©Michele L. Catanese
Note: Next post will be April 10, at the beginning of Holy Week.
1. This is one of my photos, taken in Big Bend National Park, west TX. It is a small offshoot of the Rio Grande. I chose this photo because it reminded me of the living water offered by Jesus to the Samaritan woman. There was a tremendous amount of wildlife at this stream; therefore, that it was life-giving was obvious to me. It also reminded me of the place on the Jordan River in Israel where Jesus was said to have been baptized by John, hence a connection with waters of Baptism.
2. This is another of my photos, and yes, that is Jacob's Well, the very well where Jesus sat with the Samaritan woman and had the dialogue in which He offered her Living Water. While it does not look like much, it still works; we put the bucket down and drew up water.
3. This is a painting called The Sower by Vincent Van Gogh (1888). I love the prominence of the sun in the center of this painting. It is as if God is sending down the rays of His grace which nourish the crops that the man is sowing. The entire work seems to be bathed in that yellow hue. He sows and perhaps someone else will reap, but it cannot be complete without God's grace. I find this painting to be rather joyous. Maybe it is just me, but if you look really closely at the sower's face, there is more than just the hint of a smile. For a closer look and more information, click here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sower_-_painting_by_Van_Gogh.jpg
4. This is called The Healing of a Blind Man, painted by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308-11). I chose it because of the crowds standing behind Jesus who are observing the healing of this man. Presumably some of the people in the crowd are the disciples of Jesus, but some may be townspeople who are observing the compassion of Jesus for the first time. We can imagine some of those people might have been so affected at what they saw and heard that they went on to share their new faith with others. It might be good to reflect upon this painting, putting oneself into that crowd to experience it for ourselves. http://www.artbible.info/art/large/795.html
5. This is the Raising of Lazarus by Giotto (1304-06). This is one of the many works of Giotto that are in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. I chose this because one can see Martha and Mary as well as some apostles who are witnessing Lazarus as he emerged from the tomb. Some fall at the feet of Jesus, in glorifying God, and others stand in awe of what they are witnessing. It is clearly a moment that depicts the last verse of the passage mentioned above, saying that many came to believe because of what they saw Jesus do. https://www.wikiart.org/en/giotto/raising-of-lazarus
6. This is a portrait of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo. I chose it because he is clearly at prayer, seemingly with the native people who appear behind him in his heart and mind. One could also presume that he might be saying Mass for them, since he seems to be standing before an altar. Either way, I liked the fact that he is shown here with the people he was so passionate in defending and evangelizing. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-turibius-of-mogrovejo/
You can find more here, too: http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/turibius-of-mongrovejo/
For those of you who use Magnificat for prayer, you can find a piece on St. Turibius at the end of the March issue.
7. & 8. These icons are both the work of Fr. William Hart McNichols. The first one is Santa Rosa Patroness of the Americas. I chose this icon because I love that she is standing upon the earth, upon the Americas, as if interceding for her people and all those who call upon her. That everything is tinged in rose hues says to me that her prayers affect many, (not to mention that it is her name). One does not know who she may have touched or how our imitation of her work for the poor might touch those who we may not even realize. You can purchase a copy at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-santa-rosa-patroness-of-the-americas-166-william-hart-mcnichols.html
The second icon is San Martin De Porres. I chose this because I love his humility. The lemon, for me, is new life and upon seeing the icon this time, it seems as if he is offering a new gift through his intercession. Perhaps we can ask him to intercede for us, for whatever needs healing within us so that we might in turn bring that healing gift to others. He has sown the seed of that lemon and perhaps we can reap it and then share. You can purchase a copy of this icon, or search Fr. Bill's site for many other wonderful icons at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/san-martin-de-porres-213-william-hart-mcnichols.html