madonna del latte

She’s everywhere in Italy.

Madonna del Latte or "Madonna of the Milk."  Back in the 14th century, artists were positively enamored with her.  They painted her, carved her out of stone, prayed to her, and painted her again.

More often than not, she's either actively nursing the baby or preparing to nurse.  And sometimes, Jesus is actually fighting to get inside her robes.

When we walked into Sicily's national art museum in Palermo, there she was, again and again and again.  Not one, not two, but twenty, maybe twenty-five renditions of Madonna del Latte.

Again and again and again:  Mary, the “Theotokos” (“House of God”).  Mary, figure for the Church, one of the marvelous ways in which God is letting down God’s milky love, God’s grace, God’s tenderness, God’s mercy, God’s peace, God’s healing. 

In the halls of that museum, you could hear the wisdom of tradition singing across the centuries, “Come to me, all who are weak and heavy laden.  Come to me if you are going through a broken relationship, battling depression, struggling with an addiction, or surviving an eating disorder.  Come to the church; come and drink deeply from the grace of God.  Come and see, come and pray, come and be made whole.”

Josh NeimarkComment