THE POPE IN HIS OWN WORDS
Instead of just reading about Pope Benedict XVI's current trip to Turkey, we'd all do well to read the pope's actual words as he spoke them. Click here for his remarks in meeting with the president of the Religious Affairs Directorate (and notice the hyperlinks in the text). And click here for his remarks to the diplomatic corps assigned to Turkey. Again, pay attention to the hyperlinks. And to follow the pope's visit through the eyes of the astute John L. Allen Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter, click here.
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WAYS TO PICTURE THE VIRGIN MARY
Artistic expressions of many kinds have been part of religious tradition almost forever.
Next month, PBS viewers in many cities, including Kansas City, will have an opportunity to watch a program that will explore the many ways the Virgin Mary has been depicted over the centuries. The show, called "Picturing Mary," will air at 10 p.m. on Christmas night on KCPT-TV in Kansas City.
This will be a companion to the 2001 program, "The Face of Jesus in Art."
There is a "Picturing Mary" Web site, but so far it's just a single page of photos, which I've borrowed for an illustration today.
My talent when it comes to drawing and painting and such all went to someone else. But occasionally I am struck by works of art that speak to me in profound ways -- especially religious art. A couple of weeks ago, for instance, I was wandering through the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and was really drawn to a painting of a suffering Christ, bleeding and red-eyed. I don't recall the artist, but it was hard not to be moved by the face.
So maybe seeing the kind of art that "Picturing Mary" offers will be a good way to wrap up a Christmas Day this year.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.