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Pentecost: A Beautiful Illumination. Does your heart long for beauty?

On first sight of this painting, my heart skipped a beat and caught my breath for just a few moments. This has only ever happened to me once before, in Rome at the Northern Gate, at the church just inside the gate on the right hand side. It was there that we were blessed to join in the celebration of a Baptism.

There,  I came upon a painting of Our Lady at the Annunciation and its beauty brought me to tears in an instant. The shadow of the Divine was in that painting……..just as it is here in this one. I felt it at the core of my being.

I am an artist in waiting , painting and creating along the journey of Life. Searching for the Divine in the beauty of Christian art. This is one example of just one of those paintings. The exciting thing is that there is much beauty to discover and reflect upon. (This is one endeavour on my bucket list)

In her post, Elizabeth Scalia praises the merits of the little publication MAGNIFICAT. Not only does this reach out to adults but to children also. Take a peek at MAGNIFIKID . The slogan for the Magnifikid copy is encouraging: ‘To bring the Mass and prayer closer to the children’.

By Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)

I first saw this beautiful painting and the reflection when visiting the blog CATHOLIC PURE AND SIMPLE

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Sometimes the heart just longs for beauty. June’s cover of Magnificat Magazine took my breath away. That’s “Pentecost” an illumination from a book of Hours from the 16th Century, and this is what Pierre-Marie Dumont writes of it:

Shown at prayer, Mary intercedes for her “daughter” [the church] at the moment of her birth at Pentecost, just as she will constantly intercede for her to the end of time. Kneeling in the right foreground is Saint Peter, the first pope, wearing the mozetta in cloth of gold. Opposite him is Saint John, a handsome reddish-blond young man. In the middle ground, between Mary and Peter, stands Saint James. The first bishop of the Church, in the see of Jerusalem, he is recognizable by his ermine mozetta, symbol of the episcopacy. In a most stunning way, all are clad in white. For, at Pentecost, the Apostles underwent a kind of baptism. Like catechumens, they have cast off their old clothes to be robed anew in white. Through this divestiture and reclothing, the artist seeks to express a radical change in function and vocation; to receive this immaculate uniform is a royal, priestly and prophetic investiture. But further, the artist represents a gathering in the Upper Room where all are clothed in “dazzling white” (Luke 9:29) just as Christ at the Transfiguration…the miniaturist here offers us a vision of the glory of the Church, encapsulating at the same time both its divine origins as well as its fulfillment as the Body of Christ.

I love it. And for me the Magnificat is invaluable.

Picturing Pentecost.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. I found this beautiful picture of  Pentecost on the Magnificat page on Facebook.

This illustration of the Pentecost is a detail from “The Seven Joys of Mary,” an oil on wood created around 1480 by Hans Memling (c. 1430 – 1494). Copyright by La Collection / Artothek.

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All of the illustrations in Magnificat’s  book “The Seven Joys of Mary” are taken from Hans Memling’s painting. The book features meditations on our Blessed Mother’s seven joys by Magnificat senior editor, Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P. The foreword was penned by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston.

  • A profound and lively reflection on the Seven Joys of Mary: the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Epiphany, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, and the Assumption.
  • A contemplation of the mysteries of Christ’s life, the Church, and the Sacraments, through Mary’s joys, superbly accompanied through the lens of sacred art.
  • An ideal gift for Catholics and for those who wish to understand the mystery of our own salvation. Well suited for adult catechetical instruction and RCIA.
Already on my wishlist.
CELPentecost[1]

The magnificence of Pentecost.

 

Jean Restout

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Soul of my soul, I love You and adore You!

Teacher of all truth who searches the deep things of God:
In the face of my hostility to the truth,
You have the power to sting the conscience
With your healing power,
Open up today, again, the floodgates of holy tears,
Let compunction flow in this barren heart,
In this love parched world,
In the hearts of all who long for freedom from sin.

Lord and Giver of Life,
Time is short, the hour is late, and judgment certain:
I beg for the gift of repentance
That I and all those threatened
By the power of death,
Might never again forsake the pathway of life.
Help me scrutinize my whole way of life
In the light of the Gospel.
Help me die to myself that I might live
No longer my own life,
But the Life of Christ in me.

