Artistic Spirituality in San Antonio
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens... A time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b
Mary Olivia Patiño, MTS
Before I was born,
Sealed me softly
With everlasting love
'You Called My Name' (Moments of Grace)
I loved holidays! Especially Valentine's Day. In my early teen years, before Valentine's Day arrived, I looked eagerly at the valentine cards arrayed on store shelves, browsing carefully. Gaily decorated boxes beckoned: take me!
Which to choose for my friends, or for that special boy whom I eyed in class? If I selected wisely, there would be a valentine created just for each special person in my life.
At home, I'd take my time, selecting, signing my name, and writing the receiver's name on each envelope before finally sealing it.
All ready for Valentine's Day! A good sleep, and then...
The next morning, on waking, I remembered something else: peeking under my pillow - sure enough! I found a bright-red box of chocolates!
Mother had secretly placed the heart-shaped box for my Valentine surprise, just as she had done on previous holidays. I loved those sweet chocolates, savoring each bite, especially those filled with rich white coconut.
Most of all, I loved my mother, and those special moments when she showed her love.
Holy Scripture for Reflection:
"Truly you formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb."
Journal or write a story of someone's love. What memories do you hold dear?
Moments of Grace:
Writing helps us 'explore' our spiritual wellspring. Be ready for the surprising memories that may surface, for the joy they bring or for the opportunity of healing.
Enter into the experience: write to remember, to create, or to leave a legacy.
Deda's Fine Baked Goods in Vancouver, Washington:
A Meditation on Gratitude
Fr. James Martin, S.J. offers a meditation on gratitude and on "savoring occasions."..which can be "antidotes for our increasingly rushed lives". (America Magazine online, November 24, 2018).
Author Geraldine Guadagno has several books. Here is one, below:
The Moss Rose Antique Shop by Glee Miller
A Cup of Faith
by Mary Olivia Patiño, MTS
A Cup of Faith
“My days are so busy, cooking, washing, and doing errands. You name it. I can’t seem to find time to just relax or even to sit down and pray. I almost need to draw up a list of all I have to do. How do you start your day?” We were in a café, about to order a cup of coffee. I was trying to decide over a ‘potato & egg’ or a ‘bean & cheese’ taco, among my usual favorites. Listening to my friend’s question, I also knew that she does take her faith seriously, and lives it. Today, she sounded a little tired. Yet, the question was still valid and led me to the following reflection:
How do I start my day?
Here are three suggestions to start the day:
-Give thanks. Lift up your mind and thoughts in gratitude. Expressing gratitude is paramount, the ‘first order’, and a way of praying.
-Open the front or back door and take in the beauty before you. This is one way of praising God.
-Start the coffee!
Nature invites us to pause, slow down, and reflect on the beauty of creation. I enjoy the bluejays, mockingbirds, and cardinals that fly across my horizon; sometimes they spring down from the tree branches to munch on birdseed I’ve placed outdoors. Occasionally, I catch a glimpse of Carolina wrens or a back crested titmouse. I’ve dubbed the ‘pesky’ squirrels who eat the seed or dig up my planters as ‘you rascally creatures’. However, I do enjoy watching them ‘freeze’ against the tree limbs when they hear me object to their antics.
But for those who don’t have the luxury of a back yard, or don’t wake up near a park, focus on whatever is before you. Sometimes, a cup of coffee or tea is all it takes for me to breathe in God's goodness. The feel of a warm cup in hand and the aroma emanating is heavenly!
For me, the simple ritual of brewing coffee, serving myself, and sitting down to relax is a nice time to give thanks, and reflect on the day which is about to begin. It is my way of seeing life through a ‘Cup of Faith’. It is good to the taste, and good for the soul. It can also be a way of ‘pray-er’ in the midst of a busy day.
Reflect on the ways that you start your day, pray or offer the day to the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit guide you.
Care for a Cup of Faith?
My "Cups of Faith" feature photographs that I have taken as well as 'sayings' or quotations from Sacred Scripture. A selection of two quotes for the The Red Birds: "Celebrate" ; or "The Birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song."
More of my writing can be found in Moments of Grace: A Collection of Poetry Inspired by Faith. Find me on