I recently moved to New York, and one of the most striking things is the constant stimulation I have felt in this bustling city. My life has been filled with so many new things since moving here, and yet, there has been such a sense of emptiness and lack of being satisfied.
As I ponder the Beatitudes, there is something deep down which makes me uncomfortable. There is an unrest which I cannot silence, no matter how long I may try.
“I cried this morning. I know that my Father is sad too. I feel this sadness very much. Why does it have to be so?”
“My child, beloved child. I cannot spare you tears. Sometimes, I even wait for them. Then I wipe them and say, ‘do not cry.’ What remains is to await a new maturity.” Radiation of Fatherhood, page 19
My Dear Sister,
I write these words as I pray through my own sorrow.
For weeks, I have wanted to write, but have been unable to do so. There has been so much written, and so many emotions expressed, that I desired to pray for words of healing in this time.
Our Church is hurting. Christ is hurting. His Bride is hurting. You and I are hurting. We ache.
It has been quite a while since we have posted on the blog! I am writing today to share our exciting news of why we have not been able to post as much recently.
This past Thursday, I moved to Manhattan, New York City because we are partnering with Frassati NYC (http://frassati.nyc) !!!
For the next year, we will be doing ministry with Frassati and leading a Visio Divina prayer group on Wednesdays. We are so very excited to be leading young women and men in the heart of the city to come to know the Lord more by praying with art.
The upcoming Visio Divina is this upcoming Wednesday, September 12 at 7 PM. If you are in the area, we'd love to have you join us!
7pm: Fellowship/Dinner. Bring your own dinner or come at 6:45pm to order for $7
7:30pm–9pm: Prayer time. Begins with Liturgy of the Hours Evening Prayer. Then reading and praying with Scripture and art.
Location: Kolping House. 165 E 88th St S. New York, NY 10128 (Between Lexington and 3rd Ave) Buzz and walk back to the double doors
The wheel above my head squeaks as I slowly pull the rope, raising my water jar from the bottom of the well. Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I sigh in relief and think about today’s plans. I grab the lip of my water jar. It is such refreshment to touch the cool stone as I lift it out of the well.
Then, I hear it.
“Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2)
My heart races. These words strike me as important.
It is just a usual morning.
I walk into the water — it is a little cooler than yesterday. The rough rocks and sand brush up against my feet as the waves gently roll in and out.
Today was a good morning of fishing. My brother, Andrew, calls out to me. His net is worn from his last catch. “Peter,” he says, “you are so skilled at mending nets — can you help me?”
With my callused hands, I weave in the ropes of the net. It is rough — but this brings me joy … it is all too familiar to me. As I mend the net, I recall with my brother some childhood memories of fishing.
Everything seems so simple, calm, ordinary, comfortable. Until … I hear my name. No, this isn’t Andrew.
Maino, Juan Bautista, Pentecostes. c. 1612-1614, Oil on canvas, Museo Prado, via Wikimedia Commons.
“Beauty will save the world.” I have often pondered this quote by Dostoevsky in light of my work in art. But recently, I have been pondering its words in another context — the human person, God’s ultimate masterpiece — which, in all its richness, form, and authenticity, provides a beauty which seizes the heart.
In this painting, what stands out to you? There is lots of movement, vibrant colors, realistic forms.For myself, my eyes were immediately drawn to the two women — the Blessed Mother and Mary Magdalene.
These women are on fire with the Holy Spirit. They are truly captivating.
“The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them.”
A wound is something so very intimate.. It is a source of pain, a sign of weakness. But in the wound of Jesus in this painting, He shows us something. Wounds can be a place of meeting … A place of encounter.
How much Jesus longs to be close to us, but how easy can it be to close the door of our hearts and lock them, just like the locked door enclosing the apostles in the upper room? It is so much easier to hide ourselves in a false security of self-sufficiency.