Monday, November 23, 2009

All Beautiful the March of Days

Florida Fall Leaves

Leaves are beginning to turn here in North Florida. They will not reach their peak until sometime in December — but note that by "peak" I'm not talking about New England color. The change of seasons is much more subtle here, and if we are not paying attention, the reds of fall can be overpowered by the green that is always with us.

Nevertheless, the leaves remind me of the hymn by Frances W. Wile that begins,
All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go;
The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow...
Although it is highly unlikely that we will see "the crystal of the snow," our understated autumn still speaks of the loveliness of God, "from Whose unfathomed law the year in beauty flows."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gift from a Dragonfly

Dragonfly on Lantana
(Click on photo to view full size.)

I saw this dragonfly land on a Lantana bush in the back yard and rushed inside for my camera, hoping he (or she?) would stay around. He let me take five pictures before flying off. I felt as if I had been given a precious gift.

Note that we are viewing the flower (the pink floret) through his diaphanous wing.

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

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Only Path to Happiness

According to Saint Therese Couderc, the only way to be happy is to hand oneself over totally to God.

Oh! If people could just understand ahead of time the sweetness and peace that are savored when nothing is held back from the good God! How he communicates himself to the one who seeks him sincerely and has known how to surrender herself. Let them experience it and they will see that here is found the true happiness they are vainly seeking elsewhere.

Watch the video, "To Surrender Oneself," on YouTube, and notice the images of docility to the Spirit of God.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer Sky

Summer Evening Sky
(Click to view full-sized.)

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
(Psalm 108:3-4)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bouquet of Fabric Remnants

A Bouquet of Fabric Remnants
(Click photo to view full-sized)

Fill your world with bouquets! Look for the beauty around you and inside you. If you don't have hyacinths or roses, use what life provides.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lavish in Detail

Yellow-crowned Night Heron by Intracoastal Waterway

If you click on the photo to view it full sized, you will see the intricacies of the heron's feathers. Then gaze on the edge and the patterns in the huge sycamore leaf which dwarfs the bicycle seat on which it is resting.

Dry Sycamore Leaf on Bicycle

Whether in a bird's feathers or a leaf or the double helix of DNA, nature is not parsimonious where detail is concerned.

Lord, how thy wonders are displayed,
where'er I turn my eye,
if I survey the ground I tread,
or gaze upon the sky!
Isaac Watts, "I Sing the Mighty Power of God"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How Lovely Is Your Dwelling!

Cybernun's new video features Brahms' "How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place" (Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen), from his German Requiem.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Happy are they who dwell in your house,
Ever singing your praise!
(Psalm 84:1-2,4)

Not only the temple, not only the churches are God's dwelling, but all of creation -- and each of us is also the dwelling place of God. "Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). How lovely is God's dwelling place!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dandelion Reaching High

Dandelion and Clouds

The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds,
and it will not rest until it reaches its goal.
(Sirach 35:21)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Death Swallowed Up in Victory

Easter Lilies in Sunlight and Shadow
(Click image to view full size.)

Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Monday, March 23, 2009

To Live for Jesus

The short video, "Jesus Tibi Vivo," features a Latin song based on Romans 14:8,
If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
Especially appropriate for this Lenten season is the final scene, where everyone is gathered into the cross.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

No Barrier Needed

Some fences are needed. But we don't need barriers between ourselves and God.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be thine, yea thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

"Just as I Am," Charlotte Elliott, 1841

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring as Lent Begins

Dogwood and Spanish Moss
(Click to view full size photo.)


Primrose, anemone, bluebell, moss
Grow in the Kingdom of the Cross

And the ash-tree's purple bud
Dresses the spear that sheds his blood.

With the thorns that pierce his brow
Soft encircling petals grow

For in each flower the secret lies
Of the tree that crucifies.

Garden by the water clear
All must die who enter here!

- Kathleen Raine

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter Beauty

A north Florida winter has its own beauty, just as every season of life is beautiful in its own way. Here are two pictures taken on Paynes Prairie:

Paynes Prairie in Winter
(click photo to view full size)

November Tapestry

Earlier in the season, the Paynes Prairie vegetation created a rich tapestry.

For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Monday, January 12, 2009

May the Year Bring Peace

Happy New Year!
(Click image to view full size.)

This is a moving-camera light image, edited with PhotoShop to create the blurred, silk-like effect.