Holy Land Pilgrimage

Art: A Window to Prayer

February 14, 2022

Our travels through the Holy Land have taken us to many different churches and holy sites. Recently, we visited Mt. Tabor, Mt. Carmel, and Cana. I have recognized a growing attachment to the art in these places. The significance and sanctity of the sites are complemented by the beauty of the paintings and mosaics. I’m thankful for the art, which has been, for me, windows into the wonder and transcendence of God. These works of art have been helpful for me while at prayer. Through them, I have been able to focus and pray with scripture stories in a renewed sense.

My experience in Cana is an excellent example of how I’ve connected with God through art. The Catholic Wedding Church in Cana has a beautiful painting of Mary and Jesus attending the Wedding at Cana. They are seated close to the wedding couple and are shaded by a large black canopy. The image prompted me to pray deeper with that story. It made me wonder how well Jesus knew the couple, what he discussed, and how he behaved. What would it have been like to be with Jesus at a wedding reception? The artwork got me thinking and helped me consider new ideas about the person of Jesus.

Our recent journeys have helped me continue forming my heart to the heart of Christ. If I am to represent Christ to my community, my life must reflect his to the best of my ability. From the way that Jesus prayed to the way he relaxed at Cana, there is always something for me to learn. I’ve been thankful for the spiritual growth made possible by our travels in the Holy Land. In these last few days, I’ve been increasingly grateful for the works of art which have drawn me into some beautiful experiences of prayer.

Nick Zummo
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau 

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