Leading us to the Cross

Mary Leading us to Christ at All Saint's Catholic Church in Dunwood, Georgia.

Mary Leading us to Christ at All Saint’s Catholic Church in Dunwood, Georgia.

    Walking by this statue of Mary, something told me to stop and look again.  So I did look again.  Suddenly a message screamed out at me, “FRAME A GOOD SHOT!”  I am not going to call it divine revelation by any means, but my inner artist saw something it just needed to capture.

    Take it for what you want.  See what you want.  I just saw Mary reminding me her Rosary leads us to study her Son, Jesus Christ.  When our moment comes we’ll choose which sinner to imitate.   By studying Christ’s mysteries though meditation during the Rosary, we will find ourselves better prepared for that moment.

-ehw

P.S.  Fujifilm X-T1 with a little fill flash to even up the scene a tinny bit.  Processed RAW in Capture One 8.  So far it all just works and is a lot of fun!

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A Day of Ashes

All Saints Catholic Church, Dunwood, Georgia Blessed Sacrament Chapel

All Saints Catholic Church, Dunwood, Georgia Blessed Sacrament Chapel

    Today starts the longest 40 days of the year: Lent.  I kept up a small tradition of getting a photograph on the way to work at the church I attend for Ash Wednesday mass.  Today it was All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Georgia.

    One thing struck me in the morning mass, and it was the fact that Catholics on this day are called to put a sign of repentance on our foreheads.  A mark that we have sinned and now must begin to the repentance and change needed to draw closer to God.  God’s mercy is boundless, but it is not available unless we make the internal and external corrections changing our live’s to match God’s law.  

    This evening (I unexpectedly had to take the big kids since the pregnant momma was feeling ill at noon) the priest specifically cited challenges of our times.  He reminded us of how easy the internet puts threats to marriage, sanctity, chastity, integrity and life in God in front of us.  In many ways, instead of making our lives easier it makes resisting the challenges of evil harder.  He reminded all of us, our guard cannot drop.  The reality is though, we are human and our guard will drop.  

    As a result, this season of reflection and penance is more necessary than ever for us.  It is our chance to refocus our lives towards God.  It is our chance to review where new threats from evil enter our lives, how they hurt our community here on earth.

    I think most people know this.  My wife reminded me tonight Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States.  Despite this fact, she said more people will attend service today on any Holy Day of Obligation on the calendar outside of Easter and Christmas! 

     So in a world which filled the headlines with wicked spiritual warfare from ISIS, a mayor fired a respected and honorable fire chief for the sin of speaking his faith like Pilgrims did, and people steal identities like a monsoon brings rain…we have a sign of hope from the Holy Spirit.  Today more Catholics (and the Anglicans I saw waving on the street for people to come in and visit) went to church to start righting themselves with God’s law just because they KNOW THEY NEED GOD to achieve the potential greatness he laid in their souls at conception.  

    Pretty nice thought if you ask me.

-ehw

P.S.  Fujifilm XT-1 with 35mm.  Liking the camera more everyday.  It just works without getting in my way.

 

      

My Valentine Loves

My big three year old...who needs it her way!

My big three year old…who needs it her way!

    Somehow Valentine’s day came and provided us a good bit of time together, while we all worked a number of projects simultaneously.  Of course the Daddy was able to distract a few with donuts for a while!  While three kids got a donut with Daddio (who only drank a cup of decaf)…the big girl enjoyed some peace and quiet with her mother for two hours.  

    I know some may say we’re crazy for having all these kids, and I have to admit when I look at the daily calendar I almost think they are right.  When you have children you know who runs the house calendar most days of the week.

Kevin full of heart

Kevin full of heart

   Then I look at these photos.  I remember the smiles, heartaches, experienced frustrations, lessons going both ways, and the love spelled agape.  The moment I work through the memories and reach the agape though I must pause in awe.

    See the agape moment is the connection I have now with my parents and in-laws.  My Mom just sent me a note telling me she made my Dad’s favorite dinner…meatloaf…and I remembered meatloaf dinners she made for my birthdays.  I know the stories of my in-laws scrapping pennies to save up for a nice trailer, and camping trips with their family they never forget.  Those are moments of selflessness we are meant to live for.  Those selfless acts are what connects us from one generation to the next with fondness.   I have yet to see a selfish act do the same.  

The boy with a golden touch with children..and their greatest defender

The boy with a golden touch with children..and their greatest defender

    In that agape moment His Glory shines through…and I must capture it with a click of the shutter.  I hope you can see His Glory in these captures of time as well.

The oldest soul amongst us...with a gift of kindness in all things

The oldest soul amongst us…with a gift of kindness in all things

-ehw

P.S.  Fujifilm XT-1 with electronic shutter enabled…and a whole lot of experimentation going on!  Processed in Capture One Pro 8

Revisiting a shot…and Christ’s example today

I only learn with each visit how much more I have to learn...

I only learn with each visit how much more I have to learn…

    Two nights ago I read a very short essay on photography.  The author (Scott Bourne) exhorted readers to revisit a site time and time again.  To shoot the scene from above, below, left, right, with new settings and depth….all because in photography we try to capture three dimensions in a two dimensional frame.  When you also consider we artists may try to communicate a sense of the environment and emotion in those same two dimensions I think you can agree the task of making art communicate is actually harder than it looks.

    So that is why I again visited a familiar subject.  The cross in our sanctuary at St. Thomas Aquinas Church here in Alpharetta, Georgia.  I’ve heard a few sermons about Christ’s victory on the cross recently, and it made me think in new ways about those hours when he sacrificed himself for us.   Then last week I read about using flash with grid to isolate a subject in broad daylight.  Well I had no flash, but I could play with my exposure meter just enough to get me on my way to the same effect.  So in the silence of the church I was able conceive in my mind a vision of a piece of art I wanted to share.

    I wanted to convey the feeling the devil wanted Christ, and you and I, to feel when crucified or targeted by his dark friends.  I wanted to convey the sense of darkness surrounding Christ on the cross.  While I conveyed that, I also wanted to give us viewers a sense of hope.  I did that by making sure the inner light of the word made flesh shone out above the darkness.  I thought this might show how he gives hope to the world in our darkest moments.

    See I could also see, in the back of my mind, the terrible atrocities being committed against Christians in the Middle East.  Boys and girls my son’ Kevin’s s age are being tortured, and murdered, under the crucifixes of their churches because their hearts stand with God.  As a father and shepherd, my heart and gut is wrenched thinking of what happened to them.  I fear what could happen to my sweet children, if spiritual and martial defenses weaken in the slightest degree. The darkness is my fear revealed.

     I can also see the light.  Those young innocents and martyrs also demonstrate complete faith in Christ’s word.  They literally display the faith of a child in the face of men with weapons and fully developed strength.  Those children are the light of Christ on the cross, hands outspread, using their final acts of faith to call me to greater unity with God in my daily lives.

     I have so much more I need to learn and do to live the life God intended for me.  It makes me wonder who and where my next lesson will arise from.

-ehw