Friday, October 14, 2011

Update from the Bronx!

Just to update my readers on what I've been up to...I've become a missionary with LAMP Ministries. I'm committed for a year but if I/ we discern that I'm called to stay longer I could- you commit a year at a time. LAMP Ministries serves the materially poor in the NYC area, with a focus on evangelization.

I am very blessed for God to have been brought me here, it's good to see God providing for me seeing as how this past year I really didn't know what I was going to be doing after college. I came across LAMP in my research toward the very end of this past school year. I think God sort of likes to not let me know exactly what is going on until I really need to know in order to keep me dependent on Him. I've been reflecting on God's love for the poor before coming here and as I've been here...and I've come to somewhat of a better understanding of it. God is drawn toward the poor because they naturally tend to be more aware of their own need. We are all poor before God; we are all totally dependent on Him for all we have and all we are. It is to those who are aware of their need- those who are humble-those who are under no illusion that they have it all together by their own power- who are able to receive God. I'll write more about this later I'm sure but I just wanted to mention it here to tie it into an increased awareness I've been gaining of my own poverty and my dependence on God. In my poverty I don't understand exactly where my life is going or where God is taking me, which forces me to hold on tight and trust that he knows my needs better than even I do and desires to provide for me all I need. Even when I think back to where Christ revealed Himself to me in a deeper way, it was when I was broken down and deeply conscious of my own need for love, and longing for this love- that I found Christ providing His very self to satisfy my need. And then during times when I was at my weakest- when I was most conscious of my poverty and need, it was then that Christ most tangibly became my strength. A big thing with LAMP is being with the poor, in realizing that we too, though we are not materially poor, are all poor before the LORD. It is this posture of being with that helps us to relate to the materially poor as our brothers and sisters.

I'm enjoying being in New York City. The female missionaries I live with and myself were invited over for dinner last night at our pastor's rectory. Father is from Nigeria and I asked him how he ended up in New York. He got into it and was explaining how he wanted to come to New York City because "that's where all the action is!"

Please pray for me as I continue to get settled into this phase of my life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Holiness= being your integral self.

As I have been discerning I feel God has been trying to communicate to me that what He desires is for me to be true to who I am. Sounds simple enough, right? But in reality it has been quite a challenge...and He's still breaking me down and planting a desire within my heart to be possessed by Him entirely. Holiness will happen when I let my desire for intimacy with Christ trump my desire to be in control. Controlling and manipulating God doesn't work, so why try? But part of me is still stubbornly trying to control, part of me is holding back from surrendering entirely to Him. Part of me doesn't trust God, part of me doesn't trust that His will for my life will satisfy my desires. I pray that God will win me over more and more and reveal to me more deeply how He is worthy of trust, that He is after all "for" me.

Danielle Rose is beautiful. This song really communicates the wisdom she has aquired, surely through her own wrestling with God, that holiness- intimacy with God- is about being fully alive in your own skin.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Marians of the Immaculate on the MoEs

Follow this link to read an article about the Missionaries of the Eucharist posted on the website of the Marians of the Immaculate. The Marians of the Immaculate promote the Divine Mercy message and devotion. It was a highlight of our walk to visit them at the Divine Mercy shrine in Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 Walkers

Here's an introductory video of 6 of the 8 people I walked around New England this summer with sharing the beauty of the Faith.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seeking the Image of God in the Human Person

(Originally posted on the blog of the Missionaries of the Eucharist)

A special aspect of the time that I've spent with the Missionaries of the Eucharist is being able to share in the lives of many different people, even if only for a short time.  Here are some sketches from life of some of the people I have been able to spend time with.  Some of them are fellow missionaries, some of them friends of the missionaries- members of host families and others who have spent time with us.  I feel that a special privilege I have as an artist is that when I am able spend time with someone through drawing them, it is a unique opportunity to reflect on the dignity and beauty of the human person and seek to perceive the image of God in people.

Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body has really had an impact on me as an artist.  Pope John Paul II really emphasizes in his teaching that the person, made in the image of God, is revealed through the body and therefore the human body communicates into the visible world the mystery of God more powerfully than anything else in the created order.  In his General Audience of February 20th he stated that:

The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it.

 Along these lines, in his Letter to Artists Pope John Paul II writes that "Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God."

For this reason I feel it my responsibility and privilege as an artist to go deeper into the mystery of the human person, whose spiritual mystery is expressed visibly through the body.  For going deeper into the subject of the mystery of the human person one reflects on the mystery of God.


Monday, June 20, 2011

What I'll be doing this summer.

Dear Readers,

This summer I have the privilege of being a Missionary of the Eucharist. We are walking from Maine to NYC, proclaiming the beauty of the Catholic faith-particularly through the Theology of the Body. I invite you to follow us at the Missionary of the Eucharist blog:

You can find the MoE's on facebook as well.

