THE FIREPLACE WHERE THE MOTHER OF GOD PREPARED THE MEALS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Eugene’s passionate love for God was the foundation of his life. It was not a dry intellectual relationship, but a holistic one that touched all aspects of his life, and particularly his affectivity. As he describes the house of Loreto, he meditates on the intimacy of that house thinking of how Mary prepared the meals for the holy family.

The Santa Casa [ed. Holy House] is situated in the middle of the church. The interior is the same as when carried by the Angels; so one sees walls of brick on three sides of the House; the back, behind the altar, arranged in a kind of small sanctuary, is entirely walled with what once were silver panels; today, alas! I think they are only of shiny brass. There is to be found the fireplace where the Mother of God prepared the modest and meager meals of the Holy Family.
The holy House is enclosed, I would say cloaked with marble, that is to say, the exterior wall seen from the church is entirely encrusted with marbles and statues of prophets and sibyls, as well as bas-relief representing several episodes of the life of the holy Virgin, such as the Presentation in the temple, etc.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 7 May 1826, EO VII n 239

 

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”   Aristotle

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1 Response to THE FIREPLACE WHERE THE MOTHER OF GOD PREPARED THE MEALS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Left on my own I wonder if I might not just gloss over this entry of Eugene’s writings as being too fanciful, too unsophisticated, or too far out. There might be a feeling of discomfort in trying to stay with this part of his letter. I would and am tempted to consider moving on deeper into Eugene’s letter, to a paragraph or page that is easier to deal with.

    It is the quote from Aristotle that stops me and gives me permission to start again at the beginning and ask myself if I have not ever done what Frank suggests, that Eugene did, and that is to meditate on a particular aspect of something. Of course I have – many times – for sure when I was in Rome, before and with the Oblate Madonna at the General House; in France as I wandered through the streets of Aix and Marseille, stopping to meditate and reflect on the many places where Eugene lived and walked; here at home in front of a very tall outdoor Oblate Cross or with a particular piece of scripture; praying with a particular piece of sculpture; visiting with my sister and then reflecting on that visit. It is how I sometimes experience God, myself, life….

    Even that word ‘affectivity’ gives me pause for thought this morning. I am, I do express myself with emotion and feeling – heck I look at the world and life with emotion, emotions are a part of who I am. I wonder how I shall experience God today. I wonder what or who will be the focus of my small reflections as I move through this day. I wonder what will invite me to abandon total logic, formed and sound reasoning. I wonder how my faith and trust in God, will allow for the freedom to let go and experience and reflect on what is offered today. it is in advance thank you Lord for this gift of today.

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