So, did you have pancakes today? Well, I didn't either. I don't need all those empty calories. Oh, for the days when I didn't have to worry about such silly things as calories.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, however. For all those Christians who observe Lent, it is a time of extra prayer, fasting and alms-giving as we prepare for the coming of Easter.
And since I and many others throughout the world are setting off on the journey towards Easter tomorrow, I thought it would be appropriate to post a recent drawing of a butterfly (this drawing was inspired by another photograph taken by my friend, Michael). As most of you know, the butterfly is often used as a symbol of Easter and the Resurrection.
Just like the caterpillar, we go into the cocoon of Lenten barrenness and silence, waiting for that moment of re-birth. Just like the caterpillar who exits the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly, we exit the 40 days of Lent as the renewed sons and daughters of our Resurrected Lord -- bright with the light of His glory.
As strange as it may sound, Lent is my favourite time of the Christian year. In the Catholic Church (and no doubt other churches as well) during Lent we never use the word "Alleluia" in our prayers or music, we have no flowers on the altar and the organ plays only the most basic music during Mass.
The lack of the Alleluias is so striking when after 40 days you suddenly hear it sung out in the darkness as the midnight Mass of Easter begins: "Christ is risen, Alleluia! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!" Gradually the light from the new fire is passed from candle to candle, person to person until the church is filled with light and the Alleluias ring out again and again. Oh, how I love waiting those 40 days for that moment each year. First, of course, I have to get through these next 40 days!
Now leaving such a sublime subject, I want to get your opinion about another revised Rosary icon.
This, as is obvious, is the first Sorrowful Mystery known as "The Agony in the Garden". The version above is the newer version. In the original version (see below), I had used the three disciples from the Transfiguration icon for this icon as well.
In the Transfiguration icon, the three disciples are supposed to be struck down in fear and trembling. I had just tried to make them look a bit more like they might be sleeping than fearful but I was never satisfied. Look at the icon below to see what I mean.
Finally, I decided that I would try to draw them again really looking sleepy. I put them huddled together for warmth and looking drowsy -- in fact, St. Peter looks almost asleep although if you look closely his eyes are still open just a bit. I feel this is a more honest depiction of the event than the first effort.
What do you think? Which one do you prefer?
I pray that all you who observe Lent will have a Lent filled with blessings. To all of you, whatever your faith or lack of it, I wish you peace.