Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas L. Vaultonburg

Carvaggio
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas L. Vaultonburg
According to St. John's gospel, Thomas was not present the first time Jesus appeared after the resurrection. Upon hearing the tale of Jesus having risen from the dead, Thomas claimed it was blasphemy, and would believe none of it until he reached his own hands into the wound on Jesus' side. A week later, Jesus appeared, and encouraged Thomas to confirm his existence by placing his hands inside the wounds on his side. Thomas did so, and finding them legitimate, declared "My lord and my God." This painting by Carvaggio is one of the best known of all time, and is on the cover of my book Submerged Structure. 

I identify with St. Thomas in that I always would like to verify even matters that have a component of faith. In that way one can truly believe with all one's heart. Jesus reaction to Thomas' initial disbelief is noteworthy in that he is not wrathful. Having spent an entire life in the flesh he had come to understand the doubts of the flesh, and reacted to Thomas' request in a way that allowed him to satisfy his doubts. Well played by Jesus here.

In the design for my book I have replaced Thomas the Saint with my own head. He has a Schlitz in his hand. The viewer can see Jesus is indulging my mild insobriety by guiding my hand into his wound. He's not angry at me for having a beer. The others look on intently, secretly wishing they had the cajones to be besties with The Big Guy the way I am. 


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