Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Flowering Meadow





We open up the computer screen,  greeted by Levitan's Flowering Meadow on Easter Morning. The sparkly field seems to announce, Christ is Risen!

Saint Augustine said, "We are an Easter people." What's that? With gratitude we look for life everywhere, and walking along with the Risen One, we set out to be as fully alive as God has created us each to be. Eternal life starts here. It's the healing gift we make to the Good Friday world in which we live. 

Some weeks ago, reflecting on one of Levitan's Volga River scenes, I found a photograph of high clouds taken on my Russian river trip in 1996. But I also found this picture below taken at Kizhi Island in Lake Onega. This is the place with the wooden churches I'd seen pictures of when I was a boy. 

And along the stone wall at the base of the church with the lovely title: The Intercession of the Virgin, I came across the surprise of this flowery meadow. "Earth is crammed with heaven." Maybe a meadow like this inspired Levitan's painting. 




I had never heard of Isaak Levitan before this Lent, and when my friend Yuri mentioned him one Sunday after Mass, an inside voice whispered, "Check it out." I'm glad I followed the inspiration. These Lenten weeks have been a great pleasure for me. I thank you for coming along and for sharing thoughts and prayers of your own.

Part of being a  Christian - is that we have new eyes for seeing. And this is all the more important as we are exposed to so much seeing that is about destruction, violence, frenzy and buying, buying, buying. Do you know this hymn: Help Us Accept Each Other? Verse 4:

Lord, for today's encounters with all who are in need, who hunger for acceptance, for righteousness and bread, we need new eyes for seeing, new hands for holding on; renew us with your spirit; Lord, free us, make us one!

I feel a great gratitude to Isaak Levitan. He is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. Perhaps we can visit his cyber grave tomorrow on Easter Monday.

I send a greeting to your homes and a blessing in the Easter time. Christ is Risen! Indeed he is Risen!

11 comments:

  1. These last weeks have been a pleasure for us also Father. Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us. I feel a great gratitude to you for taking us on a journey to Jesus. Happy Easter!

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  2. Thank you! See the Easter Video on the right side of the webpage. And tomorrow, a cyber visit to Levitan's grave on Easter Monday.

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  3. A wonderful ending to your Levitan Lenten posts. I really love the video you put up on the side. Draws me right into the Easter spirit.

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  4. Beautiful post Father! I like the second picture even more than Levitan's painting. The meadow is alive with joyful color for this joyful day. Happy Easter!

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    1. I took that trip up the Volga River in 1996. I didn't know anything of Levitan then, but now I think I was being prepared back then for meeting him and his work. Happy Easter!

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  5. Christ is alive in us. Let us be aware of this and never falter in our love for others. Jesus didn't die and rise from the dead for just a few, He did it for even the least of us.

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  6. Is that you standing in the meadow? What a wonderful trip to be able to experience.

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    1. That's me alright! The trip was called "A Journey Through Old Russia" - all monasteries and churches - many being restored after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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  7. Dear Father Stephen,
    This has been a wonderful journey. You have the best blog posts and we look forward to reading every post. You have opened our minds to new thoughts, and opened our hearts to the love of Jesus. We love the diversity you offer and the faith path you have set for us to follow. We hope you had a wonderful Easter filled with prayer, family and many blessings.
    Joe and Barbara Dennison

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    1. I did indeed have a wonderful and blessed Easter Day. Tomorrow I have us set up to make a cyber visit to Levitan's grave at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. Easter is too big for one day, so we enjoy its overflow into 8 (called the Easter Octave).

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