Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Twilight Moon 1899

I've saved Levitan's Twilight Moon for today as Passover begins tonight - the first full moon of Spring. The moon in its many phases is a powerful archetypal image. That means the moon may appear in the dreams of an American, an Italian, a Tanzanian, a Peruvian. And here, Levitan has shared the full moon with us. Look at how the moon transforms the water and turns the shore grass into gold!

Confucius said: "Ignorance is the night of the mind, a night with no moon by which to see clearly." And Jesus often calls us to wake up out of darkness and ignorance and to stay awake. Indeed, in the Passion Account we'll hear this week, Jesus will enjoin the disciples in the garden to watchfulness: "Could you not stay awake for one hour."  Some people will take that to mean Jesus wants us to do holy hours, maybe on First Friday or Holy Thursday night. Why argue with that? But I'd go further: if I live in God, awake to God, then every hour is a holy hour. 

We're already in the middle of Holy Week. I'd say every week is a holy week. The nuns would require that we be able to name the holy days. I'd say every day is a holy day. I want to wake up to that reality; I want to see it clearly, I want my life to be fully illumined by that awareness. God, right up front, bright, beautiful and full, like Levitan's moon here.

In mythology the moon is called the Shepherd of the Stars - the assembler, the gather-er. But if God has placed the moon to gather the stars, all the more do we need a gatherer, an assembler,  so lost in fragmentation and other-ism.

Before Levitan's Twilight Moon

May we be illumined by the Wounds of Christ.
May we stay awake to the Call of Christ.
May we be watchful for the Nearness of Christ.

May we assemble out of the sad divisions.
May we assemble forsaking the partisan idolatry.
May we assemble for the sake of our God-given planet.

May we gather around the miserable ones.
May we gather to welcome the terrified ones.
May we gather to heal the damaged ones.

Syrian boy pulled from the bomb-rubble


  1. Dear Lord, we thank you for the light of the moon reflected down to us from the life sustaining sun. We thank you for all of your creations and for your forgiveness as we we have taken them for granted and destroyed them, including our own selves. May our hearts be opened as we read this prayer above so that we may indeed gather together and praise you as one. Amen.

  2. The first seder was last night which began the Passover celebration. I wish all the Jews a happy feast. Levitan was a Jew so your posting of his Twilight Moon was a thoughtful tribute to him and for us, linking all religions together in beautiful awareness.

  3. You can really see the gold in the grasses along the shoreline which adds dimension to the painting. Light bursting out and keeping us from complete darkness. The world would be a better place if we looked for more light. Thinking of every day as a holy day is a good start for us.