The New Mexican artist Vicente Telles stands in a line of Southwest religious workers going back to the 1700s. He mixes classic and contemporary understandings comfortably, working with nontraditional forms—such as painting an image of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child as a comic book cover or an image of Jesus the King in a mirrorlike meeting, as on a set of poker cards. Despite his whimsy, each work is punctuated by surprising reverence. The dynamic combination of faithfulness to convention and experimentation with materials can be seen in Telles's signature piece The Last Supper. The table scene is treated within a larger theological tradition. Yet rather than working on wood, as is customary, Telles paints on cold-rolled steel. A water-based patina creates a light acid effect on the steel (shown in the detail), and through chemical reaction the effect is reminiscent of early frescoes.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Several days after the Vatican's official
newspaper reported that characters Homer and Bart Simpson are Catholic,
the source of that supposed discovery has distanced himself from the
My local Starbucks—and
probably yours too—has a large sign on each door that proclaims, "Take comfort
in rituals." When I'm being cynical, I read it as a multinational company
preying on our cultural longing for meaning by suggesting we can buy happiness
with a $4 cup of coffee.
So Jesus’ wealthy friends did prove useful in the end. All four narratives seem to agree on this. Joseph, after all—the one from Arimathea, not his Dad— Joseph pulled strings with Pilate. Did he have to call in a few favors earned in questionable ways so he could claim possession of the corpse? Old Nicodemus too, Jesus’ night-shift friend from the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus makes his own fleeting reprise, carting along a ton—almost—of fragrant spices, nard and myrrh (again!), for preservation purposes. Although where he got such pricey stuff, late on a holiday Friday afternoon, is never quite explained. And that convenient, fresh-hewn, garden tomb; even back in the day, sepulchres such as those did not come ten-a-penny! Add in all the hired help they must have needed to get stuff from here to there and, of course, to roll and seal that massive rock . . . Whole thing makes you wonder—doesn’t it?— wonder if that narrow needle’s eye got prized wide open— camel-size, at least—to accommodate these late allies.
Children who sing in a choir, play in an orchestra, or perform in a play are more likely to make good moral choices compared to their peers. This finding was the result of a study at the University of Birmingham involving 10,000 British children and 250 teachers. The study also concluded that participation in sports doesn’t necessarily lead to better moral choices. The findings suggest that sports build character only when parents and coaches work to ensure that outcome. Children who go to church, get good grades, and have parents with a higher level of education also did better in the moral choices measure (Telegraph, February 27).