And Then He Rested

I like to take photographs. When composing a picture, I look through the view finder, and try to find the impression I want of my subject. When I finally see what appeals to me, and I’m happy with it, I release the shutter, and find gratification in the click of my camera, knowing that I’ve accomplished my goal. I imagine a chef feels the same way, when adding that final ingredient that creates the perfect bite, or an artist, with the last brush stroke of a masterpiece, a composer, engineer, surgeon, writer, designer etc. We have all experienced the feeling of completion and satisfaction with the result. That moment we know we’re done, because we’ve poured ourselves into something, and we think, this is it. This scratches the itch, and any more, would be meaningless.

It’s good to remember, when I see something breathtaking in nature, that as beautiful as that is, God rested after he created us, humanity. In His own Image He created them, male and female. WE are that last brush stroke of the Creator.

The Sound Of Silence

If you’ve ever been in a quiet neighborhood, or even more so in the woods, after a heavy snow, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.  When blankets of white, grace the branches of the trees, and cover the ground.  It feels almost sacred, like the snow shouldn’t be disrupted by man, and there is a tangible silence.  The world is still spinning, nature still moves, but it feels like time has stopped for just that moment.  It is a magnificently beautiful experience that I cherish.  

In reality snow is actually a natural sound insulator, because of the pockets of air trapped between the flakes.  God, in His wisdom, gave us this gift of contrast to our modern world   It can be a little disappointing that the snow plows come, and the salt is dispersed, and we have to pull ourselves away from this pause, for work and school.  

Coming home from the March for life one year, traffic was stopped on Interstates and marchers were trapped in buses and cars.  Food, water, and gasoline were brought to the stranded, and several Masses were celebrated.  How tremendous that must have been, in the silent winter oasis that God prepared for them.

I’ve also experienced this same sort of thing, in a way, at convents.  If you’ve never been to one think about “The Sound of Music”, Maria didn’t fit in, because she was too loud, in voice and movement.  They moved quietly and slowly.  It’s beautiful, this constraint, the purposeful spirit of calm, it seems almost contemplative, and leaves one with a feeling of peace, just like the snow.  A void of noise to be filled with the silence of God.

Living silence in a very busy and loud world, takes effort.  Rushing and hurrying is loud, not to our ears maybe, but to our souls, and the souls around us. Retreats offer us this silence, but maybe we should take a look again at the religious communities. Maybe we should make silence for ourselves…just walking from the chapel to and through our task for the day…in search of that sound of Silence.

Opening Doors

58A39C47-8D1E-4164-B12E-05643D602A6AIt’s fun, when you encounter a new place, a B&B, someone’s house, a church, a new establishment, to see what’s behind the door.  The decor seems to often reflect the destination. If in the mountains there are forest scenes and bears, out west, cacti, broncos, and southwestern art, and along oceans and lakes, beach and nautical themes. Even though the locations may be similar, each place has its expression, and one can get to know the owner a bit through the decor.

Even churches and cathedrals can tell you something about the place, people or period, whether gilded in gold and silver, carved in marble, or using stone from fields and prisons.  They can be simple, or have a cherished gift, the Tilma, Infant of Prague, Veronica’s Veil, or tomb of a treasured Saint.

I too choose things that say something about me.  My home is simple, and doesn’t follow the latest trends.    The walls tell you that I like color, and my decor likely has meaning behind it…items from someone I cherish, religious pieces that inspire me, or souvenirs that spark great memories.

Our Creator has been as selective  in each of us also.  He uses us to share Himself. What part of Him can we learn about, in each one of His human expressions?  We sit and contemplate nature and it’s beauty, and that is good, but do we scrutinize the creation in each other?  What part of God escapes us, in those who we deem uninteresting?  What part of creation are we missing, because we can’t get beyond flesh…whether attractive or unattractive, disabled, emotionally needy, ignorant, obnoxious, criminal, politically opposite, successful, unpopular, unwanted, impoverished etc? What part of the Creator are we blind to, in humanity, when we can’t “see” our neighbor?  Would we be pleasantly surprised to discover a hidden treasure in someone, if we were invited in, …to encounter…  To encounter the Creator.

 

 

 

 

Inspiring Thoughts

“In different passages of Sacred Scripture (especially in the Old Testament), we find comparisons that attribute to God ”masculine” or ”feminine” qualities. We find in these passages an indirect confirmation of the truth that both man and woman were created in the image of God. If there is a likeness between Creator and creatures, it is understandable that the Bible would refer to God using expressions that attribute to him both ”masculine” and ”feminine” qualities.”

St John Paul II, Pope