Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review

This review appeared originally at Alan's Eyes & Ears.

Full of Grace: Encountering Mary in Faith, Art, and Life, by Judith DuPre. Hardcover.

Every Christmas, I pick up a specifically seasonal book, and the last few years, that reading has focused on the Virgin Mary. This is another of those books, and a beautiful one at that.

The book contains dozens of striking photos, mostly of Marian works of art, although other photos are included that speak to particular themes. There are famous works of art, and obscure works of art. There is painting, photography, sculpture, and architecture. In addition to brief discussions of the artistic works, the book talks about a range of discussions related to Mary and related themes. Some of these are historical, some are devotional, and some come from the author's experience.

DuPre is taking a clearly modern view on Mary, and sometimes moves a tad too far into the non-traditional for my personal comfort level. But I take those passages as thought-provoking, as challenging, and DuPre usually moves back inside the guardrails of my comfort zone in due course.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dante on the Trinity

In the deep and bright
essencs of that exalted Light, three circles
appeared to me; they had three different colors,
but all of them were of the same dimension;
one circle seemed reflected by the second,
as rainbow is by rainbow, and the third
seemed fire breathed equally by those two circles.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Steve Nicholson on Simplicity

Proper attitudes toward simplicity:
1. Receive what you have, what comes to you, as a gift from God.
2. It is God's business, not yours, to care for what you need and what you have.
3. Have your goods available to others.

Steps to take in developing a lifestyle of simplicity:
 1. Buy things for their usefullness, rather than their status.
 2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
 3. Develop a habit of giving things away.
 4. Refuse to be propagandized by advertising and the cult of the latest gadgetry.
 5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
 6. Look with a healthy skepticism on "buy now, pay later" schemes.
 7. Obey Jesus' instrictions about plain, honest speech.
 8. Reject anything that leads to the oppression of other people.
 9. Stress quality of life over quantity, and being over having.
10. Take time to see if God will provide a need without having to buy it.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

2013 priorities

In deciding what to prioritize for my spiritual life in 2013, I have decided to retain my 2012 priorities, which I accomplished to various degrees in 2012. In looking at the "new monastic" and "urban monastic" movements, and I will continue to try to integrate these 5 priorities into my life.

S olitude
S tillness
S ilence
S implicity
S ervice

I have not worked out how each of these will be integrated into my life, but I have confidence that I'll figure it out. I have a destination.