.