Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
Back to an image of St. Paul sent in by a reader, this one being by the Sienese Mannerist Beccafumi.
(Yes – a Mannerist piece, which we likes. Don’t hates us. It’s just this one. We promises, Precioussss.)
On the left is Saul (soon to be renamed Paul by Our Lord) after being knocked off his horse on the Road to Damascus at the moment of his conversion. On the right is a graphic representation of Paul’s beheading. We need to see these things. That’s what really happened. One second there was Paul, the next second his head was laying in front of his bleeding-out neck stump.
Many folks upon my posting of the very first image in this series of the statue of St. Paul cried out, “But Ann! The only reason Paul is shown with a sword is because that was the instrument of his execution!”
True, true. But I still think we’re missing the point.
In the center is a wonderful Paul, head firmly restored to body, as he sits and reads scripture while holding the same ASSAULT WEAPON that beheaded him, easily yet manfully across his lap and resting on his forearm. The reason martyr saints are depicted holding the instrument of their execution is because it is just so totally macho. It is the ultimate comeback. Dare I use the term, it is a bit of visual trash-talking, except the holy, sanctified kind.
“Oh, yeah, big man? You thought that cutting my head off was going to end this? Oh, no, no, no baby. That wasn’t the end of it – that was just the beginning. Now that I’m in heaven I can REALLY get to work. And you better trust that my ASSAULT WEAPON is longer, sharper and more fearsome than yours could ever be.”
Now map this onto today. Eventually someone in the U.S. is going to get shot by the government for being a Christian. Let’s say that the person is shot with one of the 7000 AR-15s that Janet Napolitano just ordered. How should the dead person be pictured in iconography thence forward? They should be pictured just like St. Paul – manfully holding an AR-15, even if they never fired an AR in combat themselves. It is the ultimate jab at the tyrants – cut me down and it only makes me stronger, and I will embrace your own weaponry and wave it back in your face, sanctified. And then WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.