©Michele L. Catanese
Note: Next post will be November 6.
Images: (All the photos are mine, which means everything but the icon in #2 is mine.)
1. This first one was taken at the Western Wall (sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem, Israel. I chose to use it here because there is never a time day or night that people are not gathered here in prayer: it is always a bit of a mob scene. People have been praying in this area for centuries upon centuries since this is the remaining wall of the Temple.
2. This is an icon of St. Teresa of Avila by Fr. William Hart McNichols. I chose it to use here because of the hands. Her hands are uplifted and raised towards the hands of Jesus. She is modeling that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. I love that their hands are directed toward one another. You can find this icon here if you wish to purchase a copy in any of a variety of formats: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-teresa-of-avila-177-william-hart-mcnichols.htmlfineartamerica.com/featured/st-teresa-of-avila-177-william-hart-mcnichols.html.
3. I took this photo in the bedroom of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati in Pollone, Italy. I chose it first because of the Rosary which of course belonged to Bl. Pier Giorgio. But I also loved that everything around his bed speaks of prayer, particularly the crucifix and the framed print of a portrait of St. Catherine of Siena, a favorite saint of his. (Both Pier Giorgio and St. Catherine were Third Order Dominicans.) If anyone was a pray-er and a doer it was Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. He prayed ardently for hours, living a normal life, but one dedicated to helping the poor, marching against injustice, and basically always doing something to work toward evangelization, peace and justice. He was the pray-er led to doing 'par exellence!'
4.This photo is of stained glass taken in a hotel at which I stayed while in Salzburg, Austria a few years ago. The image is of St. Christopher carrying the Child Jesus across a river, according to legend. "Christopher" translates to Christ-bearer. I chose this photo because it reminded me of being the hands and feet of Jesus. Sometimes we need to do more than just be His hands and feet: sometimes we need to completely carry Him to others by an outpouring of love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness and care which is heroic.
5. This was taken in Colorado, in Rocky Mountains National Park. I chose to use it here because when St. Teresa said the words quoted (in the paragraph where the photo appears) she was trying to cross a stream or river which probably looked like this one: the mule she was riding upon stumbled and fell, resulting in Teresa ending up in the water. That was when she made her famous remark to God.
6. This was taken in Bethlehem, Palestine, in a chapel of perpetual adoration near a shrine called the Milk Grotto, a place Mary and Joseph were said to have stopped on the flight into Egypt so Mary could breast feed the child Jesus, (according to legend, but it is not Scriptural.) What is pictured here is actually the tabernacle in the chapel with the tabernacle itself acting as a monstrance. That is indeed the Body of Christ, a consecrated host, in the center of the tabernacle 'door' behind the altar!
7. Finally, I took this photo last year at Port Aransas, on the Texas Gulf Coast (long before Hurricane Harvey sadly destroyed the area and tore up this beach.) I chose to use it because the sun shining through the clouds reminded me of the effectiveness of our prayer. God does 'break through' the darkness. And yes, this beach, like all places affected by storms and disasters, will heal with a bit of love and care.