Minor miracle of Divine Mercy

Stained glass window above the altar of St Pope St John XIII in Miramar, Florida

Stained glass window above the altar of St Pope St John XIII in Miramar, Florida

    As I continue to grow in my faith I strive for constant learning of new devotions and receiving apologetics.  Just before Easter, Catholic Digest arrived at the House. I read it on Palm Sunday.  During my readings I saw a few in depth articles about the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena.  I found myself impressed, and desired to say the novena starting on Holy Thursday.  I was doing other missions over the Tridium and started late...so instead of culminating my novena sunday I finished my novena yesterday.

    Yesterday I left on a trip.  I was not enthused about this trip, too much to do both at home and the office.  As is my custom, I took my camera to see what I could capture for his glory.  As my stomach growled, and light started to wane I quickly searched the map for the keyword Catholic.  Right down the street was St. John XIII Catholic Church.  I set off to visit.  I asked the office if I could take some pictures of the church, and they said yes but to please not bother people in the Adoration Chapel...of course I agreed.  I am sure the lady thought I was crazy, but most people do!

     The photo above was what I first saw when I entered the church.  It is a stained glass version of the Divine Mercy image commissioned by St. Faustina.  I went into the Adoration Chapel to complete my novena for the day.  Around the chapel I found great comfort.  I saw images and traditions from Mexico, Poland, Italy, and Western Europe.  I was at home away from home in the arms of my Catholic faith.

     I know many may not think much of my little reported miracle.  I recently read a set of comments by people about how they could never give themselves over to belief in God.  They said the science just was not there.   I will pray for them to receive the grace of Divine Mercy, so they too can see the little gifts of God's love all around them .  The hug of a child, the kindness of a passer by, the sacrifice needed to preserve true freedom in this world all are things I want and will capture here on this blog. I hope through these little miracles I see and record using the science of light others may come to accept the Grace of God and live in his glory.


Weakness turned into everlasting life

20140418-143442.jpg Christ took on the burdens of all of us. He hung the on the tree, and the weight of our sins pulled him into death.

Christ then showed how the power of God defies worldly wisdom.

In the weakness of death he set all men free.

By ripping open the gates of hell, Jesus brought the gospel to the faithful who died before his word circulated the world. Those who embraced it, I am sure, are now saints in heaven praying for us below.

The words he preached continue today to circulate among us, and possess the power to save us if we surrender our lives to him.

I am working on the complete surrender to Christ's call...I know it is a lifelong process. I know with each step I take, he will be there with me making my cross lighter. I certainly know that this week he lifted my family up through the power of his love, his church's sacraments, and words of wisdom. I could not have done it without him.

I hope you too will make the same journey, because God's love grows with each and every step we take together in his name!


A little Art in the Park

A little Art in the Park Just doing a little art in the park....I hope to see some of the great people I met today again!

Thank God for the blessedly great day, and to visit my friend Jack down the street.  I left him a photo of Christ on the Cross he immediately recognized....which is lovely since he is battling Alzheimers...


Patriot Day Calling

So Much in one image Tomorrow is Patriots Day, and as we remember 9/11 we need to remember what historical patriotism is in our country's history.

Patriotism is selflessness of action when others are down.  Patriotism is using the talents God gave us to care for ourselves well enough to have a surplus from time to time.  Patriotism is sharing the bounty through charity tithes without being forced under a government edict.  Patriotism historically recognizes each person has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Note there is no guarantee of happiness..that is why the French ended in guillotines. the Russian revolution ended in some 10 million or so dead, and Mao killed his own millions.  I could go on and on...

If you are in doubt as to what you should do to be a Patriot, I think we need not look further than the cross.  Simply remember who will be our judge at the end of time.  I've yet to see anyone go wrong just following natural law in terms of Patriotism.  Because when people work together following natural law they build communities.  Natural Law does not divide people willfully.  We must respect those who go down their own path, under their own right to life self determination.  The Founders knew this, and built natural law into our national fabric from the beginning.  If you do not believe me read their writings from their own hand, not what a modern author says about them today!

So what will you do today to be a Patriot and join the ranks of those honored?  Remember our nation is not one of birthright defining our lives, it is one where we are supposed to have a birthright to stake out our own lives.  Whether you are 1 or 91 you can choose to live a life of a Patriot.  Simply follow the law that was here before time began.


PS This is an example of re-developing a photograph using new processors.  I used OnOne to take a good photo and make it a whole lot better.  It is something I could not do a few years ago.  So go back and play with the past and bring out the vision you wanted with what we now have today.  Hey that is why they kept negatives in the film days!  No different at all!  Oh and don't write when you should be in bed...typos abound!

Call to vigilance!

20130810-224749.jpg Today I am starting a new adventure...I'm blessed to attend a three and half day photo workshop called Skip's Summer School in Chicago, Illinois (well really Oak Brook but we're close enough).

I got here exhausted, the real job kicking me me around a lot...but that is where the story begins.

