Sunday, January 29, 2012

art as prayer

Long before pop culture reduced the word icon to mean Lady GaGa, the definition was a religious work of art. What I learned in a fascinating lecture by Dr. Celia Sinclair is that an icon can also be a window to the soul. I never thought about meditating over one, but she left us with this quote that opened my eyes:

"Just as we are responsible for what we eat, likewise we are responsible for what we are looking at. It is not difficult to become victim of the numerous visual stimulations that surround us. Yet we can make a choice. When it is not possible to pray, we can always briefly look at an icon, which is so intimately linked with the experience of love." - Henri Nouwen

12th-century icon of Archangel Gabriel from Novgorod, called "Golden-Locked Angel," currently exhibited in the State Russian Museum.

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