Sunday, May 01, 2011

Gratia plena

Meanwhile on a happier note, today is Lady Day.

And here's a pretty picture for it (from Rorate Caeli):



I never had a very good idea about heaven. It is said that Christian preachers in general tend to leave alone the topic of what heaven would be like, and I think this is generally a wise thing to do. We humans are hopelessly enmired in the material and it would be only too easy to end up in the 70-doe-eyed-virgins realm if we just let imagination carry it.

But I have suffered for a lack of an idea that heaven is a desirable thing. I'm afraid that I am one of these people who tends to imagine it as, well, rather dull, actually.

I think I've shared before my vision of entering the heavenly chorus. There's them, all praising away, Glory, Glory, Glory... etc... And there's me, standing in the back, not able to see much at the front over the top of the crowd. I pick out someone in the crowd who looks slightly less intimidating than the rest, nudge him and whisper,

"So, is this it then?"

And,

"Anyone know when's teatime?"

I am told the Newman had a similar problem. He had one of those pious pictures of the saints in heaven, all turned towards this bright light. The picture hung next to the door of his rooms and every time he passed it he would say the same thing: "What, still at it?"

Which is why I appreciate the role of art (good art, that is) in the life of the Church. It can say all kinds of things that can't be said in words.



~

2 comments:

Andrew Cusack said...

Hils, Lady Day (the Feast of the Annunciation) was over a month ago, 25 March.

Rev. Dr. Athanasius D. McVay, HED said...

Teatime is, of course, 4:00 as reads the Fortnum's clock.