That is a tau, not a “T”; sorry if that was confusing.
It is said that St. Francis deliberately did not see the wood for the trees. It is even more true that he deliberately did not see the mob for the men . . . He only saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous . . .from the Pope to the beggar, from the sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those burning brown eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him; in his own inner individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some social policy. . .
But as St. Francis did not love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ. Say, if you think so, that he was a lunatic loving an imaginary person; but an imaginary person, not an imaginary idea . . .To this great mystic his religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair.
Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – two great “little” saints in one week! And happy name day to Pope Francis!
The above is from G. K. Chesterton’s book St. Francis of Assisi. You’ve never read it? Oh, go read it read it read it!
‘Remaining little’ means – to recognize one’s nothingness, to await everything from the Goodness of God, to avoid being too much troubled at our faults; finally, not to worry over amassing spiritual riches, not to be solicitous about anything . . .
My patrons and my special favorites in Heaven are those who, so to speak, stole it, such as the Holy Innocents and the Good Thief. The great Saints won it by their works; I wish to be like the thieves and to win it by stratagem – a stratagem of love which will open its gates both to me and to poor sinners. In the Book of Proverbs the Holy Ghost encourages me, for He says; ‘Come to me, little one, to learn subtlety.’
See, St. Therese would like ninjas! Provided they were holy ninjas. Happy feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. You can download St. Therese’s Story of a Soul for free from the internet; the text is here, and an audio version is here.
St. Therese said, I have read, “A God who became so small could only be mercy and love.” One of the saving graces of growing up in rural Minnesota, I’ve found, is that, in spite of all the damage to God’s image in my mind that faulty catechesis, my own broken receivers, and the general machinations of the evil one could do, yet I know that the God who made this land must be a lover of beauty, restoration, and peace.
This picture falls so short of the beauty of the view! I guess that is a little metaphor in itself.
Thomas and I painted today, he at my desk and I at my easel. He made some great pictures. The first is “The Little Engine”:
Here is “Race Car”:
This is called, not surprisingly, “A Really Big Eye”:
The last one put me in mind immediately of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “transparent eyeball” – oh, how miserable I was studying his works in grad school, with a big stack of pragmatists to read after. But that is a story for another day. Thinking of graduate school also reminded me of my first encounter with that singular phenomenon which is a flying cockroach. Brrrr.
Here is a snapshot of what mom (that is, me) was painting in the other room:
It’s my tiny St. Therese. She is only three inches high (kneeling) in middle of a bigger painting. She needs a cross in her hands but then she is pretty much done I think, and then on to finish the rest of the painting.
Three paintings in one day, to my one session of fine-tuning! I need to learn to imitate Thomas’ confident style.