Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Creation

Giovannino de`Grassi (c 1350 circa – 6th July 1398) and workshop
Separation of Earth and Water and the flowering of the Earth
From Libro d`Ore di Gian Galeazzo Visconti ("L`Offiziolo di Gian Galeazzo Visconti")
c. 1389
247 x 179 mm
LF22, f.30r
Biblioteca  Nazionale Centrale Di Firenze, Florence

The "Offiziolo Visconti" (or Book of Hours Visconti) is  a two-volume illuminated codex commissioned for Gian Galeazzo Visconti, 1st Duke of Milan.

The Visconti Hours is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Lombard miniature.

Fra Amadeo was responsible for the text of the book of prayers and signed his work, 

De`Grassi probably started and finished his portion of the work before he was commissioned for a number of works in Milan Cathedral as sculptor and architect

The Creation narratives in Genesis are often passed over and ignored. Possibly this is due to the distractions of the so-called "Creationism" debates, whether the Genesis accounts are fact, as distinct from the modern scientific accounts of how life came into being

These so-called "debates" cause the essential meaning of God the Creator to be misunderstood and lost

In the Easter Vigil the Creation narratives are an important part of the liturgy

Here is but a short extract of what was more an extended essay than homily:
"At the Easter Vigil, the journey along the paths of sacred Scripture begins with the account of creation. 
This is the liturgy’s way of telling us that the creation story is itself a prophecy. 
It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being. The Fathers of the Church were well aware of this. They did not interpret the story as an account of the process of the origins of things, but rather as a pointer towards the essential, towards the true beginning and end of our being. 
Now, one might ask: is it really important to speak also of creation during the Easter Vigil? Could we not begin with the events in which God calls man, forms a people for himself and creates his history with men upon the earth? The answer has to be: no. 
To omit the creation would be to misunderstand the very history of God with men, to diminish it, to lose sight of its true order of greatness. The sweep of history established by God reaches back to the origins, back to creation. 
Our profession of faith begins with the words: “We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”. If we omit the beginning of the Credo, the whole history of salvation becomes too limited and too small. 
The Church is not some kind of association that concerns itself with man’s religious needs but is limited to that objective. No, she brings man into contact with God and thus with the source of all things. Therefore we relate to God as Creator, and so we have a responsibility for creation. 
Our responsibility extends as far as creation because it comes from the Creator. Only because God created everything can he give us life and direct our lives. 
Life in the Church’s faith involves more than a set of feelings and sentiments and perhaps moral obligations. It embraces man in his entirety, from his origins to his eternal destiny. 
Only because creation belongs to God can we place ourselves completely in his hands. And only because he is the Creator can he give us life for ever. 
Joy over creation, thanksgiving for creation and responsibility for it all belong together."

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