Mary is Like the Moon

SONY DSC

This past year I have been thinking about some of the things I tended to stay a way from because I thought they were a part of the “dark side.”   Two of those things were the moon and owls.  I have been challenging myself to think about why those things would seem evil to me.  Didn’t God create the moon and owls?

Needless to say, because of my perspective, I think I missed out on a glorious part of God’s creation.

We have had a great horned owl in the woods this past year.  I have never seen it, but every so often we hear it.  (I spent some time looking up owl calls to figure out what kind of an owl it was.  The call of the great horned owl is very distinct.)  Instead of it being scary or haunting, hearing it fills me with a state of wonder.  Look up the call on YouTube and put the words “You are not alone” to the music of the hoots.  You will never hear the hoot the same again.  I hear it now as a voice from God–reassuring and calming.

A year ago, my mother-in-law died.  She was part of my inspiration to start making rosaries.  During her time in hospice, there was a beautiful full moon.  Because we knew her time to leave us was growing close, we were keeping vigil with her day and night.  If it was not for that, I do not know if I would have noticed that beautiful full moon that lit up the night.  I would have probably been sleeping.

I had run across a saying that Mary was like the moon because she reflected the sun.  I searched symbolism for Mary and the moon, but I could not find anything that related to that saying.  Then, one day, I found it.  It is from a quote from Archbishop Futon Sheen.  Here is the quote:

“God who made the sun, also made the moon.  The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun.  All its light is reflected from the sun.  The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son; without Him, she is nothing.  With Him, she is the Mother of men.” ~Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The rosary pictured above was made with that thought in mind.  The Pater beads are bright and yellow like the sun.  The ave beads are actually moonstone.

May we too be a reflection of the Son.

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theART and SOUL of Prayer

heART and SOULYesterday, a friend of mine, Kristen Olson Vincent, nominated me for the ArtChain going around on Facebook.  For five days, you are supposed to post an image of your work and nominate someone else to do the same.  My first thought was that I would post rosaries and prayer beads I have made because that is how Kristen and I met.  That would be an incentive to get me back down at my beading table everyday, and/or get some of the rosaries I have already made posted for sale on Etsy.  (In these next five days I hope I will do that too.)

However, it got me thinking about things like:  What is art?  What is the point?  Am I an artist?  When did I decide I wanted to be an artist?  Am I still an artist even though I have taken a new job as a nursing assent in the dementia unit of a local nursing home?  What about the issue of the other blogs I have started including: Praying with Our Senses and aroma prayer?  Do I want to combine them into this blog?  They do have a common theme, which is prayer.  What is prayer?…  Many questions are swirling around in my head, and I still do not have the answers.

One thing that is standing out to me is this quote I found on Pinterest some time ago that I put in my creative prayer art journal this morning.  (I am never sure what to call that journal.)  I had to do a google search to find the author of the quote.  You can change some of the words and come up with the meaning from my point of view.  For instance:  “I make art to show God I am listening.”  “I pray to show God I am listening.”  “I make art to show my heart I am listening.”  One word seems to stay the same in these revisions–“listening.”

So, instead of asking myself what I am going to post for the Facebook ArtChain each day, I am going to listen without questioning to my soul, my heart, and God.  It will be interesting to see what evolves.

Snow2:4:15

This is what I posted today (before I did my creative prayer art journal page).  It just stood out to me.  There was a beautiful, sparkling white, new blanket of snow on the ground this morning.  I know if I had a larger zoom lens, I could have seen even more of the detail in each flake, but this is what my lens was able to find.  Can you listen with your eyes?

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New Anglican Rosary in Bronze, Turquoise, Stone, and Czech Cut Glass

Anglican Rosary

Some have contacted me to see if I am still making rosaries, and my answer is “yes!” It has just been awhile since I have posted any for sale on Etsy.

When I was shopping the other day and found these turquoise bead frames, I knew they would make the perfect cruciform beads. That was the inspiration I needed to get back to my bead table this morning and bead. I have missed it!

New Anglican Ecumenical Rosary

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Chalk House Blessing

EpiphanyChalkHouseBlessingWhen I read about the Epiphany Chalk House Blessing on the Liturgy blog, I wanted to do it with our own home.  The only problems were that we only have a sliver of trim above our front door.  (The top of the door is basically next to the ceiling.)  The other problem was that we do not have any brick on our house like is shown in the picture on the Liturgy blog post.  So, the question was, “Where would I put it?”

