Lessons From the Road to Josiah Anthony

    

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    Yesterday we welcomed our newest family member, Josiah Anthony to the family.  He is a wonderful little boy, and the family gallery moments are full of rich loving emotion.  People viewing these photos would think we live in a wonderful version of wonderful TVLand where all is right in the world.  In reality though, the photos reflect a grace filled moment resulting from a gutwrenching year of enrichment leading to it.

    Over the last year as a family we faced many challenges.  Our adventures extended not far from the house.  Daddy led only minimalist excursions, Momma struggled with health issue after issue, kids got sick, we faced challenges at school, in discipline, and we all lost our marbles from a problem or issue more than once.  NONE of those moments were the type of Rockwell images I relish to build in either my personal or photographic life.  I certainly never captured those moments outside of own cranium. 

    Friends can't come over, Daddy is at work, and Momma is too sick to drive?  Hope for tomorrow and play with your siblings.  Tired of groundhog Saturdays with no adventure...shut up and finish a job you had not finished in the house.  Tired of having to do more and more chores, lacking Mom's presence in your life because she is perineally sick, or the thought you now have bigger bills to pay?  Pray on why your giving into vices, and hit confession to seek forgiveness. 

   In the valleys of life we always have a choice to help ourselves go lower, hold the course or begin to climb to the ridgeline again.  I know the only way we reached this glorious moment yesterday though, was because of our collective responses to those low points.  We only occasionally failed to stay at or gain altitude, and never went into a terminal decent.  The key to our family response was our collective final decision always kept hope alive through acts of faith and charity.  We also paid up lots of pennace to each other for our internal transgressions.

   We had a moment in some glorious graces, and now we are back to reality.  A huge tree fell in the yard, feedings every three hours around the clock, littles now need to re-establish the household order, health needs restoration, there will be more chores to do, and needs to meet.  The reward though will be more lessons leading us to greater heights of love, and good photographic moments.

  So off to work we go! 

-ehw

 

     

     

     

     

 

     

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St. Joseph

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    Today is a special day for me....it is the Feast Day of St. Joseph!  So even though I am in an other state, working 14 hours a day (well 16 today), and it is 20 or so degrees outside I found the Cathederal on the way to work.  As luck would have it, I walked in at mass time! I noted the Bishop was moving along briskly.  So I then attended mass AND got to work on time!

     Today was the funeral for the cousins lost last week in childbirth.  One of the children's middle name was Joseph as well.  So I lit a candle for the children, and asked this great saint to look out for them on the path to heaven.  Just before leaving I said our Blue Knight St. Joseph prayer....

 

Dear St. Jospeh

Who took such good care of the baby Jesus and blessed mother Mary. 

Be our protector to. 

Guide us on the path that is safe and sure, all the way to heaven.

Amen

 

-ehw

Giving Thanks to God

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   Our first President, and the Congress of the United States, dedicated this day to praying and giving thanks to God.  In the final paragraph we see him calling all public and private people to do our duties faithfully.  He also asks us to "promote the knowledge and and practice of true religion and virtue."  As you can see there is no separation of church and state.  To George Washington our bounty comes from God, and our personal duty is to live in accordance with Nature's Law.  To Christians this means we must live inside God's design for the world in all that we do.  

    In fact, to achieve personal and national civility we must receive adhere to this guidance.  The result of  dismissing this call to Nature's Law is chaos.  

    We need to look no further than the debates on Furgeson to recognize this.  Rioters in the streets don't care that the man killed willfully beat a man to rob his store moments before his encoutner with Police.  They do not want to recognize that the man was high on illegal drugs, something that would impair his judgement even more.  Obtaining supplies for this habit was the reason he robbed the store, and was wanted by police.  The natural effect of giving into vices such as these is a bad conflict with those entrusted by the citizens to protect them from such abusive behavior.  

    The solution to this type of problem is simple.  It is to live inside natural law.  To Christians this means simply to live out the Golden Rule...and your relations with others in your community will start off on good footing.   To solve many other problems we face, there is a good book that is our family instruction manual I can recommend:  The Bible.  Start with Poverbs and Wisdom...then move up to read of the word made man in the Gospel and natural law will unfold before your eyes.

