“Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5)
“We beg you, All-powerful God, to increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find us waiting for His coming and may call us to His side in the Kingdom of Heaven.” - Collect from the First Sunday of Advent
“Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” – Romans 13:11-14
Happy First Sunday of Advent! It’s been a good long while, hasn’t it? My last journal entry was back in, what, June? Eeeek. Well, that gives you an idea of how often I’ve been updating stuff. *is ashamed of self* I’ve just been really, really bad at stuff this whole semester. Getting back to people, writing letters, finishing art projects, reading books, writing e-mails, figuring out my life…well, at least I’ve been uploading art, right? Heh. There’s been no shortage of projects, that’s for sure. I can’t say I’ve been swamped exactly, but it certainly seems like it sometimes, since I feel like I always have some project that I have to get done first before I do anything nice and fuzzy and fun (CotW comics, for example). So I have been busy, but I feel like I could also be working a lot harder and be much, much more disciplined about it.
So, what have I been up to? Well, I have read a few books (though not nearly as many as I could have) and I managed at one point to memorize Chesterton’s Lepanto. I don’t know how much of it I can recite now though. I’ve also almost finished St. Teresa of Avila’s Autobiography (also some very excellent stuff, clearly). I haven’t read much fiction, which is a pity. My book shelf is filled with books I keep buying from Amazon.com that I still haven’t read yet. However, I didfinish the amazing HOLY-COW-YOU-FREAKING-HAVE-TO-READ-THIS-BOOK amazing Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. That man. THAT MAN. Let me tell you about this man. He is freaking amazing. Did I say that already? Well let me say it again. Seriously. He is the patron saint of writers. You know what it means to be the patron saint of writers of a Church that has two-thousand years of other eloquent, insightful, beautiful, highly polished, profound and AMAZING writers…and you are the patron saint of them all? That’s how amazing this man is. His style is simple, elegant, refined, filled to the brim with helpful examples, and is deeply, deeply profound. He was a bishop and a spiritual director during his lifetime, and that really comes out in his writings, because he gets right to the heart of the matter he’s discussing without any wishy-washy delicatel stepping around the issue. St. Francis de Sales knows what’s up. This is hands-down the best Everything-You-Need-to-Know practical guide to the spiritual life. EVER. It is amazing. I had always wished that someone would just write a really good general (but in-depth) book about everything you pretty much need to know about the spiritual life and just put it all in one place. THIS IS THAT BOOK. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend reading it. In fact, I cannot recommend reading it highly enough. I think I underlined and ear-marked literally just about every sentence (which ends up not necessarily being very helpful, because I might as well have just underlined the entire book, hah), but that gives you an idea about how much I liked it. In case you hadn’t gotten that impression before.
I’ll try and keep this life update brief though (raving about St. Francis de Sales notwithstanding). You guys have seen the art, so I won’t get into that too much. I’m currently doing a number of commissions right now (and feverishly working to try and get them done before Christmas) and other projects for Christmas presents, so I’ll upload those as I finish them. As for life for me…I took this past semester off since I got my Associate’s Degree last spring, and I wanted to take some time to figure out what I was doing (before I spent thousands of dollars that I don’t have, for an education that won’t educate me, on a degree that won’t get me a job, to pay off a debt I didn’t need to get into in the first place). I was transferring to a different university during the summer, but that got…eh, long story short the process proved to be overly stress-inducing and complicated when it really ought not to have been…so I just decided to take the semester off. I’ve been at home working and that’s been fine with me.
This past autumn has seen a number of events. Firstly, my second niece, Naomi Grace, was born on October 28th, 2013. SHE IS JUST SO CUTE. Babies are the best. My little niece Gianna (Naomi’s older sister) turned two on the 8th, and that little kid cracks me up. She’s so tiny but she is so smart and sassy. Heheh. A few weeks ago I also went on a weekend retreat with some cloistered Dominican nuns who are about an hour away, and that was a really spiritual fruitful time. I’m still definitely discerning religious life, and now I’m looking more and more at the Dominicans. Another piece of (very sad) news is that my cousin Maria passed away at the age of 38 from pancreatic cancer. She died on Friday, November 8th. We didn’t see her very often (since she lived so far away) but I really miss her.
