"You are All-Beautiful, O Mary, Salvete all!
and the stain of sin is not in you.
Your clothing is white as snow,
and your face is like the sun.
You are All-Pure, O Mary,
and the stain of sin is not in you.
You are the glory of Jerusalem,
you are the great joy of Israel,
you are the highest honor of our race.
You are completely beautiful, O Mary."~ "Tota pulchra es, Maria" (4th century prayer) (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lf2Mm…
Happy Second Sunday of Advent! Many thanks to ~TurkeySM
for the premium membership (thank you again for that great kindness). So this past week has been pretty busy. I finished up two commissions, and actually managed to finish reading two books: Angels in Iron
by Nicholas C. Prata and St. Teresa's Autobiography.
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
Here are two great readings that I came across this week and I really just wanted to share them with you all. They're both about the Will of God:
“The way which leads to holiness, and therefore to God, cannot be marked out except by God Himself by His Will. Jesus stated emphatically: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). And in order to make it clear that those who are most closely united to Him and most favored by Him are precisely those who do God’s will, he added, “Whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
The saints found their inspiration in the school of Jesus. After St. Teresa of Jesus had experienced the most sublime mystical communications she did not hesitate to declare “the highest perfection consists not in interior favors or in great raptures or in visions or in the spirit of prophecy, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we realize He wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all out might, and take the bitter with the sweet.” St. Theresa of the Child Jesus echoes this: “Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be”.
True love of God consists in adhering perfectly to His holy will, not wanting to do or be anything in this life but what the Lord wishes, to the point that we become “a living will of God.” When we view holiness in this light, it is possible for every soul of good will; indeed, it is quite possible that one who leads a humble, hidden life may adhere to the divine will as well as, or perhaps even better than, a great saint to whom God has entrusted an important mission, and who has been enriched with special mystical graces. The more a soul does, and enjoys doing, the will of God, the more perfect and holy it is.
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). The will of God which is revealed in Sacred Scripture, especially in His commandments, is manifested in the concrete acts of Providence which supports and guides the entire life of man; it is the solid and secure rock upon which the edifice of Christian holiness must be built. Only upon such a foundation can it be built high without danger of falling under the fury of storms.
Whoever aspires to sanctity must always be on guard against the temptation of wanting to be a saint after his own fashion, according to his own views and plans and choices. That would be a contradiction, for only God, the one holy One, can make us holy, only He knows what is really profitable for our sanctification. The only path that infallibly leads to holiness is the one God has marked out. Therefore the first and indispensable condition for not working in vain is for the soul to abandon itself completely to the will of God, letting itself be led by Him with entire with docility.
St. John of the Cross teaches that in perfect union with God, and hence in the state of sanctity, “a man’s will is so completely transformed into God’s will that it excludes anything contrary to God’s will, and in all and through all is motivated by the will of God.” There is question here of a transformation through love through which a man does not want, seek, desire or do anything but the will of God, who is loved above all things, including self. Love in fact, leads to willing and not willing the same things, to an identity of affections, desires, ideals and actions.
And while the soul, with the help of grace, is endeavoring to adhere to the will of God in all things, this same will is sanctifying it and making it capable of an ever fuller adherence which will develop progressibvely into total conformity to the divine will. These are the souls who are pleasing to God, the just ones whom Isaiah prophesied would be the only ones worthy to enter the new Jerusalem: “Let the righteous nations which keeps faith enter in” (Isaiah 26:2)
“O my God, teach me not only what you want, but also what you are, because the more I know you the more I will love you, and loving you is my first duty, the thing you want most from me; it is also my greatest need…And together with your light give me the strength to follow it, my God; it is not enough to love you and to know your will, one must have the courage to serve you and to do what you want…
Cure me, Lord, I am blind and do not perceive your will; there are a thousand ways in which I do not know what you want from me; I do not see your beauty, and by not seeing you I do not love you enough…Enlighten my eyes, O God, cure my blindness, let me see your will and see your beauty…I am crippled too, O God; cure my weak feet! I have not the strength to come to you when you call me or to walk in your ways, no strength to put into practice what you show me: I drag my legs and hobble miserably when it comes to following you. O my God, cure me of this limp, make me run after you, following the scent of your perfume, instead of limping and dragging myself along in your footsteps…
Make me whole, give me the strength to carry my cross and follow you; the strength to do all you expect of me…O my God! And then, make me adore you with all the strength of my soul, and praise you from the bottom of my heart…Grant that I may be consumed and engulfed and lost in adoring you, my beloved Jesus! The light to see your will, the strength to carry it out, the love to lose myself in adoring you—these are the graces for you to pour out upon me…O my God, let me share abundantly in all three; you know how great is the need of this poor one who lies at your feet, so blind, so crippled, so cold.”
