New York’s oldest Catholic church, the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, built in 1808, has been under renovation for over a year. It will be open again tomorrow.
The slow process of renovation has taught me an important lesson about waiting. I would have liked the renovations to be finished immediately, just like I expect my internet, email, airplane, and everything else to happen: Without delay.
So when I saw the lonely statue of St John looking upwards in expectation, and the empty chair oddly placed in the sanctuary, it reminded me that patience is the most important catalyst to real change. Deliberate, consistent, achievable goals that are reached each day, and little by little add up to something great.
A cathedral isn’t renovated in a day. A saint isn’t made in a day either. It happens slowly, patiently, brick by brick, virtue by virtue, done with love.
Well, I was inspired to begin this little blog again.
Life has surprising twists and turns. Around one of them a few years back I got busy and forgot about this little photo-journal of mine, my first foray into the social media world. But even if forgotten it has always been there, in the back of my mind, as an untapped artistic outlet, whose potential I could one day begin to mine at my leisure.
So perhaps it is the melancholic rainy day today; perhaps it is the sudden inspiration to write a little more commentary with the many photos that I’ve taken; maybe it is the hope that rebooting this blog will inspire my good friend Dr. James Stone to reboot his blog and start offering insightful commentary over at Biltrix again. Regardless of why, I trust it is the Holy Spirit behind it all, and I look forward to posting here every once in a while, when inspired.
“Only the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, is capable of raising a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator. The earth, with all its creatures, and the entire universe call on man to be their voice.” John Paul II, San Antonio, Texas, 1987
I love how black and white can give an ordinary photo a different power of expression; something that we’re used to seeing in color is suddenly seen differently. I found that to be true with this picture I took of Jesus on the cross in our chapel. I see it daily but putting it in black and white helped me to see it again for the first time. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Jesus, thank you for helping me carry my own cross. Jesus, help me never to grow accustomed to what you did for me.
Certainly a sunset is not a theophany in the strict sense of the word, as it’s not a direct manifestation of God himself. However, we can ask ourselves, what is it about a sunset that triggers delight in most people? Why do we feel the urge to grab a camera and capture the moment? Is there a trait that is found in the object of a sunset itself? There is indeed something about beauty that triggers awe, wonder, mystery, splendor, and delight–as would, I think, a direct manifestation of God. Perhaps a sunset is one of God’s ways of reaching out to us through the senses.
I’m a real sucker for a good silhouette and love how this shot turned out. So much of life is boldly charging into the unknown, like these two surfers, while entrusting ourselves with faith to the Lord, recalling that he is with us always, until the end of time. The two surfers are priests who have launched themselves into the deep to follow the Lord–perhaps that’s why they seem so eager to embrace the waves.