Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dieric Bouts...

This painting reminds me of a statue my Abuelita owns. It sits on her nightstand. Growing up it scared the hell out of me. I use to hate going over to her house for the weekends as a kid; her house was full of statues of Christ in various form of twisted anguish. In Hispanic cultures the statues are especially gory and life like. If I had to spend the night at her home I would cover that bust of Christ up that sat on the nightstand. I finally admitted to her that I hated that statue because it scared the hell of me. She just replied, "it scares the Hell out of me too." Then she said for me to burn the image in my mind.

I have many protestant friends who like their Jesus resurrected or holding a lamb while hovering over small children in a grassy field. I can understand completely. It is hard to stare at images of Our Lord in the throes of agony as He surrenders Himself on the cross, which is all the more reason I think we need to contemplate His Passion.

I think the Gentle Jesus of protestant sects, and some Catholic ones, was expunged from our churches simply because it makes us feel uncomfortable... it scares the hell out us. Which is a good thing.

I miss Hell in our faith and the fear of it we once had.

Anyway... ramblings.


Jackie said...

I know eh? I had a statue of Jesus' head with big nails and blood running down his fact and it just looked gory and scary .

nazareth priest said...

This is the kind of image that helped convert St. Teresa of Avila...
can't go wrong there, no?
Thanks for the beautiful image of our Most Beloved Saviour in His passion.

3puddytats said...

Balance in everything....

I grew up around hard-core Southern Baptists who thought of God as a old man with a white beard sitting on a golden throne with His finger on the Hell button..and you were scared to death about going to Hell if you blew your nose wrong or wore the wrong shade of lip gloss..

Yes we need to be reminded that one side of the balance has the pains of Hell...but that the other side of the balance also contains the endless font of Divine Mercy as revealed to St. Faustina. Focusing too much on one or the other causes the balance to go awry..

One of the most powerful prayers I learned as I became Catholic was "Jesus--I TRUST IN YOU."

Peace.. Sara

Nan said...

3puddytats! Thanks for the laugh. It never occurred to me that God paid attention to my lip gloss!

Crescat, I do have a child Jesus holding a lamb. It's plain white, made by Goebbel and I found it at a thrift store the day before I was confirmed, after I had asked if I was actually supposed to get confirmed.

Lee Gilbert said...

I agree with you. Our Lord referred to eternal punishment quite frequently. It was the raison d'etre for his coming and his passion.

With the disappearance of hell from homilies, the lines have disappeared from the confessionals. And since we no longer think we need priests to absolve us of our sins, the grace of priestly vocations has fallen off.

Our current condition is a perfect answer to the question, "What if the salt becomes insipid?"

A dose of hell would restore its tang, and if priests will not supply it, then reality itself will, in the form of depression, hunger, social chaos, war.

Perhaps like someone I know well, our civilization will reacquire the faith, beginning with a very vivid belief in hell. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Perhaps we will make that beginning before too long, driven to our knees in prayer and repentance.

A gloomy view? Not at all. We are in desperate need of repentance, and a glimpse of hell can go a long way towards eliciting it. With that doctrine firmly fixed in our noggins, the way forward will be clear and everything will assume its proper perspective, because we will do all-ALL- that is necessary to make Heaven our final destination.

Just another mad Catholic said...

I agree with 3puddytats, talking about hell is easy, in-fact I think that its tooo easy, you don't wanna scare them out the Church. I remember reading that Jack Lewis wrote the narnia books because (back when all anglicans did hell)when he was a kid the minister at his church talked about nothing else and he was scared that he wasn't feeling what he was told he ought to feel, leading to his long stint as an athiest. I also think that Our Lady said something along the same lines to St Dominic

nazareth priest said...

Hell is something you choose.
Either by defying God directly or choosing intentionally to disregard His law in a serious matter.
I believe the Church teaches that those who go to hell are there because they want to be there; they don't want God, yet they yearn for Him infinitely.
How awful!
Most of us poor blokes are just immersed in sensuality, habit, passion, whatever...purgatory is probably where we will find our purification.
But pray always to avoid Hell.