Life is Grace

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh, Baghdad, and on and on…and now, again, France, on Bastille Day. The murder of innocents all over the world goes on. But as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said: Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that.  Hatred cannot drive out hatred: only love can do that. Let us …

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“If the only prayer you ever said in your whole life was ‘Thank you’ that would suffice.” (Meister Eckhart) Today on Facebook a friend posted in gratitude on the fourth anniversary of his heart and kidney transplant. Definitive proof that miracles happen everyday, to people we know and love. A smaller miracle happened to me, …

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seeing with new eyes

February 22, 2016


The technology, speed, and busyness so prized by our Western culture foster a habit of blindness. For all the bustle, a dreary sameness comes to mark the places where we live. We forget that there is a vast depth beneath the apparent surfaces of things.

The eye of aesthetic spirituality sees more than other eyes. Art in general, and photography in particular, helps to facilitate this awakening by granting epiphanies through its transfigurations of the ordinary. We come to know more than what appears within our line of vision.

–Christine Valters Painter, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice

There is great truth in this. I know I have come to see the world differently since I started photography…I was so blind to all of the beauty around me, in everyday things I never saw before and completely took for granted.

I remember when my mom had cataract surgery, a number of years ago. It was a joy to drive her home afterwards, for she was like a small child again, exclaiming that she’d forgotten how beautiful the world was, how lovely all of the colors were; my mom was experiencing the world in a completely new and unique way, at the age of 76. Cataract surgery–having the film removed from one’s eyes–is a prefect metaphor for a new way of seeing reality. A way of seeing with wonder and amazement.

That’s how I feel when I am  photographing, for instance, purple flowers from a five dollar supermarket bouquet. Take, for instance, the lovely flirty ruffled curve of their petals, their soft, velvety textures, their gorgeous deep and rich purple tones…I live my life immersed in beauty, chronic pain and depression be damned! The ordinary is indeed transformed.

Photography has helped me to be grateful for the beauty of this glorious, fascinating world God has given us. Sometimes just the act of photographing a flower, a sunset, the smile on my husband’s face (oh my, do I love his dimples!), becomes a prayer of gratitude in itself.

What about you? If you like photography, do you find it has changed the way you see, and participate in, reality? Or is there another spiritual practice that transfigures your world, your everyday experiences?

 

 

 

 

 

PRAY FOR PARIS yes, pray for Paris but remember before They attacked Paris They bombed Beirut They brought down a Russian airliner They killed one hundred in Egypt They have slaughtered thousands in Syria and Iraq and they are not done yet so pray not just for Paris pray for Our entire broken, bleeding, world …

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Originally posted on Therese J. Borchard:
With all the uncertainty that’s going on in my life, I’m trying to cling to prayer as much as I can, to continually ask God to guide me in a direction that best promotes His peace in this world. Ironically, as I looked for prayers to say in the…

buddies

Barbara Resch Marincel

From today’s Prayer for the Morning in Magnificat, a hymn for Memorial Day: “Remember, Lord, the fallen Who died in fields of war, In flaming clouds, in screaming crowds, On streets that are no more, That we today might waken And greet this day in peace With grateful prayer for those who bear The storms …

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