Anointed by Art

I had to share this quote from the latest Image Journal e-newsletter, summarizing an article in their print edition about artist Makoto Fujimura:

Fujimura makes a powerful argument for art by citing the passage in the Gospels when Mary anoints the head of Christ with expensive perfume. He sees this as a warrant for art: something apparently luxurious and useless which somehow becomes an essential gesture of our humanity. The only earthly possession Christ wore on the Cross was the very aroma of the perfume Mary poured upon him.

Visit the website for Fujimura’s new book River Grace here.

More good stuff from Image: Read poet Franz Wright’s “Language as Sacrament in the New Testament” here. A sample:

Sin first results from all our attempts to escape or briefly elude the horrors of our physical condition here (which are part of free will’s gift, that is, an inevitable side effect and accompaniment to the gift of life, of sentience, just as pain and illness are an inevitable accompaniment to the gift of having a body). If we can come to see suffering as the norm, and spend our time alleviating it in others rather than causing more, we have mastered the necessity of sinning—there is no longer any need to do “evil,” which again just means trying to escape for a moment from suffering.

Sin results from temptation or disobedience only next—that is, when we have had our sight restored, see the true nature of things and the simple manner in which suffering can be accepted and transcended, and yet persist in giving in to wrong actions.

The main thing is, God gets it. He understands this, and part of his infinite love and pity for us is that he gets it—to the point where he was willing to come and (as an utterly sinless being, Jesus) participate in all the unhappinesses and horrors that drive us to do “evil,” to “sin,” to participate to the point of torture and death and in participating (which gives his teaching the ultimate credibility) to show us the way out of “sin,” the way to accept suffering, and how to transmute it into the energy required to be always alleviating rather than contributing to the suffering of others.

One comment on “Anointed by Art

  1. zhenimsja says:

    Hi, guy! I’m completely agree with that way of assumption and all of connected.

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