A Wonderfully Human Kind of Joy

The Holy Family–Matthias Stom


This painting by Matthias Stom (Dutch, 1600-1652+) is so vibrant and full of life that it speaks loudly of joy. Stom was Dutch, but he did most of his painting in Italy, closely following the style of Caravaggio. I love this painting’s warm, humid temperature, its Mediteranean feel. It’s a refreshing change from the pale Madonnas and blond or ginger Christs from earlier in the Renaissance. The figures are human and full of emotion.

It’s their humanity that touches me most. We can identify with both their joy and wonder. There’s no sign of the pain to come in the child’s life, or of his parents’ eventual heartbreak.

As Advent becomes Christmas, and the Christmas season blossoms as a brand new year, let’s rejoice in hope and count our humanity as the blessing it is. The Word became flesh and was happy to be among us. What a beautiful gift.

Thank you for visiting with me here. Your friendship and companionship and wonderful good humor have truly blessed my life. I hope the coming year is full of all sorts of blessings for you.

See you in the New Year!

6 thoughts on “A Wonderfully Human Kind of Joy”

  1. Priscilla says:

    Have a blessed Christmas, Laura!

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      I hope you’ve had a wonderful, blessed Christmas as well, Priscilla!

  2. skyecaitlin says:

    Blessings of Advent/Christmas be bestowed upon you and your family, dear Laura. I hope it’s filled with all the magic of this season, and I am so very happy to have met you, too.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Thank you so much, Skye. Sending a thousand blessings to you!

  3. skyecaitlin says:

    St. Joseph is one of my very favorite saints; the quiet Saint, but he’s very powerful.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      I concur wholeheartedly. Steadfast and a really good guy.

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