Please pray for us and the people we will encounter on our journey!

Just for fun, here's a video from a few years ago that I find thoroughly amusing:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sr. Helena fsp on Blessed John Paul II

Here is Sr. Helena fsp's testimony about (now "Blessed" as of yesterday!) Pope John Paul II. If any of my readers haven't caught on I LOVE LOVE LOVE this man. Sr. Helena with her humor, sharp mind and authenticity is always a pleasure to listen to. I feel very similar to the way she feels about Blessed John Paul II as communicated at the end of this video.

I post this as I just today finished up the written component of my honors thesis on the Theology of the Body so these past few days I've been thinking very much about this beautiful man.

But then on the other hand, heck, when don't I think about him. Maybe when I get around to it I'll write my own testimony about my favorite man in the history of the world after Jesus.


Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fantastic Article on Catholicism and Feminism

I just came across and read a superb article by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese:
Catholic and Feminist: Can One Be Both?

Here's an excerpt I particularly liked:

The great twentieth-century theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, also insisted upon the exemplary quality of the feminine for all human beings. Insisting that the word for "answer" or "response" is feminine, he drew the lesson that "woman is essentially an answer [Ant-wort] in the most fundamental sense. . . ."12 For "if man is the word that calls out, woman is the answer that comes to him at last" (254). Thus Balthasar wrestled with the same problem that angers feminists today, namely, how can the idea of equality between women and men be reconciled with the idea of man's primacy? Unlike feminists, however, Balthasar refused to agree that the difference between men and women diminished women's dignity and importance. To the contrary, he insisted that "the word that calls out only attains fulfillment when it is understood, accepted and given back as a word." In his view, man's dependence upon woman thus confirms that "man can be primary and woman secondary" because "the primary remains unfulfilled without the secondary. The primary needs a partner of equal rank and dignity for its own fulfillment" (254).

Throughout the most compelling modern Catholic teachings on the nature and dignity of woman runs this emphasis upon a complementarity of women and men that in no way diminishes women's importance or standing. Indeed, if we follow Balthasar, man himself is "responsive" or feminine in relation to God. In this respect, it is tempting to argue that, as the answer that fulfills the word, women embody the exemplary human posture — that of receptivity or confirmation.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sr. Miriam's Conversion Story

I just got done watching this and thought I should share in case anyone else would be interested. Sr. Miriam James Heidland is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). I found this talk posted on youtube through her blog that I follow NunEssential. I find her story captivating and of course appreciate how she integrates Theology of the Body into it. She's a sister who is on fire about TOB. In the second video the audio and video are slightly out of synch but I found I got used to it. The talk is long but I thought it was worth listening to. Here are the videos:


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marcel LeJeune's Response To Dawn Eden's Criticism of Christopher West

I'm not sure if you have any familiarity with the issue relating to the criticism of Christopher West, but I percieve this entry on the Aggie Catholic blog by Marcel LeJeune, which was written this past June, engaging one of West's critics, Dawn Eden, a particularly balanced and even-handed treatment so I thought I should share. Mr. LeJuene writes:

"My intent is not to prove Eden wrong nor is it to provide an uncritical defense of Christopher West. Rather, I view it as a corrective as someone who is somewhere in between."

Mr. LeJeune has had correspondence with both West and Eden so I believe that he writes with some authority and that this entry, though long, is very well worth reading.

There are a few interesting comments in the comment box as well.

Here's the link:

A Response To Dawn Eden's Criticism of Christopher West

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holding Me

The other day I came across the Intercessor Relief website and noticed that my friend Sean who I had worked with at a Catholic summer camp a few summers ago had posted a song he wrote about the experience of the religious community he joined, the Intercessors of the Lamb, disbanding. If you are unfamiliar with the situation you can read this section of the Intercessor Relief website which explains it.

Here's a link to the song:

Holding Me

This song is very powerful as he is singing from his experience, which as I can imagine has been extremely trying. It is a great testimony of being faithful to following God even though we can't fully know where He is leading us, and clinging to Him in trust even when it seems your world is falling apart. The song also communicates hope and the courage and peace which comes from Christ.

Here is a picture I drew of Sean napping from the summer of '08.

Please pray for Sean and the others that are going through what he is going through.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Radiant Bride

I just wanted to share this photo that my friend posted today. She is a consecrated virgin for the Archdiocese of New York (the youngest in the country last I knew!) and today is the two year anniversary of her consecration. I could have posted a less blurry picture but I wanted to share this one as it is clear that she cannot contain her delight, she just glows!

She writes about consecrated virginity (well) at her blog: Sponsa Christi

Look to God that you may be radiant with joy! (Ps. 34:6)