I have always loved Hilaire Belloc, his histories, his sense of humor, and his poems. My favorite, I think, is Courtesy which we need so badly today. No truer words were ever spoken than his "The Grace of God is in Courtesy."
But I want to focus especially on the artist, Jacques Tissot. He is a living testament to conversion and forgiveness. What could be more appropriate on Good Friday? Tissot scandalized his times with risque paintings that showed too much "stocking and petticoat." That changed abruptly.
He was working on a series of paintings of the women of Paris when he experienced a vision while attending Mass at Saint-Sulpice. It changed his life and his art. He painted his vision of Jesus comforting the poor inside what looks like the ruins of a church. It brings to mind the fire at Notre Dame this week doesn't it?.
|Inward Vision by Jacques Tissot|
In fact, the resemblance is rather eerie:
Tissot went on to do 350 watercolors of the New Testament depicting the Life of Christ. He also did a series of paintings based on fourteen books from the Old Testament.
|Notre Dame interior after the roof collapse|
From sinner to evangelizer in art, he certainly shows us Christ's message of conversion on this Good Friday! I'm praying for the repose of his soul today and for Hilaire Belloc. One evangelized with words, the other with paint. May they both enjoy the glory of the Father's house.