Monday, December 31, 2007

God Among Us

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made
through him,
and without him was not anything made
that was made.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of all people...
The Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
We have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son
from the Father.
(John 1:1-4;14)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

In Radiant Beauty

Basket and Christmas Balls
(Click photo to view full-sized.)

"The Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty."
(from the Liturgy of the Hours)

Friday, November 23, 2007

House of Many Colors

(Click on photo to view full-sized.)

I haven't been back to this house to see if the owners have chosen to go with a single color. I rather hope not. I am reminded of Joseph, beloved of his father.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. (Genesis 37:3 KJV)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Rock That Is Higher than I

Heart and Rock
(Click photo to view full size.)

Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me abide in your tent for ever,
find refuge under the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 61:1-4

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Urban Mandalas

"Sanitary Storm Sewer"
(Click on image to view full sized.)

"Warning: Do Not Fill"

Courtyard Rosette in Snow

There is beauty all around us, even in the most utilitarian of objects. For more urban mandalas, see Hubcap Mandalas.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baby Wrens

Baby Wrens in Flowerpot
(Click on photo to view full size.)

The mama wren, rather unwisely it seemed to me, made her nest in a flowerpot on the patio. It was wonderful, though, to see the lovely babies. It was also wonderful to watch her approach the pot stealthily, thinking we couldn't see her. Finally, early one morning, a cat found the nest. One baby was killed, but somehow the mother managed to lead the second one to safety.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. (Luke 12:6)

Monday, August 13, 2007

House of God, Gate of Heaven

God is present, no matter where we are, no matter what is happening. We may cry out with Jacob, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Peahen on Branch

(Click to view full-sized photo.)

The peacock was an early Christian symbol of the Resurrection.

Although the peahen is not as showy as her male counterpoint, she has a dignified beauty of her own. (The tuft of stray feathers that seems to be sticking out of her left side actually belongs to her chick, hidden behind her. )

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Iced Drink on a Hot Day

Iced Drink on a Hot Day
(Click image to view full size.)

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Psalm 36:7-9

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boundless Mercy Video

This is a video reflection on a poem by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hubcap Mandalas

How delighted I was to discover a community garden in Gainesville, with vegetables, flowers, and art. Here are some photos of painted hubcaps, found objects which have become in this setting a contemporary form of mandala.

For a reflection on mandalas and more photos, visit Caught Up in God: Urban Mandalas.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Boundless Heart

This is a photograph of Galaxy Cluster 1E 0657-556, used courtesy of NASA. I have shaped it to remind me of the immensity of God's heart, large enough to embrace all of us, no matter who we are or what we have done. I share the photo with you on this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

According to Raïssa Maritain, “…we have, under the action of grace and through the travail of the soul, to leave our bounded heart for the boundless heart of God. This is truly dying to ourselves” (Raïssa’s Journal).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Blessing of Rain

Rainy Day from Window
(Click to view photo full size.)

We are giving thanks to God for the desperately needed rain brought by Tropical Storm Barry to our drought-plagued region.

Below is a picture from one of the fiercer storms of 2004.

Rain Against Window

Monday, April 30, 2007


(Click on photo to view full-sized.)

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And of thy store two loaves are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

- Saadi (medieval Persian poet)
You will find many versions and translations of this poem. This is the version I remember by heart.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Into Light

Out of darkness
Into light

Glimpse of porch and Alabama River
(Click on image to view full-sized.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Comfort of the Resurrection

Dandelion against Blue Sky
(Click photo to view full-sized.)

That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire
and of the
Comfort of the Resurrection

CLOUD-PUFFBALL, torn tufts, tossed pillows ' flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs ' they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, ' wherever an elm arches,
Shivelights and shadowtackle in long ' lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ' ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare
Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches
Squandering ooze to squeezed ' dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches
Squadroned masks and manmarks ' treadmire toil there
Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, ' nature’s bonfire burns on.
But quench her bonniest, dearest ' to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
Man, how fast his firedint, ' his mark on mind, is gone!
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
Drowned. O pity and indig ' nation! Manshape, that shone
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, ' death blots black out; nor mark
Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time ' beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, ' joyless days, dejection.
Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. ' Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; ' world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, ' since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ' patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins

Foolishness of the Cross

(Click on photo to view full size
and to more easily read the text.)
For God’s foolishness
is wiser than human wisdom,
and God’s weakness
is stronger than human strength.
(1 Corinthians 1:25)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Food for the Journey

Bread and Grapes
(To view full-sized, click on photo.)

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NRSV)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Welcoming Spring

March Flowers at the Thomas Center
(Click photo to view full size.)

My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
for lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."
Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

By Way of the Wilderness

Alabama Clay Road
(To view full size, click on photo.)

God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness...
The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day,
to lead them along the way,
and in a pillar of fire by night,
to give them light,
so that they might travel by day and by night.

(Exodus 13:18,21 NRSV)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pelican Flying Low

Pelican Flying Low

(Click on photo to view full size.)

And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.’

So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and very winged bird of every kind.

And God saw that it was good.

God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’

(Genesis 1:20-22)