Friday, April 10, 2015

The Pieta lives in each of us.

Dr Abe V Rotor

If you are familiar with Michaelangelo's Pieta, you would probably ask why the deviation in Lluch's interpretation. The weightlessness of her Pieta is symbolic of an act of God that is beyond any power of us mortals to achieve, or even to understand. God's ways are always like that. Mystery preserves His omnipotence. Ordinary men submit to this mystery, the core of our faith.

In the same way, Michelangelo's Pieta makes viewers ponder on the total submissiveness of a grieving mother holding on her lap the body of a lifeless son in mute and apparent inquiry to the world why, yet unquestioning the wisdom of God. Who would believe it to be the work of a young sculptor? Perfect to the eye and touch, too deep to comprehend, too human it's almost divine. Then in the stillness of the night Michelangelo chiseled his name on the entire length of Mary's sash. No one cared.

For centuries the Pieta became a pilgrimage icon in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Then in a flash a jealous artist swung a sledge hammer and smashed the face of Mary and broke off her arm. When asked why he did it, he cried, "Oh, beauty, why are you so elusive?" He was full of hate and greed - the opposite of the message of the Pieta.

I saw the rebuilt Pieta in St Peter's Basicica encased in a glass so thick that even the flash of my camera bounced off. As I reflected on the masterpiece dimly through the glass I tried to put myself in the shoes of its maker. Micahaelango is truly a Renaissance man. Years after I saw Julie Lluch's Pieta. It is now on top of a hill in Antipolo in the shade of trees. The figures speak of the same message as relevant as it was five hundred years ago in Rome. Pieta is sacrifice - unselfish and unconditional. Pieta is temperance, submission, compassion.

Pieta means that you" die a little when somebody dies." Something dies inside us when people die in war, when people perish in accidents, when the unborn is killed. Or when people are unjustly treated, when they go hungry, when they lose hope to live. Pieta makes each of us truly human and a living thread that makes a beautiful fabric of humanity.

Life size sculptural work in bronze by Julie Lluch Dalena, St Paul of Chartres Convent, Antipolo. Rizal

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