Thursday, December 13, 2007
This is the Pieta sculpture at Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in Charleston, WV. I am not Catholic, but I work at the High School associated with this church and attend student masses there, so I feel very comfortable in this church. I stopped by a couple days ago to say a prayer and light a candle for my Grandma who is isn't doing so well, and was so captivated by the color in this shot that I had to snap a photo.
I know that a lot of people find religious imagery to be divisive, but when I see this sculpture, I think about the way this type of art can communicate the most fundimental ways we are all alike. We all suffer losses. We all grieve. We all love someone so much that losing them is like dying, ourselves. Whether we worship God or not, we are connected by the human condition.
I think too often we find ourselves bickering over our religous differences and refuse to acknowledge that we're really all pretty much the same. Who can't look at this sculpture and not identify with Mary (or anyone else who is suffering) on some level, regardless of religious beliefs? Empathy doesn't require a religious conversion.