On Wednesday March 11, the day we had the first meeting, far from the situation that would present itself a few days after the COVID-19, we agreed that on April 22 we would meet again to address a topic formative of the EE offered by Juan Pablo Gil, Mexican Jesuit Theologian on a “Reading of the Spiritual Exercises by means of paintings”.
Opportunely, Jenyfer and Marcela told us that this II meeting, since we could not see each other physically, we would do it virtually through the Zoom platform. Warming up engines before and, delving into the theme of the meeting, with the previous reading of two articles proposed by Juan Pablo, one of Fr. Konvelbach on “images and imagination in the USA. and another by Luis Martínez “As if I were present.” Imagination and fantasy in the USA
Essa reunião foi realmente interessante, principalmente porque, além das instalações de conexão – que em nossa casa, no final da tarde, tem um problema -, Juan Pablo, por sua experiência no uso de algumas pinturas notáveis de pintores e artistas renomados , estava nos ajudando a ver, com o apoio de textos bíblicos, dos EUA. e um olhar atento a cada pintura, como elas poderiam ser usadas para a proposta da EE, desde o momento da preparação até a mesma que nas diferentes semanas, já na própria experiência. Um recurso bonito que realmente ajuda.
We discussed with Enaceyla that perhaps it was necessary to take into account the type of exerciser to whom the experience was directed, since not everyone has such an educated sensitivity to art. Without a doubt, who likes painting and art can be a very good help tool to put the creator in contact with the Creator.
We liked something very beautiful that Juan Pablo expressed and it was how he, first prayed before about the painting to propose without forcing it, let himself be carried away by it; then, as he likes art history, he went to the explanations of the painting and, if it helped him, he was encouraged to share it, aware that for some people it works and for others, it doesn’t. So, it is a question of leaving it, as Saint Ignatius reminds us, that as much as we have to use of the means as they help for the intended purpose.
Another thing that I really liked was, how you can find in the lives of so many artists their existential depth, their humanity that in some way we all share the base of all human beings and how many of those painters, never imagined that their works could open us to later generations in the imaginative field, to help us pray in the experience of the exercises.
Well, “it is a great truth that everything can be spiritual in the deepest and most correct sense of the term and at a level that very few people suspect. That is to say: truly all our acts, if there is a devotion (or concentration, or love, as we want to call it) and a surrender, a disappearance or death in them, it can be said that “they are fully spiritual”, that is, they are touched for bliss and innocence.
We can even say that it is as if they did not belong to us at all. Painting, of course, very often reaches, even despite the painter, that level of dedication and devotion … I mean that voluntary attempt to represent the transcendent. In other words, all the painter’s longing is focused, in one way or another, on that search and the beauty of the painting that therefore arises as a function of that longing.
In this sense, it can be said that officially religious or religious-themed painting, even though it fulfills its decorative function well or even as a support for devotion, sometimes does not go beyond being superficial and conventional, while, on the other hand, much painting, say “Casual” or apparently worldly (and of course officially non-religious), it nevertheless reaches that eloquent spiritual intensity and depth. ” It was what Juan Pablo managed to show us in this interesting formative meeting.