The Way of Beauty
ADAM AND EVE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
THEME: We are stewards of creation
FOCUS OF THE MEDITATION: In the Garden, God named out firsts parents as stewards of creation. Though beings made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are yet creatures among creatures. We are to love God above all creation, but we may do so likewise through our care for the animals and the earth in its proper order. A profound acceptance is necessary, as we are to love the earth and all it contains in relationship to God.
Vatican Museums' Pinacoteca
Acquired by the Pope Gregory XVI in 1831
"In this idyllic landscape of Adam and Eve in the Garden, Peter Wenzel magnificently depicts the harmony and multiplicity of all God's creatures."
"Our senses find in this image a perfect habitat of protection, freedom, and communion with creation and Creator.. And at the center we see Adam and Eve. Traditional farm animals are nearby, with domesticated creatures including man's best friend at Adam's right hand, with a cat sitting at his feet."
"Like our first parents, we are not alone in our search for God. For God is gifting us at every moment with life, relationships, and the magnificence of creation. The beauty of the earth reflects the glory of God in order to lead us back to him."
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
"All humans are loved by God. Do you revere God in the face of others in yur life? Have you gossiped about or slandered others? How might you change behaviors that are self-centered or hurtful toward others or yourself?"
The comments above are taken from Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu. To truly enter into this Visio Divina, I suggest purchasing the book as each masterpiece comes with a complete description, prayer and reflection, and spiritual exercise.