I was excited to grab a shot of the new Holy Father at this week’s Wednesday audience. But the photos did not go so well. Here the two best shots:
It’s a bit embarrassing coming away with such terrible photos, but it reminded me of an important aspect of humility. Professor Cavadini has been using the phrase, the ‘ephemerality of particularity’ in relation to the Incarnation. The Word made Flesh demonstrates humility in submitting to the fleeting moments, experiences and sensations of human life. The everlasting God chewed food, dreamt dreams and bled streams of blood. We, too, are bound to these small, passing moments.
While a photographile, I realized that at times, the attempt to preserve an event by photographing it can become a rejection of that moment, of the ephemerality of particularity. It can be a moment of desperation, of pride, of annexing that which is given, of clinging to that which is not God. Sometimes, our job is not to capture a moment, but to witness it. This corresponds to our human nature, and may lead to a more profound possession of that moment than if we’d tried to photograph it.
I have been leaving my camera at the hotel more and more this week, content to see what I can see.
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