    So make today something more than turkey and football.  Make today a moment that changes your life, and that of your family.  Give thanks to God Almighty, and point your family to the eternal wisdom of his word.  The greatest thanks you can offer God, is to deliver your house to stand with him.

-ehw

 

The Coming Moment

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     This cruxifiction moment the world changed, but the miricle did not end with that moment.  It benefitted those who passed before it, and those who passed after.  Each of us get shot at eternal life with God because of it.  

     As we said the Rosary last night, we reflected on the Sorrowful Mysteries.  It brought me back to recently read a chapter from St Thomas Aquinas, reminding us that God exists outside time.   God can use this past moment to inspire and save us now in this moment.  To God now is no different than if we stood at the foot of the cross then.

    In the midst of our prayers, I tried to place myself at the foot of the cross.  I kept asking myself if I would be brave enough to live my faith out in the face of the threats around me.  Would I have faith looking at pagan Roman soldiers, to whom I have no value except as a slave?  Would I be cowered in fear by the vengeful crowd who reject the law of God?  Would I stay silent knowing the enemy has spies ready to bear witness to their lords about my adoration for the man on the cross?

    I found myself wanting.  Still afraid, but slowly growing in the strength of faith for the tests that lay ahead of me.  I can see in this land this land today, those same threats faced by the fathers of the faith growing in strength.   Surely you can see the new tests arising for Christians everywhere as well.

    What can you say for yourself?  Are you ready for your coming moment?

  

Midday Prayers

Gesu Catholic Church

Gesu Catholic Church

     Whenever I travel have a little game..its called make a pilgrimage.  Today as I finished up the daily session, I looked at the weather and it said thunder storms due in town by 3PM.  Since I could fill out my homework anytime, I figured I better make the pilgrimage sooner rather than later.  

     The weather held up all of 15 minutes after leaving the hotel.  I then ducked into a resturant and got lunch.  I waited for a break in the weather to make the final dash up and over four blocks to the city's oldest Catholic Church, Gesu.  As I walked up I could see all the symbols of my faith on the outside.   I entered the door and felt myself overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of being at home while being away from home.  I was happy to have a wonderful environment to focus on Jesus, the blessed sacrament, and have the story of salvation envelope my senses.  This was a wonderful gift people made a hundred years ago for us today.

     As I left out the door for another adventure I said a thank you prayer to those who labored and freely gave to make this sanctuary.  I prayed that others may also come and find the Lord's lessons here in the stained glass, the lives of saints presented, and the sacrament of the Eucharist.  I also...yes...left a little contribution so it will be there for the next soul who seeks refuge for a few minutes from the wild world outside. 

-ehw

P.S. I did a little experiment today and edited as much as I could with my camera for color, contrast, and sharpness.  I did a little cropping in Snapseed.  Interiors worked the 23mm out, and outside I used the 18-55mmm zoom.

The old and new altars in the Sanctuary

The old and new altars in the Sanctuary

An amazing baptismal font

An amazing baptismal font

I always try to find and photograph St. Joseph...what a good example of a father he is.

I always try to find and photograph St. Joseph...what a good example of a father he is.

Everything has meaning, everything presented beacons one to join Christ on the Cross.

Everything has meaning, everything presented beacons one to join Christ on the Cross.

A Time and Place for Prayer

20140131-233105.jpg A few blocks from the hotel I found a Catholic Church called St. Micheal the Archangel. Every real job I've had since the age of 17 has St. Micheal as its patron. So it was very nice to see a church dedicated to his memory pop up in front of me...and draw me in.

I went in and found myself finally able to have a moment of silence in this big city. It was wonderful. In the silence I was able to prayer for my family...and as I left I saw the patron of fathers...St. Joseph in the back holding baby Jesus.

It felt great to remember that in a few days I'll be home with my kiddos and wife...where I belong.

It just went to remind me that art is very powerful at directing our thoughts...and like all things...the form of the art directed me to the message of my responsibilities to work and family even though they were not present or was I on duty at that time.

-ehw

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