The Nativity Scene
with figurines in modern day peasant clothes
from Guatemala. An example of how
the past becomes present in Gospel Contemplation
The "past becoming present" can be seen from Ignatius Loyola's instructions for the prayer exercise on the Nativity . The red underlined portions are examples. The maid, ox, servant, and paying homage are all projections from his own culture:
. First Prelude. This is the history of the mystery. Here it will be that our Lady, about nine months with child, and, as may be piously believed, seated on an ass, set out from Nazareth. She was accompanied by Joseph and a maid, who was leading an ox. They are going to Bethlehem to pay the tribute that Caesar imposed on those lands. ....Two other examples of this can be seen by going to the following images:
. First Point. This will consist in seeing the persons, namely, our Lady, St. Joseph, the maid, and the Child Jesus after His birth. I will make myself a poor little unworthy servant, and as though present, look upon them, contemplate them, and serve them in their needs will all possible homage and reverence.
- Click here to see a Chinese Nativity Scene.
- Click here to see a painting of the Flight Into Egypt. Flight Into Egypt, by William Blamire Young, 1924 is seen as part of everyday life experience. The culture with which the painter seems to have used is that of the late 19th or early 20th century. Mary and Joseph are painted against the background of the Australian Outback. Joseph is dressed as a gentleman with formal attire and top hat. As well Mary is depicted in the contemporary style of that era.