Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Light Shines in the Darkness

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 came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

(John 1:1-5)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Light

This is not a glass icicle ornament, but a stream of water catching the light.

The larger photograph gives a glimpse of the hand and the glass of water.

Sometimes a light surprises the child of God who sings;
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

(William Cowper, alt)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Your Light Will Come

I have just noticed that the last several posts have to do with light. Now that it is Advent, the theme of light continues, with the feeble lights of the Advent wreath both a prayer and a promise of the eternal Light of God.

Your light will come, Jerusalem;
the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.

(Responsory, Advent Morning Prayer, The Liturgy of the Hours)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let Your Light Shine

As the days get shorter, you might like to view Cybernun's new video, "Let Your Light Shine."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Morning Light

Sunrise on a Country Highway
(Please click on image to view full size.)

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
(Isaiah 60:1-2)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Radiant Gears

Radiant Gears
(Click to view full size)

Beauty is everywhere! But we do need to stop and look. What if Moses had not turned aside to gaze at the burning bush?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Seeing Light

Late Afternoon Sun through Patio Wall
(click to view full size)

From And There Was Light, by Jacques Lusseyran, a French Resistance hero who was accidentally blinded at the age of seven:

It was a great surprise to me to find myself blind, and being blind was not at all as I imagined it.... They told me that to be blind meant not to see. Yet how was I to believe them when I saw! Not at once, I admit.... For at that time I still wanted to use my eyes. I followed their usual path. I looked in the direction where I was in the habit of seeing before the accident, and there was anguish, a lack, something like a void which filled me with what grownups call despair....

...some instinct — I was almost about to say a hand laid on me — made me change course. I began to look more closely, not at things but at a world closer to myself, looking from an inner place to one further within, instead of clinging to the movement of sight toward the world outside.

Immediately, the substance of the universe drew together, redefined and peopled itself anew. I was aware of a radiance emanating from a place I knew nothing about, a place which might as well have been outside me as within. but radiance was there, or, to put it more precisely, light. If was a fact, for light was there.

I felt indescribable relief, and happiness so great it almost made me laugh. Confidence and gratitude came as if a prayer had been answered. I found light and joy at the same moment...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beauty in Simple Things (2)

One day recently I noticed that the adding machine tape had flowed over, rather gracefully I thought, onto the floor. So I stopped and took a few pictures. Here is one of the photographs, modified with several filters.

Beautiful? That may be stretching it a bit. But who knows? Perhaps one day you may stop to gaze at an ordinary sight, and find it is really a burning bush.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Laudate Dominum

Cybernun has a new video: a rendition of the sublime Laudate Dominum, from Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore. The Latin lyrics are Psalm 117.

Friday, July 25, 2008

That All May Be One

War, violence, injustice, racism, sexism, unloving divisions among the human family -- all of these deny the truth of our oneness in God.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beauty in Simple Things

These are photos of pipes, taken in the Cenacle Retreat House in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York. The house was built in 1926 and will soon make way to a smaller, greener, more efficient building. Although there are obvious beauties in the old building (the stained glass windows, the dark wood doors and moldings, for example), beauty may also be found where we least expect it—wherever we walk during this day, if we have eyes to see.

Granted, the loveliness of exposed pipes is open to discussion, but I suspect you will agree with me, if not that these are beautiful, at least that they are interesting.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Predator Kitty

Cat Peering

This spring, when the baby squirrels lived in holes in our patio wall (see "Test Everything"), a neighborhood cat had high hopes of catching one. But all he can get in the hole is his nose.

Cat Settling in for the Long Watch

Knowing he can't get at the baby squirrels while they are in the nest, he settles down to wait, on the very slim chance that they will come out while he is there.

Cat Seeing Me Watching Him

Be sure to click on the photo to see the size of his eyes. Is this a guilty look? Or is he accusing me of interfering?

I don't know whether you will find anything inspirational in these pictures, except perhaps the enjoyment of God's creatures — but that is probably inspiration enough.

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
(Psalm 104:24)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Test Everything

Baby Squirrel Nibbling Spanish Moss

Baby Squirrel Nibbling Nail

Like human children, the baby squirrels outside my bedroom window seem to put everything in their mouths. A passage from 1 Thessalonians comes to mind:
...test everything;
hold fast to what is good;
abstain from every form of evil. (5:20-21)
I notice that Paul does not say "taste everything," however, which could be more than slightly risky.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Holy Ground

"Angel" Glimpsed Praying in Woods
(Click image to view full-sized.)
Take off your shoes from your feet,
for the place on which you are standing
is holy ground.
(Exodus 3:5)
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Friday, March 21, 2008

I See His Blood

Driftwood Cross
(Click on image to view full-sized.)

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

- Joseph Mary Plunkett

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Street Reflection
(Click on image to view full-sized.)

If you look carefully, you'll notice that some of the vegetation visible in the window is actually inside the empty house, having found an opening and flourished there -- and indicating the tenacity of life.

Now we see only reflections in a mirror,
mere riddles,
but then we shall be seeing face to face.
Now I can know only imperfectly;
but then I shall know just as fully
as I am myself known.
(I Corinthians 13:12, New Jerusalem Bible)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

God Is Love

Heart Clouds
(Click on image to view full-sized.)

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. (1 John 4:16b)

If you would like to send this picture as an e-card, visit Vocation Quest Cards.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shine in Our Darkness

Light Breaking on Pensacola Bay
(Click on image to view full-sized.)

O God, when all seems to be darkness in me,
may your Light break through,
for you are always here, loving me.

"If I say, "Let only darkness cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you,
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you."
Psalm 139:11-12