This blog is maintained by Carolyn, of You will find the blog at Art and Prayer Blog.

5th Sunday of Easter 'I am the True Vine'

Eastern Orthodox Mosaic of Christ as the Vine 16th century Byzantine & Christian Museum Athens

In John's Gospel today Christ tells us that he is the Vine shaped by his father and that we - all of us are the branches.  In nature if a branch is dead it should be cut off and discarded.  So to it is with our relationship with Christ - if we do not allow him into our lives we die, cut ourselves off.  To grow vines or plants of any kind is about permanency and stability.  We have to be around at all stages of the plant's life and if we nurture well then the harvest will be fruitful.  Christ reminds us that if we remain with Him, His words remain in us and that whatever we ask we shall get.
When I looked at the first reading again this morning, the Gospel became clearer, for here it describes how after God had cut away the old (the bad bit of Saul, the slayer of Christians) he allowed a new branch to grow, with the help of Barnabus.

Joseph the Worker Friday 1st May

'Christ in the House of his Parents'
John Everett Millais 1849-50
Tate Britain

Joseph the Worker, is shown working in his carpenter's workshop, making a door and helped by the family, but there are other things also going on.  There is a nail sticking up in the door which the young Christ has just cut himself on - a reference to his Crucifixion. There are other symbols in this painting as well:  a very young John the Baptist on the right carrying a bowl reminds of us of his future role as the Baptist.  There is a reference to Jacob's Ladder, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity on the back wall and what of the sheep in the field?

4th Sunday of Easter

The Good Shepherd by Julia Stankova

This Sunday we are reminded in the 2nd reading, that
we are the children of God.  In John's Gospel we hear
about the role of the Good Shepherd, as distinct from 
the hired man.  Christ explains his selfless and eternally
caring nature as the Good Shepherd.

The painting describes a warmth and gentleness in the
portrayal of the Good Shepherd, with feet planted firmly
on the earth.  This shepherd is with us now.

Notice the IC  XC either side of the head of Christ.  
These Greek letters represent the words Jesus Christ 
and are usually seen on icons.

Saint Mark Evangelist


The winged Lion - Symbol of St Mark

St Mark's Venice.
The book he balances with his paw reads: 'Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus', "Peace be with you Mark, My Evangelist."

We are in Year B, the year of Mark.


3rd Sunday of Easter

Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio 1601

Since the Resurrection, Christ has been reminding us that he is alive and is with us.  The Gospels have 
been telling us of Christ appearing to the Apostles, in rooms, on the road and on each occasion He has to do something which jolts the Apostles into recognising the risen Christ among them.

Again Caravaggio captures the moment when the Apostles recognise who is among them.


St Anselm of Canterbury 21st April

Altar St Anselm's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral
by Stephen Cox 2006, Aosta Marble (region of Anslem's birth).

"Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, 
but I believe that I may understand. For this, too, 
I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand."

Anselm was a 12th century philosopher and Archbishop of Canterbury 
whose writings argued for the existence of God.

Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)

The Incredulity of St Thomas
by Caravaggio 1602 
Potsdam Museum

....Thomas replied 'My Lord and My God!' Jesus said to him 'You believe because you can see me.  
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Gospel Jn 20: 19-31)

Caravaggio focuses our eyes 
on Thomas' finger in Christ's side, both with the trick of light and the four heads leading you to that point.


Easter Sunday

The Resurrection
by Grünewald 1512

Grünewald presents us with an explosive image 
of Christ, 
blasting himself back from the death that he has 
conquered once and for all and for ALL OF US.
He appears radiant and triumphant, as the living light 
in our darkest world.  The Lord is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.


St Scholastica - sister of St Benedict

I found this fabulous Hymn  
and wanted to share it with you.

O Christ, the Light of heaven
And of the world true Light,
You come in all your radiance
To cleave the web of night.

May what is false within us
Before your truth give way,
That we may live untroubled,
With quiet hearts this day.

May steadfast faith sustain us,
And hope made firm in you;
The love that we have wasted,
O God of love, renew.

Blest Trinity we praise you
In whom our quest will cease;
Keep us with you for ever
In happiness and peace.

from Stanbrook Abbey

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Job began to speak:

Is it not man's life on earth nothing more than pressed service, his time no better than hired drudgery?  Like the slave, sighing for the shade, or the workman with no thought but his wages, months of delusion I have assigned to me, nothing for my own but nights of grief.  Lying in bed I wonder, 'When will it be day?'  Restlessly I fret till twilight falls.  Swifter than a weaver's shuttle my days have passed, and vanished, leaving no hope behind.  Remember that my life is but a breath, and that my eyes will never again see joy.

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
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