I'm tired from work, I'm tired from noisy toddler making noises in here sleep down the hall, I'm tired because I'm not efficient enough or focused like I should be, I'm already missing my family and wondering if I am doing them right by being here. I wanted to feel sorry for myself, and I was tempted to say the walk over church would be too long. The Gospel today reminded me that I would be unwise to walk away from such a trivial challenge.

Throughout the bible story God provides opportunities for the vigilant to grow in wisdom and experience if we grasp those intangible moments.

Today's readings reminded us of a number of moments in time where vigilance was rewarded: Passover's short notice to leave our old world behind, Abraham's challenge to leave all behind, Abraham welcoming strangers with kindness...who turn out to be the Lord's messengers, the God fearing men and women who did not know Jesus but followed the wisdom they had, and finally the parable from Christ himself telling us directly that we will never know the hour of our final test of faith.

So instead of thinking woe to me, I must actually be thinking about how do I capitalize on each moment to act out God's wisdom in my thoughts and deeds. That is why I'm happy I did take up the three mile round trip by foot to church. I got this message because I was there to listen to his word and be nourished at his altar.

I'll share you a little secret...it is much easier to do this after a peaceful nap though...

-ehw P.S. the photo is from the entrance to Ascension of The Lord Catholic Church in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Lovely lighting in there!


Wildlife we saw...not counting my kiddos... After a full day of exploring (remember my version of exploring with a family ages twelve to 17 months old is not what the twenty something with no children crowd calls exploring) my almost ten year old showed disappointment .  His Junior Ranger book was called for him to see a few more animals.  I knew, and he knew, midday on the mountain near the road was not the time to see large animals interested in safety.  So I proposed a dusk big boy expedition with Grand Dad looking for big game!  As you can see we were successful!

We saw lots of caribou, one moose in the far distance, and three sunsets as we again climbed the mountain looking for the elusive mountain goats with no success.  Our little adventure resulted in rich discussions, and a chance to experience the wonders of the world through the shutter clicks and voice of an almost ten year old boy.  His seriousness on completing his ranger mission made me proud.  He is a boy focused on accomplishment, with a heart sensitive to caring for others along the way.

Those moments on this little jaunt up the mountain will be long remembered and cherished.  It is why we must struggle from time to time to separate ourselves from the daily struggles of workplace survival, to reconnect with those around us.  Even Jesus did it by walking up mountains to pray closer to his Father without the distractions of crowds and disciples!  I know my moment of appreciation would only be a shadow of what the King of Kings would feel, but then again my burdens are a fraction of a shadow of those he bore.

So as I finished this day I was happy with a few good frames, the growth of my eldest son, and generosity of my father-in-law.  It was an excellent day in of photographic discovery.


PS This is Mr Pentax K-5 with 60-250mm at 98mm (147mm in 35mm equivalency) , F8, 1/250 and ISO 800.  Close lady caribou huh!

Stuck by the light... While I'm celebrating a great weekend with my family and a new toy (that Fujifilm X-E1) I am struck by a statement made by some wise man...

"Every story that can be told has already been told" or in other words all our art is just a rehash of something that's been done before.

The difference between the art from before, and the art now, is more of relevancy to your personal experience than anything else.  Having been a musician at one point in my life, I can also say with conviction that nothing beats experiencing a live performance of your favorite artwork.  That is, unless you suddenly find your favorite star is really a recording studio digital creation!

I now have a new tool to use with capabilities beyond what I once had..it does not make me a better photographer.  In fact it raises the bar to what a good photographer is!  It says there is more of the world I can explore and shape in my lens than ever before...and more people can do what I formerly did with a point and shoot!

It is no different than when you first feel the light of Christ illuminate your heart, mind and soul.  What you once did good out of recognition of a natural need to create peace rather than discord became a duty since you now understand the word of Christ.   Now you are called to do good and share his word out of duty to further illuminate the world to Christ's call through timeless Wisdom.

Even though the Bible holds the story of salvation, it is still not complete until you add your chorus to the song of the universe.  When we all sing in key with with his divine will, it is the greatest show on earth.


PS just a shot from the new Fujifilm X-E1 to show what a large dynamic range it can recover in a jpeg...yep a jpeg...

Liberty is not free!

Remember their Sacrifice On this Memorial Day remember the fallen who gave so much to let us be free, and pray for them to be enjoying the sweet embrace of Christ in heaven.

As we pray for them, grab a the Federalist Papers and read what the founders understood liberty to be.  Learn what histories they read, and why the rejected so many notions we see advanced today...as if they are new and improved ideas!

Meditate on why they said on more than one occasion that our nation cannot survive without God's natural law as its moral guide.

When you do these things you will honor those who sacrificed all..and understand why cannot forget liberty is not free..it comes with the acceptance of consequence and the grows with charitas (selfless gift).That is the wonder of liberty.  When abused and made selfish; liberty becomes destructive to family, self and country.  When liberty becomes a cherished gift and our actions towards one another are selfless giving; liberty grows healthy families, communities and country.