May we learn to embrace our imperfection as a pathway to holiness! May we be strengthened against all behaviors that tear down and destroy, instead choosing those which build up and bring life! May we ask the intercession of St. Margaret of Cortona when we are slandered so that we can respond in love rather than to react with anger! May we be freed from patterns of self-destruction and despair if we fail in our attempts to overcome sin, turning to the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus which is lavishly and freely given! And with the eyes of Jesus may we learn to see others as beloved children of God who are loved sinners just as we are! Let us meet in the Heart of Jesus! Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
* I know ‘complicatedness’ is not a real word. However, ‘complexity’ did not have the impact or precision I sought here. Let’s face it: we are complicated!
** One article I read suggests that St. Margaret suffered from bi-polar disorder. Perhaps her story can assist our understanding of how people might struggle with issues that are beyond their control, encouraging us to have more understanding and compassion. Click here for the article: https://www.catholicireland.net/saintoftheday/st-margaret-of-cortona-1247-97-penitent/
Next post: March 11.
1. I took this photo outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is Adams' Falls. I chose it to open this post because it is a somewhat messy waterfall. The water was rushing all over the place, logs were down, and to top it all, this was taken during the mud season. Trust me, it was a mess.
2. This is another of my photos. It was taken at Lost Maples Natural Area, in Texas. I chose it because of the brokenness of the stones in the drying stream bed. As imperfect as this dying stream seems to be, it actually has a beauty of its own. Not only that, but it was part of the path through this wooded area.
3. Again, this is part of a photo I took while in Rome, just outside the basilica of St. John Lateran. I believe that is Moses. I chose it because of his right foot which caught my eye immediately. Moses definitely had feet of clay; he was not perfect, as holy as he was. But it was the stone (once clay?) statue with the big foot which spoke most here. With a bit of whimsy, one could say he is pointing at it.
4. This painting of St. Margaret of Cortona was done by an Italian artist named Vittore Crivelli. (1440-1501). I liked the posture of prayer with which he depicted Margaret, but also one can see the pain of being misunderstood in her face.
5. This icon is called Jesus Christ Holy Forgiveness, by Fr. William Hart McNichols. This icon fits perfectly with the passage about the adulterous woman. The eyes of Jesus truly draw the viewer in with a look of infinite mercy and love. You can find this icon at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/jesus-christ-holy-forgiveness-040-william-hart-mcnichols.html
6. I had to use a painting by Vincent van Gogh here. This one is called Olive Grove (1889). I chose this particular painting because olives must be crushed if we want delicious olive oil for cooking. But my main reason was that van Gogh was one of the most ridiculed artists of his day. He was considered mad, especially after he cut off his own ear. He painted this while in the St. Rèmy asylum, suffering from mental illness. Even while ill and suffering, he painted incredible beauty.
7. This is a close up from a photo I took while at the first Mass of a priest-friend. I wanted to highlight the chalice and the water being added to the wine. Again the grapes had to be crushed to become the wine, which at Mass becomes the Blood of Christ at the consecration by the priest. It was a fitting photo for the end of the post.
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