I can't get Lent out of my head this year. Maybe it is because I'm ordered to work till 8pm on Ash Wednesday and I'll have no opportunity to get to Mass that day, I'll be lucky if I get a 30 min break all day (whose work ethic is this anyway!). This has made me even more determined to have a good Lent.
Lent must be meaningfully penitential and reflective. It is a time for frightening honesty and vulnerability. It is a time when the loneliness of Faith is at its most prominent.
Why I feel all this more keenly this year rather than any other year, I do not know. I feel ashamed of past Lents when little more than lip service was paid to the promises made on Ash Wednesday. I feel a real sense of urgency and I must pray to discern if this is real.
Find below my pre-Lent pictoral meditation. I am not being morbid and I certainly don't agree with Hobbes that the natural state of man's existence is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"; however, unless we meditate on death, judgment, heaven and hell how can we ever hope to even begin to comprehend God's mercy, how can we ever even begin to call ourselves the Easter people?
It looks like a still life but it can't have been painted as one. The flowers all come from different seasons so they can't all be in bloom at the same time: illusion and reality. What is the significance of the mouse eating the seeds from the flowers in the bottom left of the painting? What is the significance of the sturdy looking watch and its delicate ribbon?
Pretty obvious really!
However, aren't skulls amazing? They absolutely refuse to give anything away about the personality and character of their former occupier, be they sinner or saint. Just who is having the last laugh here?
Good ol'St Francis being nicey nicey and surrounded by furry and feathered friends NOT! This Fool for Christ always leaves me feeling very uncomfortable.
Dulle Griet (Mad Meg): The Horror of Conflict. All the characters are slowly drifting towards the mouth of Hell, you don't see hell's head in the left of the picture first time you look at it. Notice how the natural order has been disturbed, the mutant horrors and horrific anthropomorphism. Notice the women on the bridge valiantly fighting the soldiers with their kitchen implements. You can't miss their leader, the tragi-comic heroine of the painting. They'll never win on their own.