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Thought for the day 3rd April 2020

Oddly, instead of just hunkering down under the threat of Covid-19, we seem to be rising to the creative challenge it presents. I can’t recall a time anything like this, with its intense flurry of new ideas. Ideas for creating respirators or visors from materials to hand; ideas for keeping in touch while physically distant; hilarious pastiches of songs or artworks, re-purposed to convey the Covid-19 situation. Last night a friend sent me a new version of Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’: the Lord sitting in solitary state at the empty table, with the disciples only virtually present, as on Zoom….

And the artist David Hockney has offered to the world a new series of paintings of Spring in his Normandy garden. What I find really interesting about this is not so much the paintings (blossom and daffodils, created on his i-pad, apparently) but Hockney’s idea that all art is produced by love: love of nature, beauty, humanity. I’m reminded of ‘The Ancient Mariner’, Coleridge’s strange poem: it is only when the solitary sailor is able to pour out love on the creation around him that he is redeemed. For Christians (and Coleridge was certainly one), love is at the heart of creation: creation itself is a kind of overflow of divine love. We are created and redeemed by God’s love.

Fr John

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