Into the world

 Back into the world

Back into the world

    The hardest part of any religious retreat is when you leave the protection of the cloistered environment and must return to the real world.  This weekend Father Jack presented a talk on living your faith in the real world, and not turning a faith community into a faith ghetto.  He said this at the beginning of the retreat.  It gave us each plenty of time to meditate, pray and plan for the afternoon exit.

    For Catholics practicing the magisterium, we face many challenges in the current political and economic climate.  In just a single keystroke any one of us can, and eventually will, experience a portion of the sufferings of Christ for our faith.  If we are lucky we will not face the physical harm being put on christians around the world, but this is also not guaranteed even inside the once secure United States.  The daily newscast is enough to prove these two problems a dozen fold.

    Despite these threats, traditional Catholics and christians cannot retreat from society.  We must continue demonstrating, even to those who hate us, we respect the image of God embodied in each person.  We hope and pray one day, all will celebrate in full communion with our faith as children of God.  We must in word and deed demonstrate the faith Christ taught us through the apostles.  This is the daily witness of the faith required by all, and the most effective means to evangelize one person and moment at a time.

    As a father I often find myself challenged when faced with worldly threats and my calling as a Catholic man.  Instinctively I possess a built in desire to protect my family from all evil.  I also have a desire to remove threats at their origin.   (I've had St Michael the Archangel as my working patron for 25 years, so yes I do mean protect from and root out all evil! )  Despite this, I am a practical man.  I recognize one day my number will get called, and I'll be walking with St. Joseph towards Jesus for a little talk.  If I do not prepare my children to assume the mantle of defense of the faith and evangelization, I failed my grandchildren's grandchildren a hundred fold.  

    The solution is easier to conceive than walk.  We must maintain the protection of children and families to permit evangelization of our successors in some type of safe environment.  As adults we must continue to engage the world as Christ-bearers everyday, no matter the cost to ourselves.  This is our cross to bear as we evangelize in word and deed.  As the generals of our households, we also must do what all great combat generals do.  Be willing to sacrifice the things we love most in this spiritual war.  This means slowly introducing our children into the conflict.  As their intellect and faith allow, our children must replace our tired bodies standing watch at the gates of the city of God.

    In the spiritual war, can we offer no surrender and no retreat.  For this is simply how it is in the real world.

-ehw

    

 

    

    

Miami Day 2

 Good Morning Miami! @ 540AM

Good Morning Miami! @ 540AM

   After a rough introduction Sunday, Miami provided a lot of fun today.  The town is an engineering marvel.  Everywhere I turn in downtown there is something fantastic to capture.  The people also have a rather nice temperment here to us tourists...especially those that don't speak the prefered language downtown, Spanish.  The town does shine with a Central and Southern America twist.  You can see it in the business links, food, culture, and vibrancy of the town.  Despite all that it does really have an American flavor to it all.  In the business district there is the normal go get 'em attitude I found in New York earlier this year.  So all in all I am finding exploration here rather fun.

 The old Miami Freedom Tower..once a newspaper's home and now a museum to Cuban Culture

The old Miami Freedom Tower..once a newspaper's home and now a museum to Cuban Culture

I am enjoying the juxiposition of the classic 1920's Miami and modern day construction.  The bridges between islands are facinating...and the huge skyscapers extending all the way to the water's edge.  Wow!

 

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   Even inside our hotel there are so many fun things to photograph...outside my room by the elevator these lights just screamed to be photographed. 

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Oh I hope tomorrow to get even better light to photograph this remarkable town.

-ehw

P.S.  All photos shot with the Fujifilm X-E1 and the XF23mm lens.  I took the day to practice with one lens and one focal length.  I did this to make my mind conceive and execute the photo in a 35mm equivalent on a 35mm film camera.  The lens  is fantastic.  I just need to get better at using it.  

One other interesting test I made was to work harder at using the internal controls of the camera to create the tonal curves.  One, Three and Four are examples of this with minimal cropping or alignment corrections in Snapseed.  The camera is much better than I am still. 

Cheers!