Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy All Saints Day!

O come, let us worship the Lord, the King of kings,
for He is Himself the Crown of all the Saints.
~Invitatory Antiphon for Matins on All Saints

"All Saints I" by Wassily Kandinsky

Ave Maria!  Wow! This painting of makes my heart leap for joy! I know nothing about the Russian artist Wassily Wasilyevich Kandinsky, but I hope to learn more when I read his bio herehere and here. I wonder what the artist had in mind when he painted this? Three things immediately pop out at me:

1.  There are no insipid saints. Just look at that riot of colors! These men and women are throbbing with life and love -- and they make me want to be that way, too! True, some of them have their eyes closed, but I like to think that they're quietly contemplating the grandeur of God rather than napping in boredom.

2.  There are no carbon-copy, cookie-cutter saints. Each figure is different from all the others. God calls me to be me and you to be you. His grace builds on our nature, refining it into a worthy sacrifice of praise to His glory. As St. Francis de Sales so often said, "Be who you are, and be that perfectly well." God has called me to be St. Alice Claire, not St. Clare nor St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus nor St. Faustina nor any of those other saints whom I so dearly love and so ardently yearn to be like. 

3.  There are no saints without the Cross. What, you didn't see it? Keep looking, it's there, and you will find it. Our dear Lord and Savior has made it quite plain: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34). And the cross will always be there, just as Thomas à Kempis said: "The cross, then, is always ready and awaits you at every turn. You cannot escape it, run where you will; because wherever you go, you have yourself; you can never be parted from yourself. Go up, go down, go out, go in, you will always find your cross; and everywhere you will have to practice patience, if you wish to enjoy inward peace and to win an everlasting crown" (Imitation of Christ, Bk !!, Ch XII).

So those are three things...for now...and undoubtedly there will be more that will come to mind as I continue to gaze upon this exhilarating painting and ponder today's glorious feast. "Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:57)

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me:
We shall go into the house of the Lord.
Psalm 122:1

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