- C. de Foucard, “Sulle feste dell’anno”
“Lead me in your truth, and teach me; for you are the God of my salvation.” (Psalm 25:5)
“In that day the deaf shall hear…the eyes of the blind shall see” (Isaiah 29:18). The prophecy of Isaiah was fully verified in the coming of Jesus, not only in the material sense, but in spiritual ways also: He prepared men’s hearts to listen to the word of God and opened their eyes to recognize His ways and His will. The world always has need of this illumination. The sorrowful, trusting appeal of the two blind men of Jericho: “Have mercy on is, O Son of David” (Matthew 9:27, is always timely, especially during Advent, which is a time of a renewed desire for salvation and sanctity. Besides it is always necessary for Jesus to free men from the “darkness and the shadow” that impede the recognition and full execution of the divine will.
The will of God is not manifested only through exact precepts: it is also written in the various circumstances of life which create for every man duties that he cannot escape. In the first plave there are the duties of one’s own state of life; they determine for each of us the manner of our daily conformity to the will of God. For the religious these are the duties prescribed by the Rule he has embraced and by the living voice of his superiors; for the priest, those which derive from his ministry in full union of mind and action with his bishop; for the laity, the obligations inherent in the family, in their various professions, and in the society in which they live. In addition there are duties connected with other situations which are ordered, or at least permitted, by God: health or sickness, wealth or poverty, aridity or spiritual comfort, failure or success, misfortunes or consolations. All is portioned out by the paternal hand of God who makes all things “word for good with those who love him” (Romans 8:28). It is according to all these circumstances that God presents to each of us our own particular duties of submission, patience, charity, and labor, and perhaps those of separation, sacrifice or generosity. If we follow the path of duty, we can be sure we are traveling in the way of God’s will and are growing in his love.
“If love, as good seed, is to grow and bring forth fruit in the soul, each one of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God [even the silent word which is to be found in the circumstances of life], and with the help of His grace act to fulfill His will”
Holiness properly consists only in conformity to the divine will it is expressed in continual and exact fulfillment of the duties of one’s own state. Yet holiness does not consist just in extraordinary undertakings; essentially it is to be found in the line of duty, and is therefore within the reach of every soul of good will. However it does require a generous and constant fulfillment of one’s duty. Generous: that is, without negligence, anxious to please God in every act, ready to embrace with love each expression of His will. Constant: in all circumstances and situations, even in those that are less happy and pleasing, as also in dark moments of sadness, weariness and aridity, and all this, day and day. “What uncommon virtue is needed to accomplish…with attention, piety and interior fervor of spirit, the whole combination of common things which fill up our daily life.” (Pius XI)
This exercise will be easier the more we learn to look at all the details of our life in the light of faith, getting used to recognizing in them the signs of the will of God. As soon as one who really loves Our Lord, notices that there is something God wants, he does it without hesitation, even if it costs him dearly. Certain delays and resistances stem not so much from unwillingness as from not understanding and recognizing the will of God. It is the spirit of faith that must illuminate us on this very important point.
