Category Archives: Religion

My Space

Last weekend I attended the Washington County Antique Fair. The Fair is only 15 minutes away from home so it’s a pleasant half day away from the Wee One. While channeling every Better Homes & Garden decorator article and Pinterest home decor board, I picked up an old sewing cabinet drawer for $5.

A few days later that same drawer is now a sewing curio shelf.

Sewing and St. Theresa. There's a connection somewhere.

Connecting crafting and St. Therese.

I took the picture at an angle because apparently I can’t center shelving. I was wondering about any connection between St. Therese of Lisieux and crafting, and one came to me. The Little Flower’s mother made lace and had a thriving home business that allowed her husband to sell his jewelry business.

My space is a cute little room just off the bedroom. About 35 years ago, the room was a larger one that was divided in two. The half by the hallway was turned into a bathroom. A doorway was cut into the bedroom to make the other half a sitting/dressing room. I think the wallpaper is 35 years old, too. Someday I’ll fix the walls and paint it some color. Red? Sage? In the meantime, I’ll sit well-contented under the gaze of St. Therese.

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Let’s Get Started

Wow, it’s been over a year since my last post? Yeah, that’s sounds about right. I wish I could say that I’ve been hiking the Appalachian Trail or went on a ‘Round-The-World cruise on the QE3. No. I’ve just been living a quiet, dull life and writing a blog just didn’t fit. But now I feel the spirit leading me to write again.

Let’s get started….I just finished L.M. Mongomery’s, Emily of New Moon, and here’s an excerpt that struck me. Discuss amongst yourselves:

“And you won’t be ashamed of me because my clothes are always queer and because I don’t believe in God?”

“No. But if you knew Father’s God you’d believe in Him.”

“I wouldn’t. Besides, there’s only one God if there is any at all.”

“I don’t know,” said Emily perplexedly. “No, it can’t be like that. Ellen Greene’s God isn’t a bit like Father’s, and neither is Aunt Elizabeth’s. I don’t think I’d like Aunt Elizabeth’s, but He is a dignified God at least, and Ellen’s isn’t. And I’m sure Aunt Laura’s is another one still – nice and kind but not wonderful like Father’s.”

“Well never mind – I don’t like talking about God,” said Ilse uncomfortably.

“I do,” said Emily. “I think God is a very interesting subject, and I’m going to pray for you, Ilse, that you can believe in Father’s God.”

“Don’t you dast!” shouted Ilse, who for some mysterious reason did not like the idea. “I won’t be prayed for!”

“Don’t you ever pray yourself, Ilse?”

“Oh, now and then – when I feel lonesome at night – or when I’m in a scrape. But I don’t want any one else to pray for me. If I catch you doing it, Emily Starr, I’ll tear your eyes out. And don’t you go sneaking and praying for me behind my back either.”

“All right, I won’t,” said Emily sharply, mortified at the failure of her well-meant offer. “I’ll pray for every single soul I know, but I’ll leave you out.”

For a moment Ilse looked as if she didn’t like this either. Then she laughed and gave Emily a volcanic hug.

“Well, anyway,, please like me. Nobody likes me, you know.”

My Space

I have a little sewing room that’s off the bedroom; it was one of the main selling features when buying the house. It used to be a separate bedroom up until the late 1970’s when the previous owners (actually two owners ago) cut that bedroom into its present sitting/sewing room and a full bathroom. I can shut off the water to the tub when reaching into the shelves in the sewing room.

The sewing room has two windows facing north and east. Great morning light. Steady natural light throughout the day. It’s toasty in winter and cool in the summer (the AC is in a window closest to an outlet).

Currently the room is very cluttered because I’m working on a project that should be done in the next two weeks. But I will show you my icon wall that’s behind the sewing machine.

My personal icon wall

I suppose they are not “technically” icons but they get me into the right place. Starting on the upper left, clockwise, is Dali’s Christ of St. John. Picked that up from a Saver’s, BTW. Next is Petrus Christus’ The Virgin of the Dry Tree. I LOVE this painting. The red cloak offset by the stark black background, framed by the brown branches. Beautiful. A Christmas present from Hubby. Sigh.

On the bottom are the words “Litany, Martyrs and Canticles.” I got the words, $2 each, from the Round Lake (NY) Antiques Festival. I placed them in a frame already in my possession and used a black t-shirt (soon for the rag pile) as the background. Finally, everyone’s favorite protestant-American image of Jesus. I think I got that from Saver’s, too. It’s in nice shape with a lovely gold frame.

The goal is to fill the wall. I recently spied an image of Theresa of Lisieux and have been thinking the space needs some little flowers.

This is Creepy but Interesting

Last week I read this bit from Magnificat. It gave me the creeps and some food for thought:

We must make this abundantly clear: evil, suffering, death, and hell (that is, eternal damnation in everlasting torment) are not acts of God… One day Father Candido was expelling a demon. Toward the end of the exorcism, he turned to the evil spirit and sarcastically told him, “Get out of here. The Lord has already prepared a nice, well-heated house for you!” At this, the demon answered, “You do not know anything! It wasn’t he [God] who made hell. It was us. He had not even thought about it.” Similarly, on another occasion, while I was questioning a demon to know whether he had contributed to the creation of hell, I received this answer: “All of us cooperated.”

-Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome, Italy

This is My Body

Let me tell you about my week. On Monday, I was trapped inside the house because of the Noah-like floods engulfing the region. On Tuesday, my husband started a new job in a location he has always loved. Unfortunately the job is located in a neighboring state, three hours from home. So he sleeps in a second-rate motel, while I’m three hours away with a 12 week old, hoping the realtor calls with a bid on our condo and, in this market, that’s like hoping the Boston Bruins will win the Stanley Cup…anytime in the next 30 years. On Wednesday, well, I really don’t remember Wednesday because my precious 12 week old decided to give up her long nights of sleep for much shorter nights of sleep. You would think that nine months of pregnancy, a natural birth, interrupted sleep, and other unmentionables would make the kid a bit more grateful. (If the ubiquitous “THEY” told you everything that could possibly happen to your body during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, human reproduction would end. Seriously.) 

Being a new Mother at the age of 39 means I make all kinds of mistakes; not big ones like leaving the wee one in the Matrix while I’m inside Starbucks ordering a grande, soy hot chocolate, no-whip. I mean little mistakes that culminated on Thursday. For example, I’m a stay-at-home mother which is a privilege and a full-time job, all in one. (Rather like the Queen of England but without the money or the crown.) This means, my wee one sees me all the time. She WANTS to see me all the time and without the husband to take her for a while… get where this is going? 

On Thursday, I’m pooped, there’s no other word for it. (Besides “pooped” is a word I’ve been using a lot since the baby was born.) It’s 5 a.m. and I’m nursing a wide awake baby. It’s still early for the neighbors to leave for work, allowing me a chance to think in silence. I had nearly forgotten that its Holy Week, a time for Christians to reflect on the centrality of their self-designated label. Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum, celebrates Christ’s institution of the Eucharist; the giving of Himself in the bread and wine, to be followed on Good Friday with his bodily sacrifice. 

Andrea Solario, Madonna with the Green Cushions (Maria Lactan), 1st quarter of 16th century, Oil on Wood, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

All these thoughts tumble through my head as I’m looking down on the new life which looks to me for all her needs. She needs a roof over her head, clothes on her back, a soft kiss on her cheek and food from my breast. Then two worlds collide: “Take and Eat. This is my body which is given up for you.” At this, all the crap from the week falls away and I truly enter into the meaning of Holy Week and the sacrificial meaning of motherhood. 

But a grande, soy hot chocolate, no-whip would be welcome right now.

Did He Say What He Just Said?

Hubby accepted a new job in the Saratoga Springs, NY area and you know what that means…looking for a house in NY (the property taxes are ridiculous, BTW) and selling our condo. The stress of the whole process is selling our place. We know we’re not going to get what Hubby put into it but we hope to make enough for a decent down payment on a house.

To that end, our realtor hooked us up with a “Staging” professional (at no cost to us), a person who goes over your home and tells you how to best showcase the property, because now it’s a “product” and not your home.

Yesterday the “professional” came over. He was nice and could have his own show on the Bravo Channel. He starts out by saying, “This is going to be painful…oh, sorry…painless.” He advises that we take down all personal photographs, even the ones of our great grandparents (really?).

Then he spies something that is “weird.” “That is weird….you don’t want to be known as the smelly cat piss house or the weird religious house.” What set him off on his rant?

This is "weird."

Are you kidding me? As he went through the house he said we had to take down the crucifix in our bedroom and then he went into Charlotte’s room. Take a look at the photo and pick which of the three items on the wall needs to be hidden:

Which is most offensive?

We have an old lithograph of Andrew Jackson on the left and Henry Clay on the right. I bought them years ago because they were neat and because of their Americana value. Are these two slaveholders offensive? Nope. It was that “weird” crucifix in the middle that needed to be taken down.

I can understand the need to declutter the place but categorizing religious items with “smelly cat piss” is offensive to me but I don’t suppose religious people count.

We won’t be taking down the weird stuff.

Wonderful

Our Lady of the Barren Tree c. 1450, Petrus Christus

Our Lady of the Barren Tree c. 1450, Petrus Christus

Hail, O Blossom of Incorruption!
Hail, O Crown of Self-mastery!
Hail, O you who shone forth as a Sign of Resurrection!
Hail, O you who displayed the Life of Angels!
Hail, Fruitful Tree from whom believers feed!
Hail, Shady Glen where many are sheltered!
Hail, O you who have born the Guide of the Lost!
Hail, Source of Life to the captives’ Release!
Hail, O you who unsettled even the Just Judge!
Hail, Indulgence of many who have fallen!
Hail, O Stole for those who lack freedom to speak!
Hail, O Tenderness who exceed all desire!
Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!

-Seventh Chant, The Akathist Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary