Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, May 2, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
12/12/2013 10:46:00 PM
Letters, art appreciation show Sister Wendy's surrender to God's love
"Spiritual Letters" by Sister Wendy Beckett. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2013). 325 pp., $24. "Sister Wendy on the Art of Christmas" by Sister Wendy Beckett. Franciscan Media (Cincinnati, 2013). 64 pp., $14.99. "Sister Wendy on the Art of Mary" by Sister Wendy Beckett. Franciscan Media (Cincinnati, 2013). 55 pp., $14.99. "Sister Wendy on the Art of Saints" by Sister Wendy Beckett. Franciscan Media (Cincinnati, 2013). 64 pp., $14.99.
Catholic News Service


Sister Wendy Beckett, an English hermit, lives under the protection and guidance of the Carmelite nuns at Quidenham in Norfolk, England.

She spends eight hours a day in silent prayer; two hours are devoted to the writing that earns what little money she needs. She first came to prominence in the 1990s, thanks to her participation in a BBC documentary series on art history. Since then, she has written numerous books, informed by her deep appreciation for and years of serious study about art, knowledge that is informed by the spiritual depth of her contemplative life.

Sister Wendy's three art books -- on art related to Christmas, Mary and the saints -- would make wonderful gifts. Each follows a simple format: Sister Wendy comments about 14 works of art on each topic.

These books, reprinted by Franciscan Media, illustrate the companionable pleasure of Sister Wendy's writing which, although succinct and gentle in tone, conveys a passionate concern that we pay attention.

This is an explicit theme in her appreciation of Giotto's "Wedding at Cana." "Giotto shows us only one apostle, probably St. Peter, who is awed, almost terrified. After this, the apostles knew who Jesus was, but they knew because they noticed. All day Jesus is revealing himself to us, but the circumstances are human. We are distracted by the inessential, and so we miss the whole meaning; we taste the wine, but we do not understand its significance."

Writing about Bloemaert's "The Adoration of the Magi" she notes that the Magi "have taken great trouble, come a long way, made sacrifices, just to find him. He is infinitely close to us, but we cannot find him unless we, too, take trouble and search. Jesus will reveal himself to us exactly to the degree that we want him."

That is, in fact, an apt description of Sister Wendy's life, for she has gone to great trouble to find him. And, as is clear in the "Spiritual Letters," Jesus has revealed himself to her with extraordinary generosity.

The letters were written over a period of 16 years (1970-1986) after Sister Wendy transferred from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and began to live her vocation as a hermit, but before she became known as the "art nun." The majority of the letters, about three-fourths of the book, are to her friend Sister Ann. The others are addressed to Carmelites at Quidenham (a novice, a novice formator and an elderly nun) and to other correspondents.

Sister Wendy responds to Sister Ann's concerns about the challenges and responsibilities she faces in her community and they frequently discuss artists and authors. The letters contain good practical advice, insightful suggestions and evidence of their loving friendship.

Most importantly, she offers Sister Ann exquisite spiritual direction, guidance that is suitable for anyone who is traveling a contemplative path, whether lay or religious. Sister Wendy does not advert to her own prayer life, but these luminous letters attest to the depth of her experiences. "If we choose to believe, we can ignore all the feelings and failures and fatigues, and simply cleave through thick and thin to Jesus."

The predominant theme in all the letters, as she reminds Sister Ann, is the need to make a "total surrender to what (God) is doing in you."

She speaks to this frequently when discussing individual paintings, including Greg Tricker's portrait of St. Bernadette (included in the saints book). "The artist has touched her with blue to suggest the constancy with which she thought of Mary. This is a painting of prayer, of that simple, absolute surrender to God that gives God freedom to act."

The "Spiritual Letters" make it clear that Sister Wendy, too, has made that "simple, absolute surrender" and that is why everything she writes is informed by the luminosity of God's love that shines through her life.







Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved