Monday, August 17, 2009

Learning from Bertha

The interesting image above shows the painting "The Assumption of Bertha Huber." A Concord Pastor posted it a few days back in relation to the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (actually a re-post from '08).

From the good pastor:

If this painting offends, please accept my apology. I post it here not out of any irreverence or even playfulness but rather because the feast of the real Assumption is upon us and, as on all feasts of the Blessed Virgin, we need to discover how what happened in her life and love for God relates to our own. From the website of the painter, Marcia Sandmeyer Wilson:

"This 16x20 oil painting is called The Assumption of Bertha Huber. It is the third version I have done of this theme. Miss Huber was godmother to my three children. She died at age 87 in August, 1975 and I told the children I would paint what it 'really' looked like.

"Miss Huber was from Munich so I know she was expecting nice blond angels waiting for her in heaven... (I)n the first version I also had little pug dog angels because Miss Huber was very fond of our dogs.

"At the bottom of the painting is supposed to be me and the three children weeping for her at the nursing home where she had expired just moments before our arrival. It was a very good nursing home, by the way, named Calvary, in the Bronx."

Painting in the folk art style, Wilson has given us a kind of folk art appreciation of the Assumption. The word comes from the Latin assumere which means to take to one's self. Assumption celebrates the Lord's taking to himself his beloved Mother, the Mother of us all, who, the Church has taught from early times, was assumed into heaven body and soul lest the body which bore the Christ into the world should undergo any corruption.

We pray that one day the Lord will take us to himself at the time of our passing from this life to life forever with God: one day the hands reaching down in Wilson's painting will reach out for you and me. No, we will not be assumed body and soul: this mortal coil of ours will undergo the inevitable corruption of nature. Yet one day the Lord will waken each of us to glory and our souls will be reunited with our bodies in a glorified state, the beauty of which we cannot yet imagine.

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