Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 7)

In a vehement moment of self-indulgence I gathered images of characters or people portrayed in movies that have compelled me to reach above mediocrity throughout my life; characters that have subconsciously formed the virtues I strive for and the excellence I long for. I'm curious to see which ones people recognize, some being more obscure than others!

My father gave me St. Therese of Lisieux's autobiography years ago, claiming he thought I'd be a saint like her one day. When I first read it it was an intense source of inspiration in my life but over the years I drifted away from the particular love I had for her spirituality... I think I was running away from accepting that I was little, weak and sensitive like her. In coming back to read some passages from her autobiography again this week I have realized that it is precisely because she was little that God was able to work such great things in her, and so the quiet aversion that had begun to grow on me towards her in recent years was swiftly knocked away. She died at twenty-four, my age.

Here is a passage from her biography:

I look upon myself as a weak little bird, with only a light down as covering. I am not an eagle, but I have only an eagle’s EYES AND HEART. In spite of my extreme littleness I still dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle.
The little bird wills to fly towards the bright Sun that attracts its eye, imitating its brothers, the eagles, whom it sees climbing up toward the Divine Furnace of the Holy Trinity. But alas! The only thing it can do is raise its little wings; to fly is not within its little power!
What then will become of it? Will it die of sorrow at seeing itself so weak? Oh no! The little bird will not even be troubled. With bold surrender, it wishes to remain gazing upon its Divine Sun. Nothing will frighten it, neither wind nor rain, and if dark clouds come and hide the Star of Love, the little bird will not change its place because it knows that beyond the clouds its bright Sun still shine on and that its brightness is not eclipsed for a single instant.
At times the little bird’s heart is assailed by the storm, and it seems it should believe in the existence of no other thing except the clouds surrounding it; this is the moment of perfect joy for the poor little weak creature. And what joy it experiences when remaining there just the same! And gazing at the Invisible Light which remains hidden from its faith!
O Jesus, up until the present moment I can understand Your love for the little bird because it has not strayed far from You. But I know and so do You that very often the imperfect little creature, while remaining in its place (that is, under the Sun’s rays), allows itself to be somewhat distracted from its sole occupation. It picks up a piece of grain on the right or on the left; it chases after a little worm; then coming upon a little pool of water, it wets its feathers still hardly formed. It sees an attractive flower and its little mind is occupied with this flower. In a word, being unable to soar like the eagles, the poor little bird is taken up with the trifles of earth.
And yet after all these misdeeds, instead of going and hiding away in a corner, to weep over its misery and to die of sorrow, the little bird turns toward its beloved Sun, presenting its wet wings to its beneficent rays. It cries like a swallow and in its sweet song it recounts in detail all its infidelities, thinking in the boldness of its full trust that it will acquire in even greater fullness the love of Him who came to call not the just but sinners. And even if the Adorable Star remains deaf to the plaintive chirping of the little creature, even if it remains hidden, well, the little one will remain wet, accepting its numbness from the cold and rejoicing in its suffering which it knows it deserves.
O Jesus, Your little bird is happy to be weak and little. What would become of it if it were big? Never would it have the boldness to appear in Your presence, to fall asleep in front of You. Yes, this is still on of the weaknesses of the little bird: when it wants to fix its gaze upon the Divine Sun, and when the clouds prevent it from seeing a single ray of that Sun, in spite of itself, its little eyes close, its little head is hidden beneath its wing, and the poor little thing falls asleep, believing all the time that it is fixing its gaze upon its Dear Star. When it awakens, it doesn’t feel desolate; its little heart is at peace and it begins once again its work of love.

Continuing on the topic of Little Therese, my friend and I are asking her for her prayers in a novena right now and I found this on Etsy for her.

More pieces of jewelry can be found here. They are created by the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate.

Art has been slow, but it is happening. I'm working on an piece that requires a lot of time and detail...
here is a little preview of part of it in progress.

- 5 -
I watched Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle and I was blown away. I hadn't seen it in years but I'd never been this struck by it before. The depth of the story is beautiful... and it's so darn pretty! Watch it.


1 Peter 1: 6-9

6 This is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials; 7 so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved -- to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; 9 and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.

Something I wrote in the back of my copy of Fellowship of the Ring because I didn't have anything else to write it on:

It's not about getting what I want but loving as I should.

love, love,

7 Quick Takes hosted by Jennifer Fullwiller @ConversionDiary


Emmi said...

If you love the movie you should definitely read the book, it's by Diana Wynne Jones, and it's one of my favorites :)

Yoshi Yoshitani said...

Yes! The movie is excellent! The book is also wonderful! It's really interesting, because the two are pretty identical, till about halfway, and then they diverge completely. So I think they are really good to enjoy together, and separately. They complement each other

I have been neglecting your blog, and now I'm playing catch up. So much wonderful stuff!!

Anonymous said...

You were right! Therese made me cry!

Lord God, thank You for the wonder of Yourself, and the loveliness of dear Therese and Fabi the great!

And for roses!


Linda said...

In regards to the St. Therese excerpt you included...I, too, have noted that passage. I wrote it out one time, noting just how many flowers have distracted me. Ha ha, *you* know how many! "Whilst gazing upwards towards heaven..." ;^) Ah, distractions...