May 15, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Years ago, I organized a display of Bibles for Lent and Easter. The largest Bible in the collection was brought by a woman and this particular Bible had been in her family many, many years. It was a beautiful volume containing over 200 illustrations by the French artist, Gustave Doré. That’s how I first learned of this artist. Although he died at age 51, Doré had been extremely prolific. He was proficient in watercolor, oil painting and wood engraving. Doré’s art career began when he was hired to draw cartoons for a French newspaper at age 15.
The final illustration for Doré’s Bible series is this scene… standing high on a rocky ledge, John and his angel guide overlook a massive city. Light streaming down from above through billowy clouds brilliantly illuminates the buildings at the heart of the city. A cross can be seen atop the dome at center.
You can find the entire body of Bible illustrations in high resolution by Gustave Doré here >. These were wonderfully compiled by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
Practicing Visio Divina:
- View the artwork
What do you see?
Note shapes – color – style – movement
What stands out for you?
What are you curious about?
What questions do you have?
Hold back any feelings – judgments – opinions
- Read the accompanying scripture and look over the artwork again
What connections do you make?
Between the image and text?
What is coming to mind from your own experience?
What feelings are rising in you?
Are you uncomfortable with something?
There are no right or wrong answers
- Read the scripture again and explore the artwork a third time
What do you hear?
What is God saying to you?
What do you wish to speak to God?
What blessing or prayer is rising in you?
And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.
A Voice: See, the home of God is with His people. He will live among them; They will be His people, And God Himself will be with them. The prophecies are fulfilled: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more, For the first things have gone away. And the One who sat on the throne announced to His creation,
The One: See, I am making all things new. (turning to me) Write what you hear and see , for these words are faithful and true. — Revelation 21:3-5