Tag: angel

Big Blessing


It was the Big Blessing

Not just the Big Bang


And the angels sang

To behold the glory


And music rang

Silently throughout the universe


As being began

Its gradual



Joyful story.


Inspiring Art: The Book of Kells

The exuberant wild



Of God

Of human art


Where circles

Mathematically perfect


Orbit the word

With angels



Rats and cats


And the human face

Of a saviour


Twists enigmatically

Through his name.


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)


The Angels

Winged from beyond our world

what do they perceive

that we cannot see?


And how may we become like them

in our worship?




absorbed in adoration

in the deep contemplation of God


He hears the words of affirmation

what all believers may know


That change the ground of our being

root us like the tree of life

to our source in God.


John the Baptist

To reach out



Offer a vocation

For this moment


Aware that it may cost you

Your life.


The Holy Spirit

May the dove descend on each of us

spread wings within


Unfurl in a flight of grace

to transport us beyond this place.


The Pharisees

There will always be

Our opponents


Those who judge

And do not understand


The subtleties

Of the spiritual life.


The Penitent

May we like him

cast off the clothes of our culture


And in nakedness

plunge into the baptism


Of mind

Of heart

And of soul.


unfurl AOC