Saturday, November 29, 2014

Like a Secret Told by Angels

"Like a secret  
told by angels, 
getting known 
upon the earth,  
is the 
Mother's expectation
of Messiah's 
speedy birth." 

F. Faber

Painting: Antonello da Messina


Monday, November 24, 2014

Remember with Thanksgiving

'When you lie down on your bed, remember with thanksgiving 
the blessings and 
the providence of God.'

St. Antony

Vintage ad in US public domain due to age

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Most Humiliating Mistakes

'God allows His greatest servants to make the most humiliating mistakes. 
This humbles them in their own eyes and in the eyes of their fellow men. 
It prevents them from seeing and taking pride in the graces God bestows on them.'

St. Louis de Montfort

Painting: Théodule-Augustin Ribot, Still Life with Pumpkin, Plums, Cherries, Figs and Jug

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Love in Heaven

'If love, even human love, 
gives so much consolation here, 
what will love not be like in heaven?'

St. Josemaria Escriva

Painting:William Adolphe Bouguereau, Maternal Admiration

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nothing is Small

'Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. 
Do all that you do with love.'

St. Therese of Lisieux

Painting: Jean-François Millet

Friday, November 14, 2014

When my Heart is Parched

when I read spiritual treatises.. 
my poor little mind 
soon grows weary, 
I close the learned book 
that leaves my head splitting 
and my heart parched, 
and I take up
the Holy Scriptures. 
Then all seems luminous. 
A single word 
opens up 
horizons to my soul.' 

St. Therese of Lisieux

Albert Anker painting, 1904

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pilgrims and Strangers

'We are pilgrims and strangers on earth. 
Pilgrims sleep in tents
and sometimes cross deserts, 
but the thought of their homeland 
makes them forget everything else.'

Charles de Foucauld

Painting: John Singer Sargent, A Tent in the Rockies

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Formed by Fire

'An iron is fashioned by fire..... 
so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, 
our souls receive the form which Our Lord desires them to have.'

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Public domain photo from Wikimedia

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Producer's Cameo Appearances

Even though I grew up watching Alfred Hitchcock movies, I was an adult before I learned one of their most charming little secrets. Mr. Hitchcock not only produced and directed the films, he also made cameo appearances in his works. To those paying close attention, he could be found milling among crowds of extras, or hopping on a bus, or even interacting with a character.

I'd had no idea. No one ever told me the director might show up anywhere, at any time.  Those who cared to find him just had to keep eyes open and watch. A bit of a challenge, I'm sure, in those days before videotapes and rewind buttons, back when the only way to see a movie was to go to an actual theater at the times it was shown.

In my early days of movie viewing, I never saw Mr. Hitchcock in his films. For one thing, I didn't have a very clear idea of what he looked like. For another, I had not been told to look. No one said he'd be there. If I had known, perhaps I would have taken on the hunt as a challenge:  a kind of "Where's Waldo" for those of us in the Baby Boomer generation.

Thinking of this recently, I couldn't help but make comparisons.

The One responsible for the world around us, the One who not only produces and directs but is the actual Author of life Himself, does not remain at a distance.  He doesn't stay "off screen." He is there in the simplest as well as the most profound of all our moments. He is always there, and occasionally He even lets His presence be seen.

In order to find him, however, we have to know to look.  We must be told He is here.

We also have to know what He's like. We must have some idea of His nature. How do we learn this? We spend time with Him in prayer. We read Scripture. We learn His ways through the Catechism and in writings of saints known to be with Him. We see how He relates to mankind.

If we care to find Him, we just have to keep our eyes open. It can be a bit of a challenge to do so, especially when many around us seem not to be looking for Him or thinking of Him, or even giving Him credit for the world in which He has placed us.

If we pay attention, we just might catch a glimpse of Him. Possibly in something about which we find ourselves thinking "that just can't be a coincidence."  Maybe in the sound of rain outside our window. Maybe when we open a page of Scripture. Perhaps when we see an answer to prayer.

The Producer of all we see is never far from us.  We have only to look.  

"This Son is the reflection of the Father's glory, the exact representation of the Father's being, and He sustains all things by His powerful word." (Hebrews 1:3) 

public domain photos from Wikimedia's "Hitchcock's cameo Appearances" page

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Endurance of Darkness

'The endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.'

St. John of the Cross 

 Painting: John Atkinson Grimshaw