OUR LADY OF VLADIMIR
Soft touch, gentle head
bows touches baby’s face.
Mother’s eyes deeply mysterious
looking into eternity.
Baby looking up holding on to mom
mother’s head covered with black shawl
dropping down golden background
light from heaven shot through with divinity!
I am touched, feel quiet beauty
wrapping around me
washing me in mystery
touches of the Divine
Mother’s eyes reach me
include me in her meditation.
Wants me to stay quiet
not run away.
Mother loves me too, taking me
by the hand leads me to her son.
I feel delirious, ecstasy in my eyes.
Mystery overwhelms me radiance
of Russian icon tells me
“You are loved!” “Do not worry!”
Mystery of the mother is beyond
me but her eyes watch me
holding me taking me by the hand
until my journey ends.
MARIAN RUSSIAN ICON – OUR LADY OF VLADIMIR
The Russian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir, is a famous Russian one because of its beauty and meaning it can have in our spiritual life. The mother and child sit with a wall of gold in the background. The mother looks at the child with tenderness and the child feels this and returns the gaze. The picture takes on meaning because this is the Virgin Mary and Jesus is her son who was sent by the Father on earth to preach the good news. The good news is that our Father in heaven loves us and wants us to reciprocate this love. He sent his Son Jesus to teach and his message should help us learn how we can reciprocate this love and become worthy sons and daughters of Our Father. The icon with its beauty touches us and has us rest in this beauty. In the beauty of the icon, the Virgin Mary is touching us and inviting us to follow her Son. She wants us to contemplate this beautiful picture and listen to the words and advice that she offers us. This is a very famous Russian icon and through the centuries, Christians have looked on the picture and drawn inspiration to advance and grow in their Christian life. Mary was close to Jesus and was his mother and now she teaches us how we can be good disciples of Him.
In our journey on earth, there are many paths open to us and pull us to live in a variety of ways. However, Mary wants to lead us and have us follow the Christian path. She encourages us to be faithful in our meditation and good works so that we can overcome the confusion of human life and find the path of her Son which cuts through this confusion. Mary leads us to the real path which opens up for us the knowledge of who we are and our place in the world. We then understand and know the position of other people on earth. This new vision of life grows in depth as we realize that we are to be rooted in God. Mary encourages us to be constant in our journey to base ourselves in the Divine and so overcome the different ways that the world pulls us to lead our life.
In this journey to root ourselves in God and the Christian message, our daily prayer and meditation are important tools. For a while each day, we put aside our many activities and responsibilities so that we can focus our attention on the presence of the Lord who is present at our center and still point. We do this whether we feel like praying or not. We discipline ourselves to get control of our daily routine so that we can have time for meditation. We are already putting things into perspective and making room for this important event in our life, our daily meditation. As time goes on, other things will fall into place and we will see how Jesus saw the world and life and this becomes our vision.
During the month of May which is the month where we honor and think about the Virgin Mary, she offers herself to help us grow in this Christian vision of ourselves and the world. Mary loves us as she loved her son, Jesus. The same tenderness that she shows in the lovely icon, she has for us. This is important for us to realize because in our Christian journey through the years, we have Mary at our side and she encourages us. We are not alone in this trip. This Russian icon is famous not only for its beauty but because Christians during the centuries have realized this role of the Virgin Mary and prized her help. This is an example for us. Let us use this beautiful Russian icon to lead us into the mystery of Mary and her Son so that we can become faithful servants of the Lord in the years to come.
QUESTION: Does the Russian icon and perhaps other works of art touch you so that they give you the inspiration and strength to grow in your Christian life, prayer and work? During the years, I have been very influence by icons and other works of art encouraging me to grow in faith and prayer. Beauty in the material world can impact our spiritual life.
I would be very interested if the readers of this blog would leave a comment. I would like to know how others feel. If you leave also your name and e-mail address, I will keep you posted on announcements which may be of interest to you.