At first, just the first part of this post was put up in favor of eliciting some art-appreciation comments from readers. Really fantastic comments came in: Chrism Mass and little kid artists… I hesitate, therefore, to put up my always way too imaginative perspective, but I am the way I am, and I can’t be anyone else, so, here goes nothing. The following two paragraphs are the entirety of that post; what follows after is the update.
//// The little kid artists at Sacred Heart school were again tasked this year with coming up with original one of a kind place-mats for the meal for the priests after the Chrism Mass. Not looking at the place-mats, I just sat down any old place and then, oh my, took in this well thought out prophesy-prayer place-mat. Nothing is coincidental, is it? I showed this later to the neighbor at the hermitage and he got all choked up, as did I. He prays for priests all the time…
Here’s my take on this, some random thoughts. Of course, I’m just reading into whatever I want, but it’s my place-mat, right? :-) It’s all probably just geometric designs. But since I have a very active imagination (which can be a good thing), follow me in my art appreciation. We’ll end up in… ////
…a Libyan prison… um… in my imagination!
- The point of view of the artist, guessing the perspective of the priest looking on, is very specific. In my imagination anyway, we’re looking out the window of a plane in a steep climb right after lifting up from the runway. About the only airport in the world like this is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, because…
- With the blue on either side, not above, mind you, I’d say we’re looking at the Potomac and Four Mile Run rivers to either side of Arlington National Cemetery.
- Why’s that? Where else but in just such a cemetery do you see paved roads through green grass? Those buried there laid down their lives for their fellow man, the greatest love ever. That would be a good state of soul for priests, would it not? And there is kind of a patriotic theme of sorts.
- And then there’s the central scene, which the artist has ably zeroed us in on. It’s a prophesy for the priest and the wish of the artist, who is a tremendous theologian. He depicts the Holy Mass, the Last Supper, the Sacrament, as united with the Sacrifice on Calvary: both the Chalice with the Blood being poured out along with the Body being handed over as united with the Cross of Calvary. Great, that. Stunning. His wish is that God protects and serves, protects and blesses the priest. I’m guessing this all has provenance in a LEO family, a military family, a family that flies a lot, also up to DC. (Such an imagination I have!) Anyway, the protection is the very presence of Jesus, the blessing is, mind you, the blessing of the Cross. The idea is that the priest needs that particular kind of protection and blessing.
- In the background of the Cross and Eucharistic Sacrifice there are 21 stripes, red and white, 12 red (the number of Apostles), red being for the Apostles and for martyrdom, interspersed with the white of purity. One recalls the two crowns of martyrdom and purity that our Lady offered to Maximilian Kolbe. He took both.
- But then the red stripes also look like prison bars, don’t they? This comes to mind from Father Gordon MacRae (about) at TheseStoneWalls, with which I help him really a lot.
- And maybe a prison where there is a lot of violence (what with the red), as with hostages… O.K., I only think of that because I was once being taken in the Jordan valley by bunch of thugs until their main guy told them to let me go… memories…
And then I remembered a three part dream I had on three successive nights in early October 2017, not a nightmare by any stretch, but not pleasant, a detailed dream. After being abducted into a van (first dream) and transferred through Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris (second dream), I ended up before a kind of makeshift military tribunal in Libya, the proceedings being filmed and the judge’s face being especially detailed (third dream), who I was able to look up. I wrote about those dreams months ago: Update (prequel): Nightmare, two nights in a row now [So, three nights] This is what happens when you have a really active imagination. Good for entertainment. I bet you were wondering how we would end up in Libya.
After all that… back to reality… What we have is an admonition to the priest to be open to the reception of blessing and protection from Jesus, whose superabundant divine mercy endures for ever. Amen.