#VisualTheology

Do you use Instagram? I do! How I love it and use it often! Words are often less adequate, which I say as a writer. It is as a photographer that I encounter images which will often pop for me;  they simply express so much more. I am definitely someone who primarily thinks in images.

If you are an Instagram user, you are aware of the use of #hashtags on that site. There are many! More than a few of the ones used by me have been made up by me – I think! For example, #sfmw and #sfmg mean scenes from my walk, and scenes from my garden.  Anyway, I’ve taken to using another tag lately – #VisualTheology. Let me tell you -I am not the only one using that to describe my photos! As I see God and theology all around me in images, this hashtag is powerful for me.

This post introduces some of my #VisualTheology photos that I will periodically bring to the blog. Let me know what you think, and please follow me on Instagram if you wish.

Last full day in #tucson. #grateful #morning #sky #sunrise #visualtheology #sfmw

Last full day in #tucson. #grateful #morning #sky #sunrise #visualtheology #sfmw

Above you see my my first image for #VisualTheology, on this blog, a photo that was taken last week when I was in Tuscon. As I am having trouble embedding the actual Instagram image, I will insert it from my camera roll and add my own tags. Expect to see more like this!

 

AMDG

amdgToday is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. There are so many fine Ignatian websites and resources, that if you are not familiar with St. Ignatius or the Jesuits, you can easily learn more. That Pope Francis is himself a Jesuit, has created a lot more awareness of the order in general.

Ignatius has been close to me for so long, longer than I imagined. He was trailing me, an agent of God, but for many years I was oblivious . Now I smile as I think of the many times our paths have crossed over the years. I think of God weaving the fabric of life, strands coming together to create patterns and pieces that will later become a clearer image.

Speaking of pieces that become Continue reading

The question of hard hearts

HardHeart“They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.”

These are the last two lines of today’s Gospel from Mark. For whatever reason, I don’t feel as if I have ever read them before. In fact, I felt shock when I read them earlier today.

“They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.”

This makes me think about how we live in the midst of grace and miracles all the time, but we frequently do not understand, and our hearts are hardened as well.

What makes us so quick to judge?

If the Church does this or that, if the Pope says this or that, if a popular Catholic writer or blogger says this or that, if our priest, bishop, or someone else we know from church says this or that, many of us tend to want to circle around that person in admiration. Of course, just as often, we want to circle around that person to deride, judge, or attack.

How do we allow Jesus to thaw our hearts? Are we even interested in such a thing? Do we want to be justified? Or transformed?

Today I hope to see the miracles and grace that are all around me. Today I pray to not react with a hard heart, but to respond with the openness of grace that allows me to see God in all things.

Noticing

tumblr_ljgxnnEr0F1qzi15io1_400Yesterday I posed a question on a few of the Facebook pages that I manage. I asked “Where will you see God today?”  Some of those who commented noted different things – seeing God in a line of Scripture, in a situation, through the resolution of something. God was seen everywhere, because God is everywhere.Along those lines, the thought on my heart today is around who and what I will notice today. In order to see God today, who or what will I notice?

The air was so cold when I took the dog out a little while ago and I was not prepared for it. Honestly, I was not ready for the request to go outside, either! In my sleepy and slightly annoyed state, I only felt the cold air and the desire to go back to sleep.

What might I have missed?

A bird?  The scent of the air? The playful look on my dog’s face? Dew on a plant? The moon as it journey to its setting in the west?

Today I am reminded to pay attention, to notice. Noticing opens the door to seeing God. There will be countless invitations to see God in everything from the greatest frustration to the greatest joy, in the ordinary and in the extraordinary, in what is seen and in what is noticed.

Today I hope to notice and to not simply see. Whether I do or not, God is so very beautifully everywhere, but the loss is mine if I do not notice.