Saturday, 19 January 2008

What a feeling.....

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.


la mamma said...

I suppose it might be because Easter (and therefore the beginning of Lent) is about as early as it can be. Our parish crib is staying up until the Feast of the Presentation - a mere three days or so before Ash Wednesday! Last year I thought it a bit odd to have the crib up for forty days but I'm loving it this year. It prolongs the joy of the Incarnation and it's a fantastic crib.

Poor you, being unable to make Mass on Ash Wednesday. I'll try to remember you and your intentions there and then.

Do yo like Marmite? I've been given an award by WSNS, for which you can consider yourself nominated if you're in the pro-Marmite camp, otherwise, don't feel obliged: it's not Lent yet!

Rita said...

Thanks for your comments and prayers.

I like Marmite though I'm not sure the way we used to eat it as students was entirely proper. A good, cheap Friday night in would be spent with my best friend, we would spend the evening listening to Tchaikovsky (her choice not mine!)and devour a whole pot of the stuff on its own. I'm sure salt highs are as wicked as any other sort of high ;-o, my poor kidneys!

I was also nominated for this award by Philip, I've been too ashamed to stick it up cos everyone I think of spreading it on to, already has it!