'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be according to your word' (Luke 1:38)
'Yes, a sword shall pierce through your own soul....' (Luke 2, v. 35a)
Rome, the Eternal City, is magnificent. It is not my favorite place in Italy but no one can deny its place in history, its survival through the centuries and its importance in the life and history of Christendom. Vatican City is encircled by the city of Rome, and in itself is its own sovereign country.
St. Peter's Basilica is the centerpiece of the Vatican. As you enter the basilica from a large nave, to your right, you will find the Pieta, the marble statue of Mother Mary holding her dead Son. It is breathtakingly sad to see Mary's face, slightly tilted and looking downward with a look of numb shock and utter sorrow.
Mary is small and the body of Jesus is large, totally limp and draped across her lap. He is more than she can hold. We see a mother who loves her son holding him as any mother would hold her son yet painfully aware from early on that His sacrifice would be a mother's sacrifice as well. That Michelangelo was able to capture Mary's expression is magical. It is impossible to stand there and not have tears streaming down your face.
In several of my devotions I have related how I have been moved by human creations; der Kolner Dom in Cologne, the statue of David in Florence and the Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica. Many times I see the hand of God present in human imagination and creations. I find a parallel between the Bible, having been written by God inspired people and art created by God inspired artists. They all tell The Story.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for people who were inspired by you to create beauty out of stone and marble that helps to tell Your Story and for the ability you gave us to be able to be moved and thrilled by it. Amen