Today I spent a few hours trying something new. I was wanting to create with my hands an act of contrition that would be displayed on my altar. I’ve been thinking a lot of Judas recently as his actions coincide with something I am currently working through.
A few weeks ago, I had picked up a book in the thrift store that had an image inside that called to me. I didn’t want the book, just the picture, and so I bought the book and brought it home with a plan to simply cut out the picture that I wanted. However, I left it a few weeks because I wasn’t sure just what I was going to do with the picture when I cut it out. Today it was time to do something with the image, and in the end I cut out two images.
One of the images was of Judas accepting the payment for the betrayal of Jesus, and the other was a picture of Judas kissing Jesus. I first laid out a black piece of lace that I had bought to use as a veil for church but that had not been what I needed. I wanted to do something amazing with it, and I did. After laying down the lace, I put the first image out on a bracket for holding the picture. I laid a wooden cross in front of it, and also a skull that I had in a random location.
Then I pulled out a brown easel that my youngest daughter had painted, a put the larger image, the one of Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss on it. I also put out a frame with a picture that has the text of the Jesus Prayer on it. In front of the easel I placed an icon of Jesus in the center, and a modern icon of the Sorrowful Mother on the left. On the right I put my modern icon of the Eucharist.
It needed something more, this was a penitential act of prayer that I had spent a good amount of time on putting together. Eventually it came to me to put a small bowl of ashes in the scene. I think it’s very poignant and it is everything I wanted for it to be. I’ve been working through something huge from a time in which I betrayed Jesus completely, with an act of desecration. Once Lent is over, I’ll be keeping the images, but will likely take the altar down and make something else.