All posts filed under: Spirituality

Doorways

As I am writing this, we are seeing morning footage of the damage from yesterday’s fire at Notre Dame de Paris. Incredibly, but not surprisingly, the Cross gleams amidst the rubble and the ash. The sacred relics of Christianity are saved. God is merciful. My heart is joined with fellow Catholics in France and around the globe, mournful for the loss, but I am also hopeful that this tragedy will rekindle in the French nation a return to Christ and the godly principles that can restore a nation, nestled in the arms of Notre Dame, as she petitions on our behalf to the Almighty and Eternal God. Today, I had been planning to share a word that I received a number of weeks ago that I hoped might be of some encouragement to you: “You don’t have to walk through every doorway you come across.” – attributed to the Holy Spirit, 03/30/19 What does this mean for you? I believe it means that in the hallways of your life, a door may be open, or …

Getting Inside That Head of Yours

Certified life coach Kendra Levin is author of The Hero is You: Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be. In her book, Levin states: “So often, the people we most long to be like, our heroes, are simply versions of ourselves that are further along in life than we are, or who’ve employed the qualities we share with them, to take a different path than we have so far. To forge our own paths, we have to understand what our natural gifts and strengths are and foster them with our attention” (4). Getting inside that head of yours requires introspection and self-analysis. Levin guides the reader through an exercise of analyzing one’s mentors and admired friends to seek to identify what mutual traits are shared, and what we wish to cultivate in our own soul growth. This practice is as valuable for spiritual growth as it is for the development of a creative practice, and that is what I’d like to explore in this article. Some questions …

Encountering Soul-Changing Beauty

What is it about art that draws us, compels us to a state of contemplation, humbles our souls before the light of the beauty of God’s creation, or moves us to tears? Over the past few months, many changes have occurred in my life but one of the best ones was an opportunity to travel, where I was able to encounter, what I’d like to call, “soul-changing beauty”, unexpectedly found at an exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. This is the piece of art in question, a work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, of Tiffany and Co. fame: And here is a small gallery of close-up shots (at least, as close as my camera phone would allow!): In the foreground, there appears to be a garden of wild grapes, pink hollyhocks, and purple climbing clematis, with a field dipping down to a lake and a rolling hillside in the background. I am in awe of the level of detail and exquisite colors employed in these stained glass panels and the serenity of …

The Practice of the Brown Scapular

The first time I saw the scapular, which looked like two woolen squares attached to a few ribbons, was around the neck of one of my younger cousins. She was a cradle Catholic and I found it positively bizarre that anyone would choose to wear such a thing. I recall asking her about it once and in her gentle way, she smiled and acknowledged that it was just something she was led to do, that she found worked for her. It left me completely puzzled. Did she sleep in it? Shower in it? What about someday when she’s old enough for prom…won’t it clash with everything? How on earth does one begin to find a dress to pair with that mousy, scratchy brown wool? I was mystified. If I’m being completely honest here, I waffled between thinking Catholic practices and beliefs were curious but misinformed, or downright idolaters (sorry). I read a wonderful article recently by someone further along in the practice of wearing a brown scapular than I am (in my three months? now) …