Continue reading “A Sword Will Pierce Your Own Soul by Mary Jane Miller”
PENTECOST a time to FILL THE WORLD WITH SPIRIT by Mary Jane Miller
Pentecost is followed by Ordinary time, the longest season of the church year. It gives us plenty of time to think about what happened when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. I have always loved the idea that this one moment changed us, it was and is the fulfillment of God’s promise to pour out the Holy Spirit on all flesh, empowering diverse people to exercise divine power. It is commonly understood that the first to receive the power from on high are the male disciples, “locked in a closed room for fear of persecution.” Apparently these Jewish disciples were not too worried about their wives and children.
After painting several Pentecost Feast Day icons as an artist, iconographer and child of God I cannot remain silent with what I think the icon has taught me. It feels obvious that the great gift of the Holy Spirit was for all of humanity. I want to commemorate an ongoing Pentecost, a time to fill the world with spirit, where women and children are invited into the closed room and given a rightful place at the table. Images have a great deal of influence in opening the heart and the mind. Imagine a new contemporary understanding of divine light touching all human beings as well as the planet.
The Spirit Descending
A half circle of twelve descending rays is commonly found at the top of any Pentecost icon. This representation is critically important for the beginning of our narrative. “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)
Imagine that these rays represent the uncreated energies filling the universe, the same rays any of us might feel when touched by grace. These divine rays envelope us as they come from beyond time and space.
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May is the Month of Mary by Mary Jane Miller
There are three classic prototypes of Mary Icons, their collective messages point toward a new contemporary kind of trinity. Perhaps the concept of Mary is still undeveloped, as our society has changed her message is still provocative and meaningful. It has been through contemplating her image, and painting icons of her that I have come to realize a deeper mystical message. Her popular iconography may have the keys to how we are to care for creation and one another in the world.
Mary Icon of the Panagia
Mary looks directly at the viewer, beckoning us towards poised stillness and constant prayer with palms extended outward in total surrender to what she receives. She contains the Creator of the Universe in her womb.
Mary Icons of the Theotokos
She is the feminine energy which tenderly nurtures Jesus to become a teacher, rabbi, master and lord. She is the icon which reminds us to love one another, to love life, and to love creation.
Mary Icons of the Hodegitria
Mary becomes a mystical location where we can be taught to give ourselves to God and one another. There, held by the church tradition, we like Mary are called to release to the world what we most love and cherish.
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In Light of Women by Mary Jane Miller