Monday, November 03, 2008

Art and inspiration...

"The Way Home" by Tandi Venter

There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation." ~Madeleine L'Engle

If everyday life is our prayer, the moments we offer up to create an authentic life are our sacraments. The "Book of Common Prayer" defines a sacrament as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace." The outward and visible way in which we move through our daily round -- the time, creative energy, emotion, attitude, and attention with which we endow our tasks -- is how we elevate the mundane to the transcendent.

~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance


  1. What a gorgeous header!Iknow what you mean in your post about everyday things being holy when we live our lives as unto the Lord. Truth!.... But there are things in S.B.Breathnack's books that I found disturbing and not biblical, sad to say, mixed in with the good. For her book ...'Simple Abundance' her May 13th writings about meditating on the cosmic 'Great Mother' who can inspire us...spirit known as the Goddess, so revered in ancient times and being rediscovered by women today." This entry also ends with what I consider blasphemy..."i found god in myself and I loved her...." see what I mean?

  2. I loved those quotes Jody. L'Engle is so very right. It is very tempting for Christians to reject something beautiful and secular simply because it is secular, or the artist who created the work lived an amoral life. But this simply forces Christians into a position of not engaging with art on any level. Think of Byron (a complete git) but capable of creating immense beauty, we can't wholly reject his gifts because of his lifestyle. I think we people of faith must be willing to acknowledge the beauty of secular art forms and yet be capable of debating the aspects of the art form we find to be unpleasant, unhelpful and un-Christian.

    Regarding the second quote, it's very Quaker. They believe that a mindful life *is* being in constant communion with the Creator and therefore reject the traditional sacraments, even communion. I'm an Anglican, and believe in "real presence", but I think they have a point. A Christian life is a mindful life, simply because we must daily acknowledge the gifts we are given, and the gifts we must give to others, be mindful of the Holy Spirit moreover.

    Ahh, I could go on, but have dolls to make and vacuuming to be getting on with!

    PS. We never have left-over hamburgers in our house, we're too greedy for them!

  3. I love your artwork

    and I love Madeline L'Engle - she's stretched me in many ways.

    and I pick out the good parts from Sarah B Breathbach - like this quote - I love it.

    Thanks Jody!

  4. I love everything you post.

  5. stopping by today to say "hi" and to wish you a lovely week.

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by and taking time to comment. I really appreciate each of you.

    Maggie Ann, I do know what you mean about Susan BanBreathnach. I've read a few of her books and except for "Mrs. Sharp's Traditions," I see a very odd world view. I just chew off the meat and spit out the bones when reading her.

    Dulce, I so agree with you about art (among other things considered secular if not done by a Christian) being appreciated for what it is, never mind the artist's morality or belief system. I'm reminded of the verse from Romans 10..."From Him and to Him and through Him are all things..."

    And then concerning the other quote...I think of the verse, "Do everything as unto the Lord Jesus, for it is Him whom we serve..." (can't recall the address). In all we do -- laundry, vacuuming, cooking, toilet scrubbing, wiping noses -- let it be to His praise and honor.

    Island Sparrow, I am like you, pick out the good; leave the rest behind. Thanks!

    Jeanne, welcome and thanks for stopping in.

    Garden Goose, I'm glad you stopped in today.


  7. Lovely, Jody. I love your quotes here. There's something really lovely about discovering this, isn't there? Truly the mundane daily tasks have meaning and beauty, and when we believe that, the act is changed and so are our lives (and others, too). Not to be preaching to you because this is what you're saying yourself in this post... just agreeing! :-)


  8. I really love this idea... as a child I was very sheltered from life and the "secular world"... as an adult my challenge has been to synthesize all those things I was kept away from. That quote expresses exactly what I feel about spirituality now.


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