Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day Thirty-Seven Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century / A Lenten Journey

Day Thirty-Seven Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     

                                                                     Day Thirty-Seven

Wednesday of Holy Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 35-40 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Mother Mary pray with us to your loving Son, that God's Will on earth be done."

First Meditation

Look at this picture.  What do you think is going on here?  Meditate upon what you imagine.

Second Meditation

This picture was painted by a Dominican Friar in 1450; he is known as Fra Angelico. Fra is colloquial for friar and since he painted like an angel, he was called Fra Angelico. The painting itself is called the Mocking of Christ. Jesus is seated on a raised dais and red box, meant to mock a king's throne.  Green curtains usually meant the figure was in glory and used as a backdrop in this painting highlights Christ as the central figure.  Jesus is blindfolded as he was when taunted by the high priest, but we viewers can see that Jesus' eyes are closed in humiliation.  Jesus holds a reed instead of a scepter, and a stone in place of an orb.  Disembodied hands slap Him and a scorner spits in His Holy Face.  But take heart.  Jesus' white robe and the cross of the
Resurrection in His halo promise us that He will triumph no matter how abased He may seem at this moment.
     But there is more to the painting.  Just as you are gazing upon the picture, so are Mary, His Mother, and Saint Dominic.  Mary can't bear to look.  She is suffering also.  St. Dominic, who of course, wasn't physically present when Jesus suffered, can only read, study, and meditate, like us.  St. Dominic, however, founds an Order of Prechers, who go out into the world, and bring the story of Jesus--the good News.  Remember that Fra Angelico is one of Saint Dominic's sons and is preaching through his art.
     The beauty of the scene lies in Jesus.  All around Jesus are images abstracted in their disembodiment.  Fra Angelico makes your eyes travel through a curve of space to return to the middle--Jesus.  Is this not what you see?  Is this not how you contemplate -- finally settling down to the center--Jesus?

Third Meditation

Meditate upon how fast the world turns.  Sunday, Jesus was greeted with a parade of honor.  Friday the people will be shouting, "Crucify Him!"  How quickly can circumstances change -- not only material wealth can be lost, but so can reputations, loves, lives, all are fleeting.  Pray asking Mary that no matter what becomes of you that she keep you close to Jesus, for that's all that matters.  Everything can be taken away from you, but not your faith.

Now end the day with the prayer, " Where Mary is, there is her Son.  I love You, Jesus. Amen"

End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

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