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Darkness Covered the Earth

April 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Holy Week, Praying Through Art, Triduum

Darkness Covered the Earth

Good Friday

Crucifixion Detail for post on Darkness Covered the Earth


Art for this post on Darkness covered the Earth (Good Friday) – The Crucifixion: Crucifixion detail of Issenheim Altarpiece, Matthias Grünewald (c.1470-1528), 1506 to 1515 or perhaps 1512 to 1516, PD-US author's term of life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.  This painting is found in the chapel of the hospital infirmary of St. Anthony's Monastery in Issenheim, in the Alsace region of France.  At one time, this monastery was a hospital for victims of the bubonic plague, believed, by some, to be the infamous “Black Death”.  Because Grünewald’s painting looks like someone who had suffered from the plague, this painting has also been associated with the quote from Isaiah 53:4:

“Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.”

The Issenheim Altarpiece is Matthias Grünewald's largest work and is considered to be his artistic masterpiece. It contains details in it which have come from details given by St. Bridget of Sweden, who is famous for the prayers she composed on the Passion and Death of Our Lord after her visions. She founded the religious community of the Brigittines.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • judeen

    My Lord and My God… you loved us so much to give your life on earth for us.. you suffered every pain of sin we caused and felt from others. generations of pain, suffering sorrow, you saw right threw our fears, selfishness, pride and arrogance,  you did not fall for our conniving sceems . to make you look foolish, you did not fall for the bulling, being pushed and hurt around so they could get control, you did not fall for the power and highly educated throwing their weight around.. trying to make them selves better than you….. now  silence .. still ness before the tears and sorrow of the Father shook the earth and even the dead raised to proclaim your HOLYNESS

  • Mary Harris

    Darkness covered the world then, and it continues to cover it now as well. Has sin completely disappeared as a result of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross? Do people still continue to reject, hate, even kill their fellow men? Yes, of course they do! But why? Jesus died for every single person who has lived, is living, and will live in the future. Why do some imitate Jesus’ self-giving love while others choose to hate? Why do many walk in Jesus’ light and others fumble in the darkness?

    Maybe the answer lies with the people who have been given the grace to stand beneath the cross and have let Jesus’ overflowing graces wash clean and saturate their own weak, sinful hearts. Maybe it is their task now through prayer, fasting and gentle persuasion to bring the souls submerged in moral and spiritual darkness to Calvary, too, so their hearts can be changed forever through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #618,
    states: “The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the ‘one mediator between God and men.’ (1Tim. 2:5) But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, ‘the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery’ is offered to all men. (Gaudium et Spes 22 #5; cf 2)

    This must be our goal, our mission : ONE DAY AT A TIME, ONE SOUL AT A TIME FOR JESUS! Let us not waste a minute to” complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church.” (Col. 1:24)  

  • Cludwick

    His saving action for us: Paid in full…! Our response: Follow Him.

  • Spina1953

    what a great thought! a personal prayer for all who know Christ died for us and personal insight!

  • $1650412

    Only You, Lord Jesus! I want only You!

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