Third Sunday in Lent – March 11, 2007

Well, this past Monday we had our second class in Water Coloring. We learned the difference between a “hue” and a “tint,” weepy brushes and happy brushes, subtracting, the use and combination of the primary colors (red, yellow and blue), cool and warm colors, hard and soft edges and the proper way to set up your “studio.” But after all the technical stuff we went to work on our first “painting.” But first we went outsde on a little class trip to view the sky and the mountains. We observed that the sky was a lighter color, the furthest mountains were darker than the sky and a set of mountains that were closer to us were a darker color then both the sky and the furthest mountain. Br. Joe Schmidt, our instructor, told us that in water coloring you need to first determine what you were going to put in the painting and where each object will be placed. Unlike painting with oils, where you can paint over and cover something, in water coloring you can not do this. I know that you can’t wait to see my first water color painting. So, here it is!

My first “water color” painting.

This past week we took a nine session course on “Sexuality and Affect.” We examined what the church has taught about human sexuality over time, what the Scriptures teach us about the dignity of the human person and how sexuality is a gift from God, we explored the difference between an “Addictive and Healthy Sexuality,” and other aspects of human love. It was our presenters’ hope that we would deepen our apprecation that our lives as celibates are not to be measured by what we have given up but, more importantly, by the call to deep personal relationships and the generative service we provide to the church and the world. One fun part of the course was the “triple dance” we all participated in. One person was the dancer, another mirrored the dance of the dancer and the third served as a “container” to make sure that the dancer and the mirror dancer were safe in their dance. Believe it or not, I was once the dancer, once the mirror dancer and once the “container.” Thank God no cameras nor video recorders were allowed in the room at the time. Thank God for “small” favors! Sorry folks, no photos!

Each week we have a “desert day” which is spent in quiet prayer and solitutude. This gives us a larger block of time for some rest, private prayer, reading, taking a small walk or hike on one of the moutain trails or some other relaxing activity. The day ends with the celebration of the Eucharist at 5:15 PM followed by the evening meal. The evening is open for some community time or additional time alone.

On Friday, we visited Albuquerque which is about an hour and a half south of Santa Fe. When we arrived in Albuquerque we immediately stopped at the visitors center that housed a museum that had a moving exhibit on the “Code Talkers” (made famous in the recent movie, “The Wind Talkers”). These were the native Americans who were used to communicate during World War II using codes based on their native language which the Japanese could not decipher. Most of these soldiers grew up in places where they were discouraged, or forbidden, to use their native language, and many of whom were not treated as full citizens when they returned from serving our country at the end of the war.

In another part of the museum there was a very interesting exhibit showing the different “pueblos” of Indians that occuppied what is present day New Mexico, the positive and negative influence of the settlers (conquistadors) and the positive and negative impact that Christianity had on the lives of these native peoples.

Later that day I had lunch at a Mexican Restaurant, visited the Museum of Natural History and did some window shopping.

Well, enough with words. Enjoy some of the pictures printed below.

Stained Glass Window in Sangre Chapel

The “Kiva” Room at Sangre (Named for the type of fireplace/stove used)

Part of the Rio Grande in Santa Fe after almost six years of drought

Stained glass window above main door of St. Francis Basilica Cathedral in Santa Fe (Jesus among the teachers)

Holy Spirit Window in St. Francis Basilica Cathedral in Santa Fe

Front Door of St. Francis Basilica Cathedral in Santa Fe


One Response to “Third Sunday in Lent – March 11, 2007”

  1. Pattye Says:

    Dear Fr. John, Thank you for your updating. You are very lucky to have an opportunity to be where you are. It is a time of great inner weaving. Know that you are in my prayers everyday. Thank you also for the pictures and scenery … your first watercolor? Amazing!

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