Sanctifying Gift of God,
You are constantly coming
Into the innermost depths of my being:
In ever new and more wondrous ways,
Inebriate me again in Your Love!

Breath of God who sweeps over Creation,
Your presence transforms the heart into paradise
And you constantly fill our inner poverty
With such inexhaustible riches.
Even more, You never cease
To allure us out of self-occupation
And into that sacred silence
Where the Word, who makes all things new, resounds:
As You enter ever deeper into my misery,
Lead me deeper and deeper into the heart of Divine Mercy.

Fire of Love,
Ignite holy affections in the deep places of my heart
that I might never be indifferent to the plight of my neighbor
Or fail to seek forgiveness from those I have wronged,
Or delay in offering forgiveness for those debts I can relieve.
Left to myself, I do not have the power
To forgive or forget an offense,
And in the effort to love as I have been loved,
I feel my weakness and inadequacy all the time.
But you constantly teach me compassion and intercession:
Help me submit my brokenness and sorrow to you.

You who covered the Son with transfiguring brightness,
Illumine our darkness with the radiance of Christ,
In the midst of crisis, help us overcome anxiety and insobriety,
In the midst of disaster, free us from all despondency and sinful anger,
That all those who suffer and are burdened might keep their eyes fixed
On the One who has triumphed over sin and death,
Who alone can lead us to the victory of good over evil.

You who overshadowed the Virgin Mary:
Pierce me with the love of the Father revealed by Christ Crucified,
Lift up my heart with the praise of the Only Begotten Son
In whom the Father is well-pleased,
Enflame me with the prayers of the Risen Lord in bold confidence
For the salvation of the world!

Most High and Glorious God,
I promise to be obedient, teachable, surrendered, and abandoned
In everything you permit to happen to me:
Only let me know your holy and true will.

Amen.

Written by - thoelogy teacher.

Mary our Mother.

Image @imva.info

We need to give special honor to Mary who is not only the Mother of our Lord, but our Mother as well.

In the Gospel of John, we listen to Jesus’ words as He hung upon the Cross: “Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother’” (Jn 19:27).  Jesus was speaking to John at that point, but it is commonly understood that John stands in proxy for us.  That is to say, in speaking to John, Jesus was speaking to all disciples when He pointed to His Mother and said, “Behold, your mother.”  And so, Mary is our Mother.  The Mother of the Head (Jesus) is also the Mother of the Body (us), and as John took Mary into her home, we must take her into our hearts.

Like all mothers, Mary gives us life.  By the sin of Eve, death was brought into the world.  By her obedience, Mary brought life into the world making it possible for life to be restored to our souls.  That’s why we say that Mary is our Mother in the order of grace (Lumen Gentium, 61).  Mary gave the world not just life, but Him who is Life itself.

Like all mothers, Mary is a teacher.  When she said “yes” to the angel Gabriel’s message, she taught us how to have faith.  She taught us the importance of obedience to the will of God.  She taught us that we must always be willing to say “yes” to God even when we might not understand what He is asking of us.  She taught us that being humble doesn’t mean that you are weak.  In fact, it takes great strength to live a humble life.

Like all mothers, Mary guides us along the right path.  At the wedding in Cana (John 2), when they ran out of wine, it was Mary who brought this problem to Jesus.  Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Mary’s whole purpose is to guide us to Jesus.  This is why we draw close to Mary – she will always bring us to Jesus.

In 2006, Pope Benedict explained to the world Mary’s role as mother and teacher:

In the days that followed the Lord’s Resurrection, the Apostles stayed together, comforted by Mary’s presence, and after the Ascension they persevered with her in prayerful expectation of Pentecost.  Our Lady was a mother and teacher to them, a role that she continues to play for Christians of all times.

Every year, at Eastertide, we relive this experience more intensely and perhaps, precisely for this reason, popular tradition has dedicated to Mary the month of May that normally falls between Easter and Pentecost.  Consequently, this month…helps us to rediscover the maternal role that she plays in our lives so that we may always be docile disciples and courageous witnesses of the Risen Lord.

May we allow Mary to be our Mother so that she can nurture, teach, and guide us on the way to Salvation.

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