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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Ascension

Salvatore Dali's vision of The Ascension of Christ is my favorite.

Of the two collects offered in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, this one has worked its way into my heart.

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Blessed Feast of the Ascension to you! May our hearts and minds be quickened and our souls pregnant with joy and ready to labor as we await the Advent of Pentecost.


Bill said...

I'm curious as to why Dali painted the hands like claws. I would have done it differently (if I could paint). I think the hands should have been more open and relaxed. The way hands are held open and upward in prayer. Only my opinion of course.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Bill, I wonder about that, too.

I put up the lovely Perugino Ascension, but I like Dali's, too.

emmy said...

I noticed the hands too. Hard not too, I guess. I wonder if ascension is not, at least in part, a painful thing to do (or have happen to you). Even if it's not painful, I imagine it is intense.

Mark said...

Perhaps, it's not a clenching in pain, but an expression of the struggle to accomplish, to will to a new birth - the vesica has a very egg-like quality - in being, not subsumbed, but fully incarnated into the universal Christ.

Bill said...

Mark, I'm not conversant with the word "subsumed". I'm no Rhodes scholar, so I'll pass on that. But as far as the clenching of hands indicating struggle, I don't see it. Jesus may have struggled as a human, but I don't see him struggling as an ascended being. Just my take on it and of course, I could be wrong:)

Mark said...

Well, no, I'm not talking of struggling as an ascended being, but here, He is not ascended, but in the process of ascension.

emmy said...

I'm curious...why must "ascended beings" be struggle-free beings?

Bill said...


It’s all speculative. We are just mere humans trying to explain God in human terms. I see Jesus, who is God, ascending to heaven. My little human brain tries to picture Jesus, our God of love and compassion beyond all understanding and I just can’t picture him with hands clenched like claws. It’s a personal perspective. I’m sure that if we asked twenty people, we’d get forty opinons.

Mark said...

I’m sure that if we asked twenty people, we’d get forty opinons.

Isn't that the definition of art?