Elizabeth Schultz

Exhibit showing - November through February 26, 1999

Secret Garden/Gate
of Heaven

oil on masonite
36" x 40"
$5000 (NFS)

Artist's Statement

"Secret Garden/Gate of Heaven is the third in a sequence titled Mary, Type of the Church: Pilgrim-Model of Faith. The first of the three is titled Come Rain on me, Eve!: The imagery is of a woman of stone, breaking apart with the force of the graces provided by the Holy Spirit hovering over the statue's left shoulder and dissolving the stone to pools of water. (Ps: 112 7-8, Jn.7:37-39). It symbolizes the grace of transformation of the images we have held of Mary in the past history of the church. Our Lady wishes us to come to know her, not as a work of art or a statue on a pedestal, but as someone warm and real that we can emulate. The second is titled Rebirth: It is a child sitting in a mountain stream: When all the stone of the statue has broken away there is the birth of the new child, Mary conceived without sin, filled by the Holy Spirit, who still hovers over her shoulder as He did over Jesus when John baptized Him. She is completely transformed and a part of the Living Water she is sitting in, which represents Jesus. (Jn. 1: 13, Jn.3: 3-8). Ecce ancilla Domini! Fiat...(Lk. 1:38) 'These words convey the infinitely simply childlike self-surrender of her whole nature to the eternal God's will. Perfect humility, perfect simplicity! Childlikeness, most heroic childlikeness!' (Quote from God My Father by Fr. Joseph Kentenich.)

"The painting before you titled Secret Garden/ Gate of Heaven is the image of a child sitting on a rock in an outer garden, gazing upon a daisy: The Child Mary is sitting upon a large Rock (which represents the Church) bringing us her message of childlikeness as a way to enter the Gates of Heaven. She is meditating on the daisy she holds in her hand, which she has brought from the Holy Inner Garden where it grows in abundance. It is not to be found in the outer garden (which represents the world in the state Adam and Eve have rendered it) where she is seated. The daisy is the symbol of the Innocence of the Holy Child (which represents her Son, herself and her message for us). She wishes through her teaching and example that Jesus be born again in us, so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven through Him, and with Him. (Jn. 10:9, Mk. 16: 15-20, Matt. 10:5-33) 'We believe that Our Lady's being determined her action and that she was the Father's child in a profound way. Psychologically speaking, by the very law of the transmission of life, she will, therefore, give to her children a deep childlike love for the Father. This psychological basis is enhanced through the mediating activity of Our Lady. Mary's function is linked to this psychological process'. (Fr. J. Kentenich) There are two pillars visible above the wall surrounding the inner garden to the left of the painting and two trees can be seen through the open door in the wall. There is a correlation and purpose between these images. The pillars are symbolic of the pillars mentioned in John Bosco's famous prophecy. One pillar represents the Eucharist and the other, Blessed Mother. The trees are the living wood of the twin crosses Jesus and Mary shared during the crucifixion. Jesus as Our Savior and Mary as Co-redemptrix in her role as the Sorrowful Mother who stood faithfully at the cross until the death of her Son.

"I would like to conclude with some quotes from the mass text of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Gate of Heaven. This mass celebrates the Blessed Virgin as she lovingly accompanies God's people on their pilgrimage to their true home in heaven. The faithful contemplate her as 'the holy city, the new Jerusalem ... arrayed like a bride for her husband', and hears the voice of the Lord from the heavenly throne, saying 'See, I make all things new '. The metaphors of 'door' or 'entrance' or 'gate' or 'threshold' have been applied from patristic times to our Lady to express her function as the second Eve, to express her virginal motherhood or her intercession for the faithful. She is the sinless Eve, who has overcome the pride of the first woman by humility, overcome Eve's disbelief by faith, reopening what had been closed: 'She is the humble Virgin, whose faith opened the gate of eternal life, closed by the disbelief of Eve'; [Preface] the gates of paradise, closed by Eve were reopened by you, O Virgin Mary'. As the Virgin Mother of Christ she is "the very gate of life', because from her 'the Savior of the world came among us, Jesus Christ our Lord: 'the resplendent gate of light', through whom 'there came to shine on us Christ, the light of the world': the Maiden-Mother, bearing the Word of God .... the gate of paradise', who 'in bringing God into the world' has unlocked for us the gate of heaven".

Tel. (414) 695-0396

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