As you may have noticed, occasionally paintings by Claude Monet illustrate my posts. I love the Impressionist paintings and Monet certainly is my favourite painter. In the wake of Impressionism sailed a group of painters that took the Impressionist technique to new extreme: Their paintings would exclusively consist of minuscule dots, paintings made like an ancient mosaic. Or like a picure composed of pixels. Since the dot’s name in French is “point”, this technique quickly went by the name of “Pointillism”.
I am on a train and I just read the news. I read about the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. A politician declared it being an attack on New Zealand’s multi-ethnicity. An attack on the open society as such. I agree. And I feel sorry for the victims. I also feel sorry for the perpetrators. Lost souls seeking revenge… for what? For being? For the world being what it is? For not finding any other sense in their life than taking someone else’s life?
All Saints Day. The Catholic world honours today those who died as martyrs and were canonized. These people died because they believed in the God revealed through Jesus. They were persecuted by Roman emperors, Muslim invaders, Protestant opponents and modern-day tyrants. How valuable a cause must it be to be ready to die for it? Isn’t it strange that some would rather die for their country in a military conflict than stand up for a domestic policy cause like the defense of human rights?
Sarah was ninety years old. It took me a while to see the reference to the Genesis 17:17. It took me some twenty years to trace the title of this piece back to the Old Testament. Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac at the age of 90, Abraham, the father, being 100 years old at the miraculous birth of the boy. Neither father nor mother did believe God when he announced to both that Abraham would have a true heir and that he intended to establish a Covenant with Abraham and later with Isaac – the very origin of the Jewish religion. But God kept word and the miracle happened. A singular event which has its parallel in the New Testament: the miraculous birth of Jesus by a virgin of the name of Mary.