07 August 2008

Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy

Frequent readers know of my years in the Eastern Orthodox church and my continued Eastern Catholic leanings. You also know my devotion to Mary as "Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament" and the Byzantine "Our Lady of the Sign". In addition I regularly go to Eucharistic adoration and spend time with Jesus.

So why does this "monstrance" in Chicago make me uncomfortable? It's beautifully crafted, merging Byzantine, Roman, and Jewish imagery. It reminds us that Mary is the ark of the New Covenant. That she was the first monstrance, the first throne. As she is referred to in the Eastern church "more spacious than the heavens" since she contained the uncontainable God.


But I will admit it's better than the Yoga Christ monstrance.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because they are both weird monstrances.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw this it reminded me of the Bahai religion, which embraces all religions as one. I see the Bahai temple dome shape (created with the angels wings), Mary's Hindu posture, The Crescent moon of the Muslims and the Jewish Ark.

As a Catholic, the Jewish symbolism is fitting, but the crescent moon (not under her feet but she's sitting on it) gives me reason to pause; considering all the nonsense which happens in many parishes, I can't help but wonder what was behind the artist's intention.

Here's a photo of the Bahai temple dome:
http://www.bahai.us/system/files/HOWnew.jpg

Hindu meditation Pose:
http://www.anmolmehta.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/meditation-postures/meditation-posture-hindu.JPG

Muslim crescent moon:
http://cache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/ramadan_09_19/ramadan1.jpg

Anonymous said...

I think the crescent moon is a reference to Our Lady of Guadalupe
http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/our-lady-of-guadalupe.html
She is always depicted with a crescent moon under her feet. I would assume that is more likely the place it came from rather than Islam.

mister corduroy said...

Mary is shown standing on the moon in reference to the woman in revelation who is clothed with the sun and standing on the moon. In Byzantine churches (which have domes) the Cross often has a moon at the bottom to symbolize Christian triumph over Islam.

Antonia Gappa said...

I love how Jesus plays with His children! He poses these puzzles for us to ponder and consider. He is everywhere, yet, if He does not reveal HimSelf, we don't see. Oh kind and gentle Master, may we see You in all of Your Creation, and in all that You have allowed us to create, for we are formed in Your likeness.
Amen