The Cross and St. Joseph

Every morning I can stay home St. Joseph blesses me with a cup of Joe...

Every morning I can stay home St. Joseph blesses me with a cup of Joe…

     What can you learn from a man who says nothing in the entire Bible?  It turns out we can learn a great deal from his silent example and the symbols of his biblical and tradition based stories handed down from the Patriarchs.  For this reason he is a patron saint of my family and our little Blue Knight Evangelization club.

    St. Joseph was a carpenter, and it is this trade he passed down to his son.  Working with wood is one of the oldest traditions of mankind.  In the Garden of Eden we began this tradition of working with wood through the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.  Working with first gave us the fruit of unity with God, and the later one’s fruit planted inside us the seeds of pride to create our fallen world.

    The Tree of Life required no pruning or sacrifice to care for it or provide for our souls.  Once the world fell though, God needed to send his son to set things aright.  The job required Jesus to use the materials, tools and symbols we humans could grasp.  As partakers of the Tree of Knowledge we humans always look for God to symbolize rewards for good behavior by showing us the “land of milk and honey.” Overturning our fall from grace could not however come without sacrifice and correcting the pride from the fruits of Knowledge.

    So enter into this story a carpenter.  A man who sizes up a tree, cuts it down, cures it, and then crafts it with man made tools to provide necessities of life.  A carpenter will build tools, homes, carts, and hundreds of other items to ease our daily burdens to give us a better life.  Yes the carpenter kills a tree to provide us a better life.  It is the way of things in a fallen world.

    It was the carpenter St. Joseph who provided Jesus with the earthly skills and tool set to make the very cross he will carry to Calgary.  In the Jewish tradition it would be St. Joseph who introduced Jesus to earthly scripture (remember Jesus was there when they wrote it in the Trinity), apprenticed Jesus, brought up in the knowledge of Jewish ritual, taught Jesus the culture of the world he lived in when they went to market or met customers, and ensured Jesus had a sound domestic church with his wife Mary .  St. Joseph was responsible for introducing Christ to the complete earthly tool set needed to communicate with the world the message of salvation. 

    Being the faithful and obedient son, Christ learned his lessons well.  This is why Christ took the dead wood of the cross, a barren man formed tree as his greatest tool.  While the Romans saw it as a tool for a public belittlement of men to keep their earthly power over a population, Jesus had other ideas.  Jesus took the dead tree and used it to pass through to eternal life.  Through his death he obtained the glorification briefly glimpsed at the Transfiguration for all eternity.  In this act he corrected the error of Adam and Eve, and showed us our personal path to redemption.

    Through the works of a child, we get a glimpse of the qualities of the parents who raised them.  Although St. Joseph never said a word to us in the Bible, the impact he had a profound impact on the life of Jesus.  Looking for guidance in his example and patronage for our families can greatly advance our spiritual lives towards the Tree of Life.

-ehw

ANCIENT PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.

Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Please visit The Catholic Company to see more about this prayer.

Premium or Regular?

Premium or Regular?

Premium or Regular?

I received a blessing from God today…I went out to fellowship and take photos with the His Light Workshop Crew.

If you have a few minutes I suggest you take a look at the work of Bill Fortney ( http://billfortney.com/) and Jim Begley (http://www.wowphotoshdr.com/).

What you will find are stunning images of life.  You will not find subjects created for shock value or pure sex appeal.  You find written word and art which lifts you upwards…toward an appreciation for God and all his wonders. Bill is fond of saying he loves texture in his photos.  I also think he is very good at helping you appreciate the textures God adds to your life.  Jim makes High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos which knock your socks off in content, technical excellence and message.  When you talk to him, you can see feel his love of God coming out in the same manner of an HDR photograph where something we think is too dark for perception reveals itself and the composition makes sense so the message takes root in your heart and mind in equal parts.  How do these men do this?  By actively listening to you, and letting God work through them in a very humble manner.

See if you come to a His Light Workshop, you better be ready for God to speak through its many members.  You need to understand that when you join the crew, they will care about you more as a person than as a photographer.  The funny thing is when they do this, they offer more of themselves to you as teachers than most others ever will if they did the reverse.

I saw many examples today of agape love in HDR.  People freely giving of themselves to care for others,  offering a prayer for others in need, and providing an environment for people to engage in the sharing at a level their personalities and life texture permits.  It is not loud, it is not outlandish…it is quiet and subtle..it is the sound of the Holy Spirit working his way through people bringing Christ where needed for their sustainment.

So why the title?  Well we all have many choices in life for everything we do.  In choosing friends and services I think we also have a choice…we can chose Premium or Regular friends.  A regular friend will be with us as we travel through life, but when a challenge arrives they’ll just walk on their own trying to help you with a man’s knowledge.  A premium friend with walk with you, and when the time comes not be afraid to invoke God in the discussion of how you shall overcome life’s challenges using his revealed laws of nature and scripture.

The men and women of His Light…they are Premium.

-ehw

PS X-E1 with the 35mm Prime

 

 

 

 

Happy Times

Blast from the past!

Blast from the past!

Here is a simple little shot from a four years ago…whoa you mean old photos still hold relevance?  Photos taken with old technology like a Pentax K200D 10mp CCD can still “work?”

Well…yes they can…I know people who could shoot with a pinhole camera and put my efforts to shame.  A good photograph is less about technical excellence than it is about soul…in my humble opinion.

So many iconic photographs come from a spit second decision, snapped on instinct guided settings not perfectly applied logic.

Not much different than life..always comes back to that life thing…

People we trust the most are those that we know who will do right when under duress and short timelines.  We know that their soul contains excellent guide rails, and we can trust their instinct more than our indecision.

So I’m going to get back to the good book tonight and try to strengthen my guide rails…so maybe you will trust me to do right when my next time of trials begin.

-ehw

PS This is a Pentax K200D shot with a Tamron 18-250 ultrazoom.  Good kit if I say so myself.  K200D is still my back up, although now I don’t know how I ever got by with only one whiz wheel (control wheel) and not two!

Looking Back

Looking Back...

Looking Back…

Looking back over our lives I think we sometimes realize we went too quickly past the best moments.  Thankfully my little passion of photography lets me remember them in ways I could not appreciate in the heat of the moment.  Sometimes I think it even lets me experience the moments more deeply.

A friend recently wrote about needing to remember to take time and pray.  I could not agree more.  For some of you effective prayer might come from reciting a rosary, others pure meditation on a devotional, or for some it could be a spontaneous outpouring of music.  It is in any of the forms of prayer that we can appreciate God’s works, experience his calming power, or petition him to give us strength to overcome our weaknesses.  Use that prayer to focus your efforts at coming into communion with his will, so that your works can then match his guiding hand.

I’m trying myself to follow the sage advice of my friend…just like the struggle to capture a wonderful frame…it is never easy…each time is never the same…but each frame’s unique moment can open a window of reflection as you look back that can change your future positively forever.

-ehw

PS Techies…this is Mr K-5 screaming at F4, 1/8000 and ISO6400.  He’s not FF, but he’s one good dude…edited in Aperture with a Dusted Warm preset and minor tweeks…