Then, I remembered the framed chalkboard I had, and I realized there was no reason why I could not hang it outside.  Click on the Epiphany Chalk House Blessing link above to find out more about this meaningful practice.

(I know that it is past Epiphany, but I decided that did not really matter.  Next year, I will be ready.)

God’s Blessings to your Hearts and Homes this New Year!

Christine

SONY DSC

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My New Word for 2014 is “Adoration”

The Adoration of the Christ Child by Carl Marr

The Adoration of the Christ Child by Carl Marr

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  I have just been working on some new things.  As it has been so long since I posted, I thought I would share with you the word I have chosen for 2014.

I invite you to go to Christine Valters Paintner’s blog and choose one too.  Here is the link: http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2013/12/09/give-me-a-word-2014-fifth-annual-abbey-giveaway/

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New Hand Painted Rosary Beads

Working on some new beads to incorporate into rosaries

Working on some new beads to incorporate into rosaries

There are times when I cannot find the right color bead to put in  rosary.  In this case it was something in lavender.  At least, that is what started my little afternoon paint project.  When I finished the lavender bead, I decided to make a few more.  I think I will be doing some more of these.

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New Verse for The Wheels on the Bus – The Nuns on the Bus…

NunsBus

 

This is what was going through my head as I sat at my desk and made rosaries this morning.  Is it obvious that I watch our 20 month old grandson during the week?

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round…The nuns on the bus say (eyes closed, head down, hands folded) pray, pray, pray….

(Excuse the ‘artwork.”  I decided that spending a lot of time on it was not a priority today.)

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Oops! I forgot one!

This morning I received a message from someone questioning if there were supposed to be 10 small beads on this instead of nine.  Oh my!  I missed one!  It is not the first time I have done this, but I usually catch it before I list it in my shop!  I am glad that this person caught my mistake before someone purchased it.

This brings up another point that I have so often thought about, namely vintage rosaries.  I wonder how many other “oops” rosaries there are out there that have survived the ages.  I imagine this one getting out there and years later being analyzed.  Would those in the future know that it was a mistake?

I have seen antique rosaries that seem to be missing a bead.  Often, it is assumed that one bead was lost over the years.  Maybe that is not the case, and the rosary maker simply forgot a bead.

Though, I did take this out of my shop right away when the mistake was brought to my attention, and I plan to remake it and include the intended 10 Ave beads, I am reminded that it is not the number of our prayers that are important.  I don’t believe God counts them.  The purpose of counting prayers is only a method to keep us focussed.

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Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit Necklaces

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit NecklacesThe purpose of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit necklace is to remind us to nurture the gifts we have been given through baptism. Each necklace has seven leaves, which symbolize the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit found in                       Isaiah 11:2-3.

Fr. Dennis (Denny) Dempsey introduced me to the thought that in order to receive the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we need to nurture the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here is how he explains it.

“God can love you but not make you loving…be patient with you but not make you patient. God can’t make a single one of the [Fruits of the Holy Spirit] appear in your life…but you can. Put the Gifts of the Holy Spirit into practice and watch [the Fruits of the Holy Spirit] appear more and more in your life.”

Fr. Denny describes the Seven Steps to a Fruitful Life as follows:

Reverence [Fear of the Lord]
If you have deep respect for God, you’re going in the right direction for a fruitful life.
Piety
Give God sufficient time and attention to guide you as your life coach and teacher.
Knowledge
Study God’s Word and ask God for the information you’re going to need each day.
Understanding
Ask God to help you see daily situations from God’s perspective. Aha!
Counsel
Everyone needs good advice. Who better to have as your counselor than God?
Wisdom
Here’s where you make the decisions…wise ones if you followed the first five steps.
Fortitude [Strength]
Having made a wise decision, you need strength to endure the challenges.

According to Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, endurance, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.

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Psalms of Hope Chaplets

Psalms of Hope Chaplet

Psalms of Hope Chaplet by prayer bedes

The first prayer beads documented in the Western Church were called Psalters. Religious Clerics were required to pray the Divine Office, which included reciting and meditating on the 150 Psalms of the bible during specific times throughout the day.

Memorizing all 150 Psalms is beyond what many of us will ever accomplish. Yet, the Psalms carry many words that can be of great comfort to us in times of distress.

I created the Psalms of Hope Chaplet for this purpose. The comforts and strengths we can find in praying the Psalms are many.

A mantra or short phrase is at times all we can utter when we are distressed; it becomes our fervent prayer. The meaning of the word “hope” becomes much deeper than we ever imagined. Repeating a short phrase from the Psalms for prayer can help us rest in God’s loving presence.

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