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Two paths

The gallery is filling day by day for the big art show that runs most of January. Nearly sixty works, I think. One that I wish we could have in the show I saw in the chapel of a men’s dormitory not far from here. The stations of the cross, the narrative in most Catholic churches set out in numbered images around the sides of the sanctuary, tracing the path of Christ from trial to crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In one frame in the dormitory chapel, Simon leaned over to begin taking the weight of the cross from a struggling Christ, while a broad-shouldered soldier looked on impassively. Nothing else in the scene. The simple, quiet contrast was remarkable, communicating instantaneously the two paths in life: service informed by empathy, or judgment at arm’s length simplified by discipline and authority.

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