Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ascension Thursday

The Ascension of Christ by Dali
Salvatore Dalí said that his inspiration for The Ascension of Christ came from a "cosmic dream" that he had in 1950, some eight years before the painting was completed. In the dream, which was in vivid color, he saw the nucleus of an atom, which we see in the background of the painting; Dalí later realized that this nucleus was the true representation of the unifying spirit of Christ.

The feet of Christ point out at the viewer, drawing the eye inwards along his body to the center of the atom behind him. The atom has the same interior structure as the head of a sunflower. As with most of Dalí's other paintings of Christ, his face is not visible. Above the Christ is Gala, her eyes wet with tears.

The figure of the Christ, from his feet in the foreground to his outstretched arms, forms a triangle.

The Preface for the Ascension offers a theological summary of what the Church celebrates on this 40th day after Easter. Pray the prayer before you celebrate the solemnity and focus on those verbs.
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise. Today the Lord Jesus, the king of glory, the conqueror of sin and death, ascended to heaven while the angels sang his praises.

Christ, the mediator between God and humankind, judge of the world and Lord of all, has passed beyond our sight, not to abandon us but to be our hope. Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.

The joy of the resurrection and ascension renews the whole world, while the choirs of heaven sing for ever to your glory: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.