Maryellen St. Cyr's blog

A Habit of Thankgiving

When the Pilgrims landed on the shores of Plymouth Bay in 1620, they were strangers to the new land but not to suffering. They had already been tested and tried in England, in Holland, and on the seas of the great Atlantic. Prior to their journeys, they set apart days of solemn humiliation, fasting, praying and seeking God.

A Reflection on the Crucifixion

In The Small Crucifixion from the National Gallery, the artist invites the viewer into the horror of crucifixion, with moving realism and immediacy. The perfect and divine oblation of our Lord on the Cross radiates from the canvas. Christ’s abandonment, desolation, and poverty on the Cross is expressed through every element in the scene – form, line, color, and composition. The viewer is drawn to His emaciated body racked with marks of torture, his bloodied face, and his bowed head, all of which speak of his unbearable agony.

Some Reflections on Reconciliation, Redemption, and the Resurrection

God who is Love, reconciled us to himself.

Man is not the center. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake.1 ‘Thou has created all things and for  thy pleasure they are and were created.2
Love can forbear, and Love can forgive… but Love can never be reconciled to an unlovely object… He can never therefore be reconciled to your sin, because sin itself is incapable of being altered ; but He may be reconciled to your person, because that may be restored.3

Useful Employment: Summer Reading

In the summer months of my growing up years, sitting in the shade of a tree or feeling the warm breeze of an oscillating fan, I spent many a long afternoon reading. Weekly readings were gathered from the school book club and from the local library (which required a weekly two and a half mile bicycle ride to fill my basket). Afternoons were filled with mystery, people of long ago, men and women who lived in the White House, and characters who, by their adventures, captured my imagination.

Faith Framed

Over the Christmas holidays, we visited friends on their farm. It was a brisk sunny day, as we walked corrals, pastures, and woodland, taking in nature’s sights and smells.

After surveying the land, our friends’ young son called me over to the meadow, declaring that he wanted to show me something. Looking into the tall grass, one could see a narrow path with high grasses on both sides. "The deer made the path,” he said.

Deceptive Brain Messages

At any given moment, our amazing brains direct our reactions to life circumstances by integrating current experience with past experience and doing so along habitual lines. Our brains are organs of habit, responding according to established patterns of networked nerve cells. With a little self-reflection, it is easy to recognize that our brain responses are at times less-than-helpful and can even be quite destructive.  In their book, You are Not Your Brain, Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding identify these brain responses as “deceptive brain messages.”

Moms and the Power of Presence

 

The Power of Presence

And perhaps it is not too beautiful a thing to believe in this redeemed world, that, as the babe turns to his mother though he has no power to say her name, as the flowers turn to the sun, so the hearts of the children turn to their Savior and God with unconscious delight and trust.
Charlotte Mason

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