Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I

Wow! I am really delighted to hear that our new Pope will be Francis I. I think our Church and our world needs another Francis very badly. Habemus papam! Hurrah!

White Smoke

Having heard that there was white smoking rising from the Sistine Chapel chimney, I haven't heard yet who the new Pope might be. Talk about suspense!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cast your bread upon the water

I just wanted to share this photo of Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo, from ZENIT via Fr. Z. It makes me feel glad, sad, peaceful, and hopeful all at once. 

Also, I am not a real artist yet (although I finished the last art class of my first term with oil painting yesterday!), but I would say the timing and composition of the photo were very well done. It is a simple, ordinary scene, and yet it also has a dreamlike quality. For some reason, it reminds me of T.S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday."

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Did you know this was Pope Benedict XVI's coat of arms? You can read all about it at the Vatican website here.

Today is a sad and solemn day as the Church will enter a period of sede vacante, but it is also hopeful. May we all continue to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, soon to be officially called "Pontiff Emeritus," for the College of Cardinals, and for the next successor of Peter.

Oremus pro Pontifice 
(To be prayed often in the next 12 hours)

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Our Father.  Hail Mary.

Let us pray.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Carrying on

Have a cup of tea and relax! How is your Lent going? Have you had to rethink your Lenten sacrifices or practices? How about staying cheerful in spite of them, and engaging people in a friendly manner?

For me, Lent is going fairly well and Lent-ishly this year. I find I can do very well without either YouTube or Facebook. I think I saw a meme on Facebook once that showed a box of cigarettes with the Facebook logo, captioned: "Social Cigarettes." I suppose it is. I was certainly at the point where, when anxiety kicked in, off I would go to Facebook to 'calm down.' But I don't need to be up on everybody's business all the time, after all. As for YouTube, "Aw, this three-minute video is a well-deserved brain break!" too often had been turning into, "What, have I really watched so many videos already?!" So, so long to both of them until Easter.

Unfortunately, I don't anticipate having any time to make pysanky this year. Still, I have lots of photos of ones I made in 2011. That was a great winter/spring for crafts. Imagine getting off of work at 4:30 pm! I did not sufficiently appreciate the early hours I had then. (Well, to be honest, I did some days but not others, so given a chance to return to those days, I would make sure I appreciated them all!)

However, all is not lost. To give my artistic inclinations more tools and training, and to force myself to leave the confines of my home office and be with real people, I enrolled in an oil study class. Actually, by the time I thought of it, the session had already been going for three weeks, but the teachers are friendly and flexible, and so I was able to join anyway. I never painted with oils before, or learned how, so it was a little daunting at first to walk into a classroom full of students at various levels, seemingly all working on the finishing touches to very respectable oil paintings. (Since then, I've been getting there on time and sitting by the other beginning students.) Anyway, it has since become one of the things I look forward to most each week.

That's all for now. Busy day ahead with Aqua Zumba at the end of it!