A sandstone boulder rolled down our hillside garden and planted itself on our walkway. Linnea wanted us to move it back up into it's place. I had been wanting to do a stone carving to see what that was all about and here was the chance. After an hour of pounding on it, this is about all I could do. Linnea dug a hole in our garden for it and there it will sit until it......well, rolls down again.
I just could not let this day pass without honoring Saint Francis of Assisi in some way. What better way than to show a Franciscan!
The old Friar in the center is Fra Gerardo, a humble and happy little follower of the Poverello. We are in the garden of San Giovanni Rotondo (me on the right as a 3rd order postulant- another brother on the left whose name I have forgotten). Fra Gerardo's cell was next to mine. He had grown up with St. Padre Pio and lived with him for many years. He always had a smile and a cheerful countenance with only good to say. The picture was taken in 1974.
I had to post this again. An impromptu performance at St. Paul's' Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota by the Lutheran College Collegiate Chorale. I think this just happened as the choral group was visiting the Cathedral and just decided, on the spot, to form a large half circle around the church and sing. Other than the singers, there are few people present. Their tempo for this work is slower than most choirs perform it which makes perfect sense in such a large empty space. The reverberation of so many voices would have gotten muddled had they sung it any faster. These singers' voices and phrasing fit together perfectly for the space. Their director must be a man go good heart and soul. I wish I could have been there.
Yes, this is a digital painting. I thought I would try out Photoshop CS5's Painting brushes to see how they work compared to Corel Painter. I added the canvas texture to it just to add a more personal touch.
Many people consider digital art as not true art and I tend to agree since manipulating color on a computer is non critical - you can delete, go back, erase, color correct, etc. But, it can be fun and when you work for a living in the digital world it is almost mandatory to know.
One can get an idea of the grandeur or this great feast day of the Church when looking at such a great work of art as this sculpture by the the baroque architect/sculptor Equid Quirin Asam. This work is in the 17th centruy church of the Benedictine Abbey of Braunau in Rohr, Germany. This, of course, could still be accomplished in our Sacred spaces if man would allow it. It's not about cost - look at the relatively new Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in Los Angeles which cost how many millions of dollars? My opinion is that this structure is dull and meaningless on all accounts-inside and out. It is the LACK of a spiritual aesthetic for the sacred that renders it so. It's all about design.
Much to our joy, two deer were lazing about on the hillside just below the deck of our home. We'd seen the bare spots on the hillside before and figured this was a place they like to hang out. They didn't seem to mind us as long as we didn't come too close. Of course, as beautiful as these creatures are they just love to eat most everything-especially our wild grape vines.
One of the Great Fraciscan prachers and miracle workers was St.Anthony of Padua (1195-1231). He entered the Franciscan Order when St. Francis was still alive and the two of them knew each other. One of the great miracles He performed was as described below. It concerned a Mule and it's owner, a man who did not believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It goes as follows:
During the 13th century St. Anthony of Padua was reported to have converted a hardened heretic through a rather unique contest. The heretic, by the name of Bononillo, was unmoved by the reasoning of the "hammer of heretics," as St. Anthony was called. Bononillo was as stubborn as the mule that stood beside him.
Eyeing the mule, Anthony made an offer to Bononillo. He asked him whether he would give up his heresy if the mule were to bow down and adore its Creator present in the Blessed Sacrament. The heretic answered he would, provided he could lay down certain conditions: for two days the mule was not to be fed, and on the third day it was to be led into the public square. On one side of the square would be placed a tempting pile of fresh feed, on the opposite side Anthony could stand with what Bononillo contemptuously called the "body of Christ." Anthony agreed, but in all humility made one condition. If the animal did not kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, his sins alone were to be blamed.
The day arrived for this strange contest and the square was crowded with people. When the derisive Bononillo arrived with his half-starved mule, he was fully confident that his mule had sense and appetite enough to go after the feed. But he was wrong. Anthony had implored his Lord in the intervening two days for the soul of this heretic. God did not let his faithful servant down. When turned loose, the mule without the least hesitation advanced towards Anthony and knelt in an attitude of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. With much emotion and contrition the heretic too fell on his knees and gave up his heresy.
I never had such trouble with a string instrument as I've had with the Renaissance Lute. I've played guitar since I was 14, and learned to play the harp later in life. Now at 62, what have I done but made my life more complicated but trying to play this 15 stringed thing. AARGH!
This particular lute is an 8 course lute meaning it has 8 rows of strings, two strings each row except for the 1st row which is single strung. It is a lute in 'G' meaning the 1st string is tuned to the note 'G'. The frets on lutes are not metal like guitars but made of Gut (lamb). The are tied in place.
It is a slow process for me as it takes so much practice time on an instrument to learn even the basics. On the Lute, the biggest problem I face is the touch, that is, how to pluck the strings correctly so both strings in a row sound evenly. Also, I never studied finger-picking as I always used a pick with electric guitar. Here, one uses the fingers to play the notes, and on Renaissance Lute a great deal is done with the thumb and first finger.
This book may well be the beginning of a radical change in the tide of mankind.
The author, Paul Badde, searches out the true 'Veronica', that is, the supposed image of Christ's face that has been revered, seen, and written about since the earliest times of Christianity but which was suddenly lost, stolen, or taken in the 1600's from The Vatican. Today it resides in a humble Franciscan Church in Manoppello Italy - and those who look upon it are changed forever.
The book, however, is where to find out the most interesting history of this veil and how it came to be in this Franciscan Church. It realloy is a must read for all Catholics who thirst for the Blessed Christ.
On Friday, Feb 4th 2011 at 6 20 pm., my dear mother entered eternity to shre in the Beatific vision of the Divinity. She had a lot of practice in 'being happy', here below, as the smile on her face clearly shows.
Eternal Rest grant unto her O Lord and may perpetual Light shine upon her. May she Rest in Peace. Amen
I have labored over this corpus for hours on end. The cross, I cut from dead Ceanothus (see below) wood that is on our property. Together, they make a very nice crucifix with the ' Franciscan' spirit of poverty, simplicity and devotion.
And here is the Ceanothus tree, fully alive and in Bloom this time of year.
Once again, in mid winter, the lovely Ceanothus blooms with wonderful white flowers. This variety is all over the valley here and in a few days the entire valley will look like it has had a dusting of snow.