What is Art? We don´t know exactly what it is. We don’t know exactly what to do with it. We are as a wild man who has found an object at the beach, admires it and feels that this object tells him something although without knowing what it is used for, he keeps it. The one who wrote that was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book One Word of Truth.
Art is for leading us close to God. Facing the beauty of a masterpiece, we instinctively compare our mediocrity to the genius of the artist and our insignificance towards God’s magnitude. Beauty is the reflex of truth, Thomas Aquinas said!
You see, for instance, the most beautiful creation of the human spirit – the Pietà of Michelangelo. At a first sight, the overall of the work – born from a bit of rough stone – strikes the viewer. As a contrast, the delicateness of the face of Mary jumps out the sculpture. How it was possible to express all the human pain and all the human sadness and, at the same time, all the understanding about the nature of the sin that a human being can achieve? How to show the faith of a woman against all hope?
After the initial impact, a detail stands out from the roughness of the stone. In an autobiographical gesture of the leftist artist, the left hand of Pietà is projected in the air, showing something and leading us to meditate.
The left hand of Pietà shows… “See what the sin makes. See what your sin makes.” Sin is deicide. Not the sin of others (it is even good talking about the sin of others, isn’t it?) but the sin of each of us. And we are willing to say “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”.
The left hand of Pietà asks for… “Come, all of you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering”. And Mary asks us for holding her hand in her most difficult moment. The most difficult moment for a woman when nature inverts the order of the things and a mother must has to bury her son. Not any mother, not any son…
The left hand of Pietà sustains… “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened…” As the hand of Mary in the past sustained the Jesus child now it stretches in our direction to remind us in the saddest moments of our lives that we have two mothers who are taking care among their helpless son.
The left hand of Pietà teaches… “He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.” The gestures of the Son of the Man, inherited from the companionship and the blood of Mary, reminded the gestures of his mother. They were plenty of significance. A bare wave of the left hand of Pietà teach us that even our minors gestures can be plenty of God’s love.
The left hand of Pietà outpoints… “Do whatever He tells you.” Mary shows us the path to happiness. Viktor Frankl taught us that happiness isn’t such either in acting or enjoying but mainly in the aptitude before inexorable situations when man intuits the real significance of the pain and becomes aware about who he is. In such extreme situations there is no mid-term. Either we embrace the God’s will or we rise against it. That is the secret of the joy: scrutinize the happenings searching for the God’s will as the ancients scrutinize the Scriptures thinking of having eternal life through them. “.. Even they testify on my behalf”.
In a world that forgot God and Jesus Christ, the best recommendation for us, not only for this Holy Week, not only for this Easter, but for our entire life is “Do whatever He tells you”. A lifelong motto for the one who lives on faith.