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Father Barnabas: Patchlove: I agree, it is beautiful. This is a close up of a painting entitled "The Madonna of the Lilies" painted in 1899 by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), a French artist. This work shows sublime solemnity and reverence as well as artistic excellence through use of color, facial expression and detail. It is one of my favorite portrayals of Madonna and Child.
Father Barnabas: The focus here is on the mystery of the incarnation: that the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity would take on flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit and be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We all know and understand that our Lord is no longer an infant or that he is hanging dead om the cross. To suggest that we cannot contemplate our sacred history or portray these events in art is nothing less than an heretical neo-iconoclasm. But by calling to mind these sacred events, we are imbued with sentiments that lead us to prayer, and elevate our hearts to the Almighty. Christian art has always been designed to inspire devotion in the faithful. There is even biblical evidence of the role of devotional art in the Holy Bible from the statues of the cherubim atop the Arc of the Covenant to the depictions of the angels in the Temple. Our eyes are fixed on Jesus Christ, and this wonderful painting of Madonna and Child amply show this. The Mother of our Lord always leads us to worship and honor her divine and glorious Son. Just as at Cana, here too, she lifts up her holy Infant as if to say, "Do whatever he tells you."
Father Barnabas: I posted the above statement ("The focus here..." because I wanted to respond to another chatter who, after apparently objecting to this beautiful illustration posted the following:
"It is very pretty but the reality is, the focus is on Mary and Jesus is a harmless Baby.. or dead on a crucifix. Jesus is not a baby or dead on a cross, he is alive and Glorified s God sitting on the right hand of God. Put your eyes upon Jesus."