Beginning on Easter Monday, we will launch a new online magazine for families entitled “Jasper,” featuring the inimitable writing of Anthony Esolen. These essays are perfect for reading together as a family over or after dinner and are the very types of writing that you will want to share with other families. The online magazine is published by Magdalen College, distributed by email, and offered at no charge.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the first issue, which is a reflection on Tintoretto’s painting “The Last Supper:”
Do you kneel to receive the Lord in Communion? That’s what we did when I was a small boy. There was a marble rail that went from one end of the sanctuary to the other, with an open space in the middle so the priest and the altar boys didn’t have to hop over it to get out. You walked in line, as people do now, but when you got to the front you waited until a place along the rail was clear, and then you knelt.
You folded your hands in prayer. But have you ever noticed that when a lot of different people are doing the same thing, they don’t all do it in the same way? That’s why we watch them. So you would glance over to the side, where the priest was coming with the altar boy and giving Communion to the people kneeling, one after the other.
“Oh, I’m supposed to be praying!” you say, because you’re a good boy or girl, but still you look. See, there’s Susie with the pony tail. She’s not like her sister. And that must be her mother. Who is the old man with the funny hairs sticking out of his ear? He seems like a nice old man…