Sunday, May 24, 2009

Paradox

The Garden of Gethesmane

The Resurrection

When we were in Oregon last week, we visited a place in Portland called The Grotto, a garden of plants and sculpture (that might have been a quiet place for meditation, had we not timed our visted to coincide with that of a wood-chipper going full blast for a couple of hours). I was quite taken by a series of sculptures by a Mary Lewis depicting Mysteries in the Life of Christ (apparently a devotional category with which I am unfamiliar, but perhaps a Catholic reader will enlighten us).

I'm posting images of the two which reflect the moment-by-moment back-and-forth in my own life, along with photos of one of the three sets of sculptures and their titles, so you can get an idea of the setting.


15 comments:

Hope said...

These (for example the luminous mysteries) are what are meditated on as one says the Rosary. Each day of the week corresponds to a set of mysteries. Joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous. Each has its origins in Scripture and/or tradition. Mostly Scripture.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Those are powerful sculptures. I'd love to see that place in person someday.

Gannet Girl said...

Thank you, Hope.

Michelle said...

The rosary likely evolved out of devotions that were stand-ins for the psalter (beads were used to count 150 Our Fathers or the Psalter of Our Lady - 150 Hail Marys). The "mysteries" were a way to reflect on the Gospels for those who could not read.

I carry beads - there are some in my pocket now!

The expression on Jesus' face in the garden seems so evocative of his own pain...

Stratoz said...

my garden needs sculpture. hopefully they wouldn't disappear like dead squirrels

Gannet Girl said...

Michelle, this is turning out to be a very educational post.

And Stratoz, by the time you find that squirrel, it will have fossilized into a sculpture!

Michele said...

Since the Rosary and Mysteries have been somewhat explained, I'll just add that we meditate on them daily and they are such a deep, moving experience.

And the pics are lovely!

caitsmom said...

Powerful sculptures. The first of Christ takes me to another place. Peace. Thanks for sharing.

Daisy said...

Cool sculptures. Interesting about the mysteries; I was unaware. Found this:

http://www.rosary-center.org/howto.htm

Mich

Stratoz said...

after Saturday, I can't imagine that it is in my backyard. but, I am going back there again in a few moments. peace.

Sophia said...

I absolutely loved the Grotto when I lived in Portland--such a sacred place.

The luminous mysteries are among my favorites and the newest, added by JIIPII--one of his positive achievements in my book.

Ryan Rallanka, SJ said...

The rosary has been around for centuries, although the luminous mysteries have only recently been added to the devotional. Beaded prayer is something you find in many different religions actually.

From what I have read, the rosary was meant to be a substitute for reciting all 150 of the psalms (the original joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries). As you can imagine, it would have taken quite a long time to recite all 150, so this came about as a variation on that. If you pray in completion the original 3 mysteries, you will have prayed 150 Hail Mary's.

The joyful mysteries is a meditation on the response of Mary to bear Christ as her child and his subsequent birth. You might consider these mysteries to be advent/Christmas meditations.

The sorrowful mysteries are a meditation on the events leading to Christ's crucifixion. Lent.

The glorious mysteries reflect on the events of Christ's resurrection and ascension into heaven. Easter reflections.

As you might see, however, this ancient form of prayer completely skips over the ministry of Jesus' life. We move from the birth of Christ in the joyful mysteries to the crucifixion of Christ in the sorrowful mysteries. Pope John Paul II thus instituted the luminous mysteries to help us contemplate important events in Jesus' ministry.

The grotto is a wonderful place that I've enjoyed visiting when I lived in Portland.

Widening Circles said...

I didn't comment right away because I didn't have much to add, but I've been thinking about it. The Gethsemane sculpture is beautiful. The rosary is a devotion I was taught as a kid, but I gave it up for many years because I could find no meaning in it. Lately I've been trying it again. I've had a lot of trouble sleeping since my father has been very ill, and one thing I've discovered is that it is very helpful in leading me back to sleep--but I can't decide whether that's a good way to use it or sort of like cheating.

Gannet Girl said...

It's never cheating to seek God's help in finding rest and peace.

Michelle said...

Widening Circles -- definitely not cheating to fall asleep to it! As a wise friend once inquired when I confessed to having drifted off in the middle of prayer during a difficult time; "maybe God thought you needed sleep more than prayer?"