In these weeks we have had many opportunities to reflect upon the actions and teachings of Jesus revealed through the Scriptures, that we might grow in understanding of the great gifts we are being continually offered. If we really enter into these passages, particularly the gospels, we will open our spiritual eyes to the most wonderful acts of God’s mercy and love. Knowing what Jesus offers through the witness of these gospels we have been encouraged to participate in Reconciliation, the process of having the sorrow caused by our sin changed to freedom, joy, and renewed life. This, too, is a wonderful opportunity to open our eyes in new vision. All of these things enable us to step back and see what beauty there is in the gentle mercy of God which has been extended to us, and which continues to be extended as we move into this latter part of Lent. Therefore, we have the vantage point to reflect back upon our experience of these past 5 weeks to see the hand of God which we may not have noticed so far, so that we may look forward to the last weeks of the season with eyes more acclimated to the path. Grace allows us to see wonderful things.
Dominic’s struggle with being misunderstood did not end when he died, however. When talk of canonizing him arose, many felt that his life had been too short to consider him worthy of being named a saint. Obviously that argument did not hold up, because after a number of years he was indeed canonized. But it is this point which is most compelling about the life of St. Dominic: it does not matter how short or long our lives are, we all have the potential to grow in sanctity and in fact, each person is called to it. It does not matter if we are poor or rich, old or young, practicing Christians all our lives or converts to the faith. Every one of us should be as Dominic, living “the heroism of the ordinary and the sanctity of common sense.”
©Michele L. Catanese
* I got this quote from a very informative site on St. Dominic Savio, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Savio, (note 57, from EWTN)
I also used two other sources: The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 1989, 2002; and http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1318
The first photo is one of mine. It is the close up of some bluebonnet flowers. I chose this because bluebonnet season is almost upon us in Texas and while we are quite proud of the natural beauty of the fields of bluebonnets which will be in bloom soon, this photo challenges us to look more closely at what actually makes up the sea of blue visible from afar.
Next is an icon called St. Dominic Savio Patron of Juvenile Delinquents, by Fr. William Hart McNichols. It can be found at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-dominic-savio-patron-of-juvenile-delinquents-130-william-hart-mcnichols.html
The remaining photos are also mine. The one appearing after the icon is of the tomb of St. Dominic Savio in the basilica of Mary Help of Christians, in Turin, Italy.
Next is a scene I took in while walking in the woods behind the Cenacle Retreat House in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY. It speaks of finding God unexpectedly in the midst of an ordinary snowy day. God is in the midst of beauty always.
The final photo was taken in Biloxi, Mississippi. I chose this picture because as before, it fit with finding something not immediately obvious upon first glance: it seems like multiple suns are setting, but the reality is there is one sun, refracted because I was taking this photo through a plate glass window. If we are patient and attentive we can see beyond what we assume is there, only to find a deeper reality.