Tag: angel

Journey Through The Darkness

I journeyed through the dark streets

through many days of advent 

And arrived at a place

of still greater darkness 

And in the darkness there came a vision

It was not the brightness of Christmas lights

 

Or the glory of angels

But the communication of God

 

Pregnant with meaning

wrapped in a newborn babe. 

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Inspiring Art: The Book of Kells

The exuberant wild

Creativity

.

Of God

Of human art

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Where circles

Mathematically perfect

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Orbit the word

With angels

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Moths

Rats and cats

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And the human face

Of a saviour

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Twists enigmatically

Through his name.

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The “Chi Rho” page of the Book of Kells – opening words to Matthew 1.18 – “XRI B GENERATIO”
  • The two moths can be found top left
  • There are three angels down the side of the left-hand letter
  • The rats and cats are near the bottom
  • The “face of a saviour” is easier to spot, part of the spiral of what looks like a “p” [Greek “rho”]

Inspiring Paintings: “The Baptism of Christ”, Piero Della Francesca

Piero’s painting hangs in the National Gallery in London:

There is a beauty to the stillness of the figures, to the depth of this vision of heaven-on-earth, to the beautiful colours (look at the rainbow effect of the angel’s wing on the left-hand side, for example).

It is the moment when Jesus hears the words “You are my beloved”. John the Baptist hardly seems to dare to touch Jesus’ body, his approach is so reverent. The dove of the Spirit hovers as if it were a cloud and completely naturally part of the scene.

In the background someone else is getting ready to be baptised. It is the everyday action of getting undressed. Is this humanity in general? (we cannot see the face of an individual as it is hidden by his clothes).

Also in the background are the religious authorities of the day, in their fine robes (compare with Jesus’ near-naked body) and tall hats. They are dressed with the robes of status. But Jesus identifies with our basic humanity – “a poor, bare, forked animal” as Shakespeare describes us in King Lear.

The following sequence was inspired by this painting:

The Baptism of Christ (I)

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The Angels

Winged from beyond our world

what do they perceive

that we cannot see?

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And how may we become like them

in our worship?

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Christ

Praying

absorbed in adoration

in the deep contemplation of God

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He hears the words of affirmation

what all believers may know

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That change the ground of our being

root us like the tree of life

to our source in God.

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John the Baptist

To reach out

Tentatively

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Offer a vocation

For this moment

.

Aware that it may cost you

Your life.

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The Holy Spirit

May the dove descend on each of us

spread wings within

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Unfurl in a flight of grace

to transport us beyond this place.

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The Pharisees

There will always be

Our opponents

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Those who judge

And do not understand

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The subtleties

Of the spiritual life.

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The Penitent

May we like him

cast off the clothes of our culture

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And in nakedness

plunge into the baptism

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Of mind

Of heart

And of soul.

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unfurl AOC

Tell us truths we do not dare to hear

A proud mind

            will not converse

                        with an angel

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Invents rules instead

             for the strictest observance

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Yet not even the humblest of souls

            will know the stranger

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Who visits as a spirit

            tells us truths we do not dare to hear.

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Image by luciezofkova from Pixabay