Prompt #1: Describe a landscape as seen by an old woman whose horrible old husband has just died. Do not mention the husband or death.
Only for the slightest moment did the sunshine on my bare forearms feel cold or the wind rustling in the trees seem to whisper cruel words from the life I had just escaped after 49 years. I left the stark room and garish beeps and clicks, ignoring the pleas of my daughter to stay. What had she ever known but the cotton-candy perfection that he created to hide the rot? No, I wouldn’t stay a captive one moment longer; Freedom, such a foreign concept, it stole across my mind like summer fog that cools the hateful heat. Breath passed my lips in a wondering sigh, the blood quickened in my veins. I am alive and excited. I have a new lease on life at 73 years. The glittering sun winked at me from a periwinkle sky, and I continued on down the road, leaving behind a past that I loathed, spitting it out of my life like chewed gum that lost its flavor.
Let a man consider that God is always looking at him from heaven, that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
— St Benedict’s Rule of Order, on Humility
In teaching Confirmation this past year, I have been on more retreats, and attended Mass than I originally thought I would be doing. On days that I was teaching my kids, as I’ve come to call them, I went in the morning at my own parish so that I could pray and focus on the Sacrifice, as the evening Mass with my kids after we finished teaching would be spent shushing them and reminding them to spit out their gum.
Through out the year I have found time to pray for my kids, and fretted over them like a spiritual mother hen.
Then I was so nervous for them on Friday evening when they were received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Here, they are, standing before God and Church, Angels and Demons, declaring that they are Catholic. Were they ready? Would any of them return for Mass on Sunday of their own volition and Love of God? I spent the Mass and remainder of the evening praying that they would. I did all I could for them, invoking the protection, guidance, and love of the Angels, Saints, their Guardian Angels, and the Patrons they had chosen for themselves.
But if I constantly and consistently worry over these teens, their ability to understand and defend the Faith and against Satan, what was I letting God do? So, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I let go, grabbed my St Benedict cross, and went to sleep.
Photos from the Louvre, Chateaux Versailles, Normandy, some modern museum, Rodin’s house, the ceilings of the UN in Geneva, and the d’Orsay. And one lone gargolye from Notre Dame.
Uploading one collage is much better than trying to post multiples … unlike last time