|The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio|
In a recent interview Pope Francis mentioned Caravaggio as his favorite artist and this painting, The Calling of St. Matthew, as one he would often visit over the years when he was in Rome. (Click on the image above for a larger version of this scene with Christ and Matthew in the dress of Caravaggio's day.)
Of the painting Francis said, "That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew. It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze."
In the gospels we learn that Matthew was a tax collector, thus the pile of coins he's hoarding in the painting. Following the pope's lead, we know that Christ has turned his gaze on each of us and often calls us to let go what we hold on to most dearly. Let us pray...
Audio for today's Pause for Prayer
not a day passes by nor any night
but that you call me,
that you call me by name
and call me to follow you...
So many things hold me back, Lord:
my pride and possessions,
my faults and fears
and the people and things I long for
and lean on as if in them
I'd find the peace of mind and heart
I long for above all...
Help me find the quiet time and place
where I might hear you call my name
and in the calling hear a promise
sweeter, deeper, finer than anyone
or anything might offer...
Help me let go and leave behind
whatever keeps me from your love, Lord,
that I might rise and follow you
and in you find all the peace my heart can hold...
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