Image of saints

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles features 25 tapestries depicting 136 saints. Twelve of these saints are unnamed. I take three lessons from this depiction. 1) Saints look like us. 2) The unnamed saints represent us. 3) In the communion of saints there is a sense of connection and community beyond the limits of this life.

The saints and all of God’s creation can reveal something to us about ourselves and our connection with God and creation. Witness the number of times Jesus uses nature parables to teach a lesson about life and about the Kingdom of God.

In my photography I try to express the connection I have with nature. Upon deeper reflection this activity also connects me with the Creator who is above all and in all. In this autumn season the cycle of life and death is prominent in my reflection and in my photography, as we see nature experience the advance of time, the death of this year’s growth, with the promise of a rebirth in the spring.

The Japanese have a concept called wabi-sabi, which is an appreciation of the beauty of creation in the state of decay or brokenness. It’s an accepting and valuing of imperfection. Think of the wonderful colors of fall foliage, as it covers the ground in a final display of beauty before returning to nourish the earth. Through an appreciation of nature we can grow in our appreciation of the Creator behind it all and perhaps be motivated to act in ways helpful to our environment.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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