Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Other Remedy

Of course, as I already knew yesterday, fortuna had really nothing to do with the setback I experienced with the halo of the icon of Christ. As is the case, inevitably, also in the spiritual life, it wasn't bad luck that was my problem but that I cut a few corners along the way.
So it was back to the basics. I ground the bole, first in water until it was smooth, then added the glue and ground it a second time.

I used a big brush --the biggest brush I could manage-- to float the bole on the icon. I don't know why exactly I held back earlier and applied it with a smaller brush, but I did and it made a difference. So the first layer of bole is back on the board and we'll see how it all turns out.
I keep a little collection of quotations by St.Teresa of Avila next to my prayer corner in the studio, open to this admonition of her's. It reminds me of my friend, the newly departed servant of God, Sr.Rosemary, who chose the quotations and designed each page with her friend Sr.Mary Grace at the Carmel of Terre Haute, Indiana.
When I look at her calligraphy I am reminded of her beautiful spirit. But I'm encouraged both by the words of St.Teresa and by my friend's example of perseverance in prayer and the hidden life of Carmel, not to give up on the 'one thing necessary', which is always communion with Christ in prayer.
My temptation in prayer which I readily admit to succumbing to more often than I like to admit, is to cut corners, to rush, to let my mind wander and then get so discouraged that I give up altogether.
So in the life of prayer, as in the work in the studio, there's no other remedy but begin again.

1 comment:

  1. Sister Rosemary had her setbacks in prayer, too. You have discovered the solution in both prayer and work: to begin again, and again, and again. It's because of God's tender mercy that we find we have the courage for this beginning again. He forgives and encourages us over and over as His dearest children. The only thing that can really stop us in our tracks is our own wounded pride, which parades as a kind of rebellious discouragement. Eliminate that, stay humble, and voila! It's easy to be always at the beginning and to learn from our mistakes and keep growing. God is delighted with this kind of growth, which comes out of the truth of things.