But that’s enough of a life update. I’m sorry for that, I probably bore you all with my uneventful life. But let’s go back to the beginning of this Advent season. In the Church year, November is the last month of the liturgical year, and it’s particularly focused on the Last things (death, judgment, hell, and heaven) as well as on praying for our departed loved ones and also for other souls of those who have died before us. It also brings our attention to the Last Coming of Jesus Christ in Glory, and this blends very smoothly in with the focus of the season of Advent. Advent is about the anticipation of the two comings of Christ: His First Coming in His Incarnation and in His Second Coming at the end of time.
“The central theme of Advent is the coming of the Lord, considered under various aspects. First of all we see the expectation of the Old Testament, which is constantly directed toward the coming of the Messiah. The prophecies that the Liturgy presents to us during this season, all speak to us of His coming in such a way as to awaken in our hearts that deep desire and need of God which is so alive in the prophetic writings. At the same time they invite us to thank God for the great gift of salvation, which no longer appears on the horizon as a future event that is only promised and hoped for, but as one which has been a consoling reality ever since the Incarnation of the Son of God and His birth in time. The Redeemer has come; in Him the hopes of the Old Testament have been fulfilled and those of the New opened up. This then is the new expectation: the coming of the Savior must be actualized in the heart of each of us, for now all human history points toward the parousia, that is, the return of Christ in glory at the end of time. It is in this context that we must listen to and meditate upon the readings of Advent.
Isaiah stresses the messianic era in which all peoples will converge on Jerusalem to adore the one God: “All nations shall stream toward it and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob that He may teach us His ways.’” (Isaiah 2:3). Reunited in the one true faith, all men will become brothers and shall not “learn war anymore”. Jerusalem is the figure of the Church, constituted by God the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church); she opens wide her arms to all men to lead them to Christ, so that by following His teachings they may live as brothers in harmony and peace. But how long a road still lies ahead of us before this can be fully realized! Every Christian should be a voice calling men with the ardor of Isaiah to the one faith and to brotherly love. The prophet concludes with forceful invitation, “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).
In the second reading, St. Paul tells us exactly what we must do to walk in that light: “Cast off the works of darkness” (Romans 13:2), that is, sin in all of its forms, and “put on the armor of light” which means, clothe ourselves with virtue, especially with faith and love. This is all the more urgent “for salvation is nearer to us now”; in fact history is heading towards its last phase: the final coming of the Lord. The time that remains for reaching that goal must be expeditiously spent; the Lord who has already come in His earthly birth at Bethlehem, who is continuously present in the life of each and every man, and who is to come at the end of time, must be welcomed and followed and awaited in faith and hope, and in living and active charity. Jesus Himself spoke of the attitude of vigilant expectancy which should characterize the entire life of the Christian: “Watch, you, therefore; for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). This indicates not only the parousia, but also that coming of the Lord which will take place for each of us at the end of our life, when we shall meet our Savior face to face, and which should be the most beautiful of days, the beginning of eternal life. “Therefore, you must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect”.
- First Sunday of Advent meditation by
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
The first purple candle in the advent wreath symbolizes Hope.
New art e-mail address: email@example.com
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.
~Omnes ad Iesum per Mariam~
Your Sister in Christ,
* ~ Theophilia ~ *
Art for Other Deviants:
1.) St. Sebastian for ZhaneAugustine
2.) Pope Gregory the Great for alcuin18
3.) Ballad of the White Horse Project with FireFiriel
1. The Man on a Donkey - H.F.M. Prescott
2. The Deluge – Henryk Sienkiewicz
3. Titus Andronicus - Shakespeare
4. Chronicles of the Crusades - Joinville and Villehardouin
5. King Lear - Shakespeare
6. The Decameron– Boccaccio
7. The Knight’s own book of Chivalry– Geoffrey de Charny
8. A Grief Observed– C.S. Lewis
9. The Problem of Pain– C.S. Lewis
10. Democracy in America - Alexis de Tocqueville
11. Lost in the Cosmos– Walker Percy
12. Woman - Edith Stein
13. Poetic Diction - Owen Barfield
14. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
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