When I cannot pray

“There are many times when I cannot pray, when I am too tired to read the gospels, too restless to have spiritual thoughts, too depressed to find words for God, or too exhausted to do anything.  But I can still look at these images [icons] so intimately connected with the experience of love.”  (Henri Nouwen, Beholding the Beauty of  the Lord)66845410dadc4cf70d49ca24ec190044

Being well fed

“The contemplation of great pictures gives us a grateful sense of being well fed.  We want to say some sort of grace . . . [A picture] has to be contemplated with the mind and the heart.  It has to be savored, played with, patiently and acutely analyzed, if it is to yield the food of its meaning.”  (John Drury)

Fall (Jasper Johns)

Fall (Jaspers Johns)

 

Mercy Seat (Makoto Fujimura)

Mercy Seat (Makoto Fujimura)

 

Silver upon silver

Mako Fujimura’s comments on this piece entitled Mercy Seat:

Mercy Seat (Makoto Fujimura)

” . . . Mercy Seat is made up of two layers of silver.  The under layer is intentionally oxidized and tarnished, so it is turning black.  The layer on top is untarnished silver.  Both of these layers are tarnishing but at different speeds.  The two layers create a tension in time. Because silver symbolizes death and beauty, beauty in death, I am always conscious of the 30 pieces of silver for which Christ was betrayed.  There is also a redemptive story about Jeremiah buying a field for 30 pieces of silver.  This was a Messianic prophecy about the sacrifice and mercy of God.  Silver has this unusual and rich layering of meaning.  This gives you that glimpse into our own hearts.  Because our hearts are so black, without God’s mercy.” (from James Romaine, Objects of Grace)

The constant ballet of the sun

“February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.”