“Keep death daily before your eyes” advises St. Benedict, referring of course to our own deaths. But his words make sense only in the context of belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
On Good Friday, we ponder that suffering, that death. It is a mystery – of love and forgiveness, of surprising companions and unsettling desertions. As the story unfolds, we see all the elements of the human condition – compassion and cruelty, grief and anxiety, accusation and recognition, denial and acceptance.
This small painting called that mystery to mind for some medieval lord, and for others in the centuries since; it is now found in the Museum at Monte Cassino, in Italy.