July 2012 Prayer and Reflection
From the July 2012 cover of Living with Christ
By Living with Christ Staff
After using her PC tablet and stylus to design tile inlay patterns for her sons’ tiling business, Nellie Edwards (1955- ) began experimenting further with her virtual canvas and brush to create works of sacred art. She begins with the subject’s face and, without using any preliminary drawings or visual aids, prays as the image unfolds. Edwards describes her creative process as a spiritual exercise, similar to that of writing icons.
In Holding on to Faith, Edwards depicts a peaceful, prayerful Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), whose feast we celebrate on July 14. (She will be canonized on October 21, 2012.) Known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” Kateri is here surrounded by lilies, a symbol of purity.
Kateri’s life was often one of struggle. A smallpox epidemic killed her family and left her with scarring and impaired eyesight. After becoming a Christian, she faced such ridicule in her village that she made the decision to leave her home. But even through physical and emotional suffering, Kateri held on to her faith and continued to live a life devoted to Christ.
If you wish, sit quietly with the picture and reflect on the following questions:
- When have life’s difficulties threatened to shake my faith?
- When have I felt God’s peace in times of physical or emotional suffering?