Wednesday, August 16, 2023

An Anniversary, an Exhibition, and a Feast Day!

We just celebrated 29 years of marriage--that's half my life! I'm often amazed at how much more we are in love now and I must admit that it is supernatural. We've been together for a long time and the first decade before marriage was unholy. Yet, where sin abounded, grace did more abound (Rom 5:20). It is truly the grace of God that has brought us where we are, in love with Him and each other. Sunday Mass was offered for our intentions--the most precious gift we can give to each other. But we enjoy the many gifts the world offers as well and enjoyed our fish tacos at Taco Boy, beer for Michael and a hibiscus margarita for me.

We went to Sistine Chapel Exhibit downtown. It is really well done--if you get the VIP ticket, you will receive a book with all the paintings in the exhibit + commentary and it is high quality. Pope Sixtus originally wanted the life of the Apostles in the chapel but Michelangelo had a grander vision and aren't we lucky that the Pope gave him artistic freedom? He painted the ancestors of Christ (in triangles), not when they were grown ups with power, but as little children, all pointing to how Christ comes to us, as a Baby in a Holy Family. He also painted the prophets (Isaiah; loved all the details, down to his toes) and sibyls (women prophets from the East who foretold the coming of Christ--below, my favorite--the Delphic sibyl who is startled by the Word of God. She prophesized that the coming Messiah would be mocked with a crown of thorns). In all these paintings, there is movement. So beautiful. 

I loved these two panels below: The bronze serpent that the Israelites looked upon to be healed from snakebites foreshadows Christ on the Cross redeeming all mankind. And Judith slays the Babylonian king. In the readings for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (celebrated Aug 15) we remember Judith--she is a type of Mary, who crushes the head of the serpent. It's a beautiful feast day, full of hope, because where she is, we hope to go as well.

Sandwiched between the Creation of Man (I do so love that we are all conceived in the mind of God before we're ever born! It even looks like the brain!) and the Last Judgment is the creation, fall, and the deluge account. Creation of Eve is the central panel (because it is the fall that brings to us so great a Redeemer). Michelangelo placed the first act of creation: Separation of Light from Dark next to the Last Judgment. Oh, yes, there is a heaven and a hell and it is for all eternity. Sobering.

We've been to the Sistine Chapel back in 90s when we were living in Belgium. I had gone for a conference in Southern Italy so Michael and I planned to meet in Rome after. Goodness, how did we manage without cell phones? The Italians were having a train strike so I was stuck and no way to let Michael know. Though I assumed he'd figure it out when he went to the train station to pick me up. I ended up taking a bus, which broke down, and had to wait for another, but I made it to Rome and what a relief to be reunited with Michael again. We had a wonderful time sightseeing for the next three days. How I wish we were Catholic back then because the more you know Scripture, the greater your appreciation for the tremendous art. What a treasure! Deo gratias!  


Mirka Breen said...

Twenty-nine years later, from my perspective all of it was holy. The road we take says it all. Celebrate <3

Vijaya said...

Thank you Mirka. I love that the Lord can use everything for His purpose.

Carol Soisson said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful witness to the power of marriage.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Carol. Marriage is transformative--and the two become one flesh! I get it why it's called Holy Matrimony. Even if we don't become physical mothers, we are called to spiritual motherhood.