Although it is now Lent, this year’s Lent for me is pretty much non existent. The spiritual life however is not. What is religion and what is spirituality? What is the spiritual world? Does God even exist? These are some of the questions that have been plaguing me for well over a year.
I don’t have any answers at the moment. What I do know, at least for myself, is that prayer and spirituality are still important, despite my estrangement from all forms of organized religion. There is a certain kind of eternal beauty to a healthy spirituality, a truth and beauty that surpasses all other kinds of beauty, even the erotic.
I love the above painting by Rembrandt. It is, in all its simplicity, an expression of the deeply complicated world of the spirit, a world we often must confront in the isolation and loneliness of our own existence. Although others can help us along our path and journey towards God, in the end it is always an individual bond that we must either accept or reject, a bond that we might find liberating or stifling and one with which we often find ourselves struggling. Prayer and contemplation are one means of finding our truth path in the spiritual world, and this painting seems supremely contemplative, as St. Peter is surely musing on his own death and what lies after.
I hope to once again find clarity in my spiritual life, but until that time arrives, in the meantime, I do find some clarity on the beauty and eternity of God through such wonderful artistic works as this.