Dancing on Demons

Continuing on with macabre religious art series! Here is a lovely picture of the Nativity of Christ by Botticelli, which happens to be featured in my new book, The Joyful Mysteries! Angels circle overhead, singing their glorias, Mary watches her baby with adoration, Joseph rests after a long journey, and angels dance all around! It’s a gorgeous scene, isn’t it?

Mystic Nativity, by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1500-01. National Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

…wait. How is this macabre again?

Look closer! Click on the image to see it bigger, if you have to!

The angels that are dancing on the ground. In particular, look at what they are dancing on!

They’re dancing on the heads of demons!

So even in this joyous occasion, demons are out poking their heads and trying to look at the Christ to figure out who He is, and perhaps find a way to attack Him. And that would be a rather easy thing to do… after all, Jesus is only a tiny newborn! Though He is also completely God, He is also completely man as well, and at that stage, we are completely vulnerable in our lives and entirely dependent on the people who care for us.

To even contemplate the fact that there were demons circling around Him is a chilling idea, especially since the demonic can so easily influence us in terrible ways, if we let it. Speaking personally for myself, while they are so many wonderful things about having newborns — like, the way their little tiny fingers curl up and the way you cuddle with them and that soft, soft baby skin, for starters! — there are some moments in which you can sometimes feel like you’re losing your mind in a sleep-deprived haze. And, for that to happen — with demons all around me? That is terrifying.

Yet, there is also hope! The angels dance and the demons flee away into the crevices of the earth! Well, the ones that survived, anyway. The others lie dead on the ground, pierced through with long spears.

What can I say? Demons stand no chance against the glory of God!

Dear Jesus,

Protect us from the demonic and keep us always in Your sight.

Amen.

This image, among many others, is featured in my new,  upcoming book, The Joyful Mysteries, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful artwork. Find out more about it here!

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