Sunday, November 17, 2013

The religious life in four acts

These four paintings were done by different artists, in different countries and different times but all of them  illustrate episodes from the religious life. A Daughter of Charity in France comes to help a sick woman, a young Norbertine or perhaps a Carthusian priest defends a beggar from enraged villagers, a Sister of Charity prays for her the orphans in her care and an old diocesan priest blesses his parishioners with a holy relic. When seeing nuns and priests in their habits going about their business stopped being an everyday sight the Church Militant lost something powerful. 


Old Bob said...

Thanks for the paintings and commentary, Dymphna. You always have good things here.
How true that we have lost something!
I grew up in the 40s and 50s and served Mass then.

Anita Moore said...

I love the story Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P. told the day I made my life profession as a lay Dominican. Two sisters decided to do something about the local dirty bookstore, so they walked in in full habit. At the sight of those instantly recognizable women religious, everyone inside dove for cover. They had a little chat with the proprietor on the subject of whether his tawdry little enterprise was really an asset to the community. I don't know whether the guy eventually saw the light, but could be.

Gina said...

Reposting this one. Love it!

newguy40 said...

You know, I've had some recent discussion with my wife about priests and religious in their garb.

A couple years ago, Fr Calloway MIC (Marians of the Immacualte Concecption) came to a local parish and gave a talk about his youth and conversion. He wore a cassock. While many appeared to be amused and somewhat scandalized, my wife and I were fortified and enouraged to see a traditional priest in a traditional priest's garb. And, Fr Calloway IS out there with his faith and vocation. It was an exciting and awesome experience for both of us. Recently, I started to help out in an inter-parish service group lead thru a the pastor of one of the larger parishes. This was "off hours" if you like. He was dressed casually and unless you knew him, you'd never know he is a priest. On the other hand, a recently permanently professed brother from the local shrine attended in cassock and collar. Just as we see him day in and day out in all the various things he does at the Shrine. The same threadbare and "seen better days" cassock. There is so very much power and identity wrapped up in the "uniform". Have you ever seen a Marine Gunnery Sarget in his dress blues? It's the same thing. Uniforms identify us and tell others about who we are and what we do. I love seeing a cassock on a religious. It stiffens my spine at times, I tell you! ;)