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!