Sometimes an artist just finds a niche and runs with it.
Take Eduard von Grützner, for example. German painter back in the early 1900s. He tried a whole bunch of stuff over the course of his career, but eventually he settled into doing paintings of fat, sassy monks drinking booze.
The difference between Dominican, Franciscan and Carmelite Spirituality
Dominicans have a much more bookish spirituality. They were a preaching reform movement that was focused on academic and intellectual renewal. They were formidable debaters and made their mark in making the gospel accessible to the common man in forms and words they could understand.
Franciscans came from St. Francis who was more pastoral. He wanted reform, but wanted more peace and harmony with nature, solidarity with the poor, being contrary to clerical privilege, etc. It was certainly more evangelical in flavor. They were more about preaching the truth through works and example and not so much in preachy words and erudite theologizing.
Carmelites are much more contemplative, interior prayer, contemplation of holy mysteries, interior life, etc. It is more focused on the inward spiritual journey. It is rooted in the life of Elijah the prophet (on the original Mount Carmel in Israel, which is a beautiful place to visit), when he went to the mountain and finally found God not in the fire or storm or rushing wind, but in a tiny quiet whisper.
The disciples and monks, holy men and women. Walked corridors of gold, bronze and amongst the most revered of artefacts. Incense drifted above, smoke wavered through the lanterns that followed the walls. The high Sanctuary in he mountains, a most sacred of holy places. Kamar-Taj
But a poison was making its way here, tainted by creatures beyond the concept of time, beyond death. The mountains and the blistering winds granted safe refuge from the darkness that lay beyond them. But this was something they had not expected.
Smoke froze, dead in the air and the flames flickered through the illuminated hallways. A growing dread, a cold grip tugged ever so slightly at their spines. A clawed hand that grasped the building like a child would enclose theirs around a moth, refusing its freedom. The air felt heavy, tension had seeped into tranquillity.
There was a stir in the wind. Heads looked to the heavens above, blurred and wavered, the flags turned and flared now dancing to a different tune.
The Heed of Nature rang, something foul was approaching, rotting, something not of this place. Not anymore.
A foulness that Nature herself chose didn’t belong.
And the cries of the Mountains could be heard, carried on the winds, in their defeat and despair
‘Hurry, Hurry, HE IS COMING’…
The gates were sealed. But would it be enough to stop the entity that staggered ever closer? A creature not even nature could stop.
The wind fell calm, a silence, eerie, desolate. The sun had long set and the sanctuary was stained in darkness.
an enormous bang echoed through the temple. and again..
Bodies trembled at the sound, young and old eyes looked to the door.
At the base, black worm-like creatures crawled from beneath, losing form and spilling out into a pool of tar, but came no further.
Trills and clicks soon filled the silence. The door now bled ink from its grain, groaning under the touch of what ever was on the other-side.
“BEGONE DEMON, THIS IS SACRED GROUND” the Elder announced.
The noises stopped, the residents looked around, at each other to find something that resembled an explanation. Looking at the door in rattling anticipation of what was to come.
In that brief moment they thought it had left.
Black slime materialised from with in the gate. Forming into limbs and a dark mass, its shape looked to be that of a tall man, gaunt and fatigued, features sharp but unrefined, something was hiding underneath this cruel and barbaric visage. The feathered mantle on his shoulders rustled. The being had literally travelled through the gate’s timber foundations without so much as opening it.
Pale eyes stared off at the Elder. with an unnatural hue of amber.
Even here, after all he had done.
“No….It can not be. Stephen?”
His body convulsed at the name. But- oh, the voices…his masters, his eyes rolling into the back of his skull. Oh such sweet words they were saying, it make him tremble with ecstasy.
But it was short-lived, he was suddenly reminded of the humans before him.
All he had sacrificed for them. They could not see, could not understand, they refused and now run from him, can not even look upon him without being reduced to fear.
Even here of all places, from where his past life began. He thought they could understand. But it was not to be. They are like the rest of them.
But the visions and oh…the stench of power, it tempted him too much…. he needed it. Needed it ALL.
The old sorcerer removed his hand from beneath the cloak, gnarled and clawed, it was. But scars remained from the life-changing incident that had all but been forgotten. He grasped the robes before peeling the fabric back, revealing the work of his masters.
The living abyss he had become stared into the very souls of the creatures before him, in the wake of the world’s shameless demands.
He would extract it. everything…anything that his masters defined as ‘Light’
including Life. the soul…the very essence of what is.
Black tendrils lashed out at speed, pulling, constricting, breaking, draining the bodies they found in their path.
The Creature’s form darkened, featureless in the back-light of the gate as it swung open in force. A whirl wind of wind and snow ushered past the black silhouette. But the monks only saw the abyss standing there and it stared back at them in relentless hunger.