“All of Christ’s faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and circumstances of their lives, will grow in holiness day by day through these very situations if they accept all of them with faith from the hand of their heavenly Father”. Faith makes us go beyond the opaqueness of worldly affairs and see the hand of God who orders and guides everything for the sanctification of His elect. One never says no to God.
“Now I freely give my will to you, O Lord, even though I do so at a time in which I am not free of self-interest. For I have felt and have had great experience of the gain that comes from freely abandoning my will to yours…Your will, Lord, be done in me in every way and manner that you want. If you want it to be done with trials, strengthen me and let them come; if with persecutions, illnesses, dishonors, and a lack of life’s necessities, here I am, my Father…
Oh what strength lies in this gift! It does nothing less, when accompanied by the necessary determination, than draw the Almighty so that He becomes one with our lowliness, transforms us into Himself, and effects a union of the Creator with the creature…
And the more our deeds show that these are not merely polite words, all the more do you bring us to yourself and raise the soul from itself and all earthly things so as to make it capable of receiving great favors, for you never finish repaying this service in the present life. You esteem it so highly that we do not ourselves know how to ask for ourselves, and you never tire of giving. Not content with having made this soul one with yourself, you begin to find your delight in it, reveal your secrets, and rejoice that it knows what it has gained and something of what you will give it.”
- St. Teresa of Jesus
- meditations by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
The first purple candle in the Advent Wreath symbolizes Hope
The second purple candle in the Advent Wreath symbolizes Love
Advent Wreath Pax Vobiscum! Valete! ~Omnes ad Iesum per Mariam~ Your Sister in Christ, * ~ Theophilia ~ *
New art e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.orgArt for Other Deviants:
Please contact me at this address if you’d like to request a commission or if you’d like to order prints. Or you can note me.
How to Order Prints:
Send me a note/e-mail that:
Indicates exactly what picture(s) you want (preferably a link to the picture that I made, since, for example, saying that you’d like “Our Lady of Guadalupe” when I have four different versions could lead to rather embarrassing mix-ups).
Indicates the size and number of the print(s) you want.
Sends me your address (or whatever address you want me to send it to).
(And if applicable) gives me the date when you need it by so I can make it a priority.
Then I will reply with my address and the amount owed for the purchase of the requested prints. Then you can send me a check for the amount, and once I have received the check and it has cleared, I will send the prints your way. If you decide to cancel an order, let me know as soon as possible. I usually take a long time about cashing my checks anyway, so you’d probably be fine.
Shipping: $3.00 (except for Wallet, I can fit those in an envelope, so only $0.50 for postage)
2.5 x 3.5 (Wallet) - $2.00
4x6 - $5.00
5x7 - $8.00
8x10 - $20.00
11x14 - $35.00
12x18 - $50.00
8x20 - $50.00
16x20 - $65.00
18x20 - $90.00
20x30 - $110.00
24x36 - $150.00
Shipping covers the costs of my driving to and fro (gas money), my purchasing of the container (shipping tubes for the bigger ones) in which to ship your item, and the actual postage.
I can also do mugs, calendars, mousepads and magnets, but those get a bit pricey for me to ever order, much less for someone else to purchase. But if you’re super keen on getting a mug or something, let me know.
1.) St. Sebastian for ~ZhaneAugustine
2.) Pope Gregory the Great for !alcuin18
3.) Ballad of the White Horse Project with ~FireFirielReading List
1. The Man on a Donkey
- H.F.M. Prescott
2. The Deluge –
3. Titus Andronicus
4. Chronicles of the Crusades
- Joinville and Villehardouin
5. King Lear
6. The Decameron–
7. The Knight’s own book of Chivalry–
Geoffrey de Charny
8. A Grief Observed–
9. The Problem of Pain–
10. Democracy in America
- Alexis de Tocqueville
11. Lost in the Cosmos–
- Edith Stein
13. Poetic Diction
- Owen Barfield
14. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien My Deviant Friends: Other Great Artists I Enjoy Visiting: Create your own visitor map!