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Posts from the ‘Preaching’ Category

Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi is probably one of the best known and loved saints. He is the founder of the Franciscan Order; he and St. Dominic, who founded the Order of Preachers, were contemporaries. One of his sayings that is especially loved by Dominicans is:

Preach always, when necessary, use words.

How does this image preach to you?

How does this image preach to you?

Sometimes Poetry Is Preaching . . . Revisited

Preaching doesn’t always require many words. In fact, as St. Francis of Assisi once put it, “Preach always. When necessary use words.” And poets perhaps demonstrate this beauty and simplicity of preaching with words so well!

Simply Wait

You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait,
be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked,
it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

 – Franz Kafka

Whether you are a surfer, poet, preacher, or photographer, “the world will freely offer itself” when you simply wait.

Today is the Feast of St. Martin de Porres

St. Martin de Porres in one of the tapestries at the Cathedral in Los Angeles

Today is the Feast of our Dominican Brother, Saint Martin de Porres (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639). He is known for his care for the poor and vulnerable, and care of the sick. Many are the reports of his gift of healing, and he was skilled in the art of healing herbs. Animals loved Martin, and he they; they were comfortable in one another’s presence.

Though the priests of the Order were far more educated then he, Martin continually taught his brothers through example how Jesus taught us to value one another.

It was recalled by his prior that once when Martin was punished for picking up a destitute elderly beggar and placing him in his own bed at the monastery, Saint Martin went humbly to his superior and asked for forgiveness. He said that he didn’t know that obedience took precedence over charity.

He said, “Compassion is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap I can easily clean my bed covers, but even with a torrent of tears I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.”

Saint Martin is one whose life was a preaching, and when necessary, he could add the right words.

Preacher of Wonder

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.

E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web

weed, descanso gardens

Weed preaching the presence of wonder.

Every morning I receive a daily quote from Gratefulness.org. After reading today’s, I knew there were many images that easily preach the presence of wonder. Are we listening?

Sometimes Watercolor is Preaching

This watercolor painting of Mount Shasta was created by Sister Joanne Cullimore, OP.  Mt. Shasta is a majestic snow covered mountain that is part of the Cascades in California. It is one of the state’s 14ers, and stands 14,161 feet high.

Cullimore painting of Mt. Shasta, Sr. Joanne Cullimore, OP

Watercolor of Mount Shasta

 Truly, this painting of Sister Joanne Cullimore does all the preaching that is necessary.
God is revealed in creation.

Their Lives Are a Preaching on Forgiveness

The theme is forgiveness. We know that Jesus taught us to forgive, but when the rubber hits the road, we end up feeling like the sentiment on these bumper stickers that I saw this summer at Descanso Gardens in Southern California.

So, I ask you

  • Did the driver and the passenger agree with the sentiments reflected on the side of the car they were sitting?
  • If so, would you want to be a rider in that car?
  • Is this what we are experiencing as we travel through life today?
  • How is it riding in that car?
  • Are these the competing voices inside of the heart and mind of the driver?
  • How is it living inside my own skin listening to the competing voices?

Right now I’m reading the book Amish Grace, by Donald Kraybill. It’s all about forgiveness. “In the Amish view . . . people receive forgiveness from God only if they extend forgiveness to others.” In other words, they put the words given to us in The Lord’s Prayer into action. The lives of the Amish are a preaching on forgiveness.

Many wondered, following the tragic events of October 2, 2006, if the families of the West Nickel Mines School were merely putting on a show of forgiveness. But no, it is clear that this was something they practiced.So that when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place, their practice of the virtue of forgiveness won out. Thomas Aquinas, that great Dominican theologian from the 13th century would agree that if we practice the virtues, we will be able to exhibit them when it is difficult.

I wonder which virtues I’m cultivating . . .

There’s a wonderful Cherokee story called, “Which Wolf Will You Feed?”* I need to choose one or the other, or they may devour one another. It would be like sitting between those two bumper stickers!

*It can be found many places on the internet; here’s one link.

Counterpoint Images – Photo Montage as Preaching

Omega, by Sister Adele, Copyright © 2011, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael

Sunday’s second reading from Philippians tells us:

“Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

In Sister Adele’s words (some forty years ago):

“My fifty years of life fall into nearly equal parts: a quarter of a century at Dominican college in the ministry of teaching, and a second quarter of a century at the same location in a ministry of preaching -“preaching” that is via the visual arts.

While awed by the world’s natural beauty, a real reflection of the Divine, I feel my kind of art must present more than a straight picture of nature. For this reason, I fracture my original image with another, carefully chosen one, enabling me to utilize the counterpoint capability of the montage technique, to create my Counterpoint Imagery.”

To fulfill the preaching component of this art ministry, the art must be made available for public viewing, hence it is available at this link:

Counterpoint Images

Sister Adele Rowland, OP

The Artist