How overwhelming the first Christmas must have been for Mary and Joseph. Few things can provoke such intense worry as a newborn child. But few things promise such unreasonable hope, such unexpected change and such unbounded joy.
Scared child. Proud parent. Beloved icon. Soul sister. In her startlingly beautiful new book, author Judith Dupre uses each of these phrases to describe the Virgin Mary. It is the last -- "soul sister" -- that sparked my imagination.
Over the past 2,000 years, the Virgin Mary's face has been imagined anew by every generation. We depict her beauty according to current standards of attractiveness, re-inventing her to reflect our own priorities.
Prophets are men of passion. They radiate great force. They fire the spirits of their followers. They are charismatic in the true sense. But there is no blaze in the eyes of the Jesus typically depicted in art.