There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

ars artis gratia

I’ve never been one to stare at art, but experiencing paintings only through quick glances is asking something that is contrary to our nature and to the nature of art. You can’t savor any meal by a bite the size of which can fit on a toothpick. The same is true of art. Until you’re willing to sit and stare, art-appreciation will only be something you might’ve glanced over in your high-school course catalog.

You and I rarely stare at anything (except flickering images), and that, I think, is a habit (a bad habit) that spills over into how we meditate on even less.

So, this is a painting of Mary Magadalene by a 16th century painter by the name of Jan Van Scorel. (yes, a renaissance rendition of our 1st century heroine) So what about the picture helps tell her story? Warning: it won’t come quickly.

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