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Archives: October 2021
27th Annual Icon Festival
Exhibit: October 31-November 21
The Festival opens with a procession of Icons during the 9:30am and 11:30am Masses on Sunday, October 31. Icons dating from the 17th century to contemporary time will be displayed in the sanctuary.
Our Lady, Untier of Knots: This Icon finds its origins in a meditation of St. Irenaeus. He wrote about how Adam and Eve tied the knot of human disgrace for the human race by disobeying God, while Mary undid it by saying yes to God and becoming Mother of Jesus. We all have knots in our lives; knots of alienation, addiction, discord, hurt, fears, a lack of respect, or the absence of peace or harmony. We hope to invite people to invoke the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin as we seek her assistance in untying those knots that hold us bound and keep us moving forward in our relationship with God.
Saint Mary of Magdala: Saint Mary was the first to see the Risen Lord, and the first to announce to Caesar the Resurrection of Christ.
Theotokos Supplicating (Deisis): See how Mary stretches forth her arms in petition, connecting to her son through prayer. She tells those who pray with this Icon that she is entrusting not only her own cares and needs to her Son, but embraces those who pray with her for God’s life and true joy.
The Merciful Jesus/Divine Mercy: Christ appears in white representing the Resurrection. His white robes are created with shades of blue and shades of red denoting the nature of His humanity and His Divinity. The rays are rendered in light blue and light red signifying John 19:34: “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.” Water represents baptism and blood represent communion.
Saint Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family, for centuries Saint Joseph has been one of the most beloved saints of the Church. The saint holds a flowering staff which was the miraculous testimony that signaled God's choice of Saint Joseph as the betrothed of the Blessed Virgin.
Saint Dymphna: Patron Saint of those with mental illness.
Saint Josephine Bakhita: Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of 7, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means fortunate. After being resold several times she was declared free by a judge in Italy in 1885. Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession. Assisting her religious community in Schio she soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters’ school and the local citizens. She once said, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”
A while back I ran across a quote from Tomas Halik, a Roman Catholic priest, philosopher and theologian. He teaches at Charles University in Prague, and advocates for religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The quote is: “An atheist is simply another term for someone who doesn’t have enough patience with God.” I’m not sure where I came across this quote, but I have kept it near my desk for the past couple of years, and have used it in several conversations.
Being patient with God is not an easy thing. I struggle with it, and I suspect, at times, we all do. We pray about something—whether we are looking for guidance or clarity, or praying for someone in a difficult situation—and we expect God to respond promptly and obviously to our prayers. I have come to realize, though, that God doesn’t operate on our timeline, or according to our schedule. Unfortunately when God doesn’t respond as we want, when we want, it is easy for some people to lose patience with God, and even to stop believing in God.
I think the above happens because we often view prayer as a transaction. When we approach prayer as a transaction, we think that if we put in the time and make the effort to pray, God is obliged to respond to our prayer. I think, though, that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of prayer. We don’t pray to get God to do things for us. Rather we pray in order to grow in and develop our relationship with God, and to understand how God is working in our lives.
When we understand prayer as relationship with God, and not a transaction, we don’t see it as putting in the prerequisite time so that God will do what we want. Rather it becomes a way for us to come to understand what it is that God wants for us, what God’s vision is for us, and where God is offering us the grace to become the person God is inviting us to be. Spending time in prayer with God is akin to our human relationships. Spending time with others is a way for us to develop and deepen our relationship with them. In a similar way, spending time with God in prayer helps us to grow in our relationship with God.
It is not always easy to be patient with God. And frankly I suspect many people have given up on God because they weren’t patient enough. I do believe, though, that if we can trust in the slow work of God, not only will we not become atheists, but we will become friends with God, and co-workers with God in bringing about God’s kingdom.