November 22, 2017

Daniel Jepsen: The Two Pietàs, Part 2

Yesterday’s post examined the spiritual aspect of Michelangelo’s great Roman Pietà. In particular, we noted how the two figures appear idealized [despite their sorrow], reflecting the Neo-Platonic ideals of beauty on earth reflecting God’s beauty; the beautiful figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus are echoing the beauty of the Divine. Michelangelo was not striving […]

Daniel Jepsen: The Two Pietàs, part 1

In June of 1496 a 21-year-old sculptor arrived in Rome and within a month received a commission: a statue of the Roman wine god Bacchus, for Cardinal Raffaele Riario. However, the work was rejected by the cardinal, and the young sculptor began to look for another commission. Soon the French ambassador to the Holy See, […]

Lent I: Richard Rohr on Learning How to Love

Lent I Richard Rohr on Learning How to Love During Lent, on Sundays I’d like to share some things I’ve been learning from Richard Rohr. Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in “Franciscan alternative orthodoxy,” which […]

Merton on Contemplative Prayer (3)

Hence monastic prayer, especially meditation and contemplative prayer, is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him whom we have found, who comes to us to draw us to himself. • Thomas Merton Contemplative Prayer, p. 5 • • • In chapter two of Contemplative Prayer, Thomas Merton offers some […]

Merton on Contemplation (2): Contemplative Prayer and Anfechtung

The climate in which monastic prayer flowers is that of the desert, where the comfort of man is absent, where the secure routines of man’s city offer no support, and where prayer must be sustained by God in the purity of faith. Even though he may live in community, the monk is bound to explore […]

Merton on Contemplation (1)

The curious state of alienation and confusion of man in modern society is perhaps more “bearable” because it is lived in common, with a multitude of distractions and escapes — and also with opportunities for fruitful action and genuine Christian self-forgetfulness. But underlying all life is the ground of doubt and self-questioning which sooner or […]