The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.—1 John 3:16 (NABRE)
Original piece by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash.
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A Wash of Red
I applied a red wash and grunge effect over the original, and turned up the contrast on the statue, to a point where it made the peeling statue look more raw and lifelike, alluding to the Passion of Christ, when He permitted his body, as the sacrificial Lamb of God, to be torn apart by His tormenters for our sake.
Came Down and Drawn Upward
I cannot even begin to imagine the love and depth of the prayer of Jesus when He dwelt among us. We are pilgrims who have never been to heaven, but He came down from heaven for our salvation. We get glimpses of His prayer life in the Gospels, and in many instances He heads up hills or draws His gaze upward during His perfect prayers with God the Father (bold emphasis added):
Then He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray.—Matthew 14:23 (RSVCE)
So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to set before the people; and He divided the two fish among them all.—Mark 6:40-41 (RSVCE)
And they brought to Him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they begged Him to lay His hand upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, He put his fingers into his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Eph’phatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.—Mark 7:32-35 (RSVCE)
In another instance, Christ was so sorrowful and distressed, that He fell down on His face in prayer, prior to His Passion:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem’ane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zeb’edee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me.” And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”—Matthew 26:36-39 (RSVCE)
Improving our Prayer Life
We should strive always to grow in our prayer life. Here are four tips from Father Mike Schmitz on prayer, honing in on the When, Where, What, and Why: