Each Saturday and Tuesday during Lent, the devotion will consist of visual or musical works of art for you to contemplate.  There might be a brief quote or statement for you to consider as you view/listen to the material; there may be notes from or about the artist or work.  We hope you will find meaning in these pieces during your lenten journey.

Spiritual discernment requires a passionate commitment to follow God and participate fully in God’s work in the world.

Title: Compassion! Date: 1897 Artist: Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905) Location: Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France

Title: Compassion!
Date: 1897
Artist: Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905)
Location: Musée D’Orsay, Paris, France

Notes:  “When one looks at the Compassion!, 1897, at first glance the viewer may interpret this painting be simply a depiction of Christ on the Cross, with perhaps another saint, or victim. A depiction not too different from thousands of other paintings of the subject; but in fact, the subject of this painting is not simply the event, but the conversion to Christianity through the compassion for the sacrifice Jesus made. The man with his head on Jesus’ chest is a representation of every [person] and [humanity] as a whole. The man in the painting shows the same empathy and bearing his own symbolic cross, has found his way to Jesus and his own redemption. Many Christians wear crosses around their necks to represent the same conviction, that they too have been sacrificed with Christ. In the bible, when Jesus fell on his way to Calvary, a man from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene, went to Jesus and carried the cross for him, which was the inspiration for this widely accepted symbol. The blood of Christ falls onto his hands, reiterating the blood sacrifice that was made for his benefit. On top of the cross a letter is posted which reads “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” in three languages, Greek, Latin, and Aramaic. Although in many depictions, Christ is crucified at the top of a mountain, Bouguereau chooses to depict the savior on a barren wasteland, symbolic of the man’s spiritual life before finding his way to Christ. Bouguereau chose to keep this painting, which shows the importance his religion played in his own life, and it remained in his studio until its recent donation to the Musèe D’Orsay, Paris, France.” -by Kara Lysandra Ross

Excerpt from the article: William Bouguereau and his Religious Works

Attribution: Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905). Compassion, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54931 [retrieved March 22, 2014]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_Compassion_(1897).jpg.