Blessed Mother - Our Intercessor

November 16, 2011 Happy Feast of St. Gertrude of Helfta!
The modified drawing of Our Lady of the Intercessor was blessed today.  I ask St. Gertrude to intercede for me while I write this icon of the Mother of God who is constantly praying for her “poor banished children of Eve”. 

November 19, 2011  Today on the feast of Our Lady Queen of Peace, after about 8 hours of intense work of penance which was offered up for those in need, her queenly halo was finally complete. While waiting for the clay layers to dry, I went out and did about 4 hours of yard work.  By the time I laid down to rest, my body experienced excruciating pain, especially during the night.  Instead of praying in peace while writing the icon as holy iconographers do, I did my penance which I willed and was happy to do instead.  Dear Lord, I guess when I grow more in faith and love for You as I get older, then I will not have to suffer as much in body but will find more peace and unity in prayer with You in spirit as I write your holy image and those of your Blessed Mother and your saints.  According to Tradition, icon writers are blessed to live a more contemplative and holy life!  Well, I admit that I have been receiving many special blessings but as well as living the contemplative and holy life, I am struggling with it often.  This world demands so much of those who live in it, and I fall so often and allow temptations to get to me.  In faith I am not discouraged or disappointed because there is a time for everything.  Knowing You Lord, You will give me the grace and let me know when the time is right.

November 24-27, 2011  Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I had two days off this week so spent a lot of time writing the icon.  A lot of progress was made and I am happy with the outcome.  I pray and hope to have it done by January 1, 2012, on the Feast of the Mother of God and also my 4th Anniversary of Solemn Vow.  The pictures show progress made: The opening (under painting), lines, highlight and float (when the icon is complete, there will be at least 3 layers of highlights and 3 layers of float)

December 4, 2011  I had to take a break from writing the icon because the days are quite short of sunlight.  I usually race the natural light and write about 2-3 hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon when I am not attending Mass at 4:00pm.  Our Lady’s face came along gracefully so far.  For me, I focus more on the emotion and spirit of the Lord and the Saints rather than the external beauty of colors and technique.   

December 8, 2011  Happy solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception!

“… she was uniquely endowed with such grace by God that from the beginning of her life she enjoyed God’s favor in a measure that no other human person has known. So fully did she belong to her Creator from the beginning, that, unlike the rest of us, she was never drawn aside from Him by any interior attraction. The many trials and sufferings she experienced did not arise from any disordered impulses of her nature but came to her from the outside. This unique privilege derived from what came to be called her Immaculate Conception... The Apocalypse portrays the end of the Cosmos we now know; a New Heaven and New Earth will descend from God to replace the fallen world of time and God will be all in all for his faithful ones. Mary, in her person, was created a pledge of that future transformation that is offered to each of us if we but put our loving, trusting faith in her Son. By the grace he has won for us all, along with Mary who became his mother, we already share in that world that enjoys the light that shines in the present darkness. Through the grace of this Eucharist and the intercession of her who is the Immaculate Conception may each of us live and walk in that light until we encounter the day of Christ Jesus in the glory of God our Father. ” – Taken from Rev. Father John Eudes’ homily

Finally, I had about two hours of sunshine to complete the second float this afternoon.  Praise the Lord! I took advantage of not being able to write the icon due to lacking of sunlight a few days ago to gesso.  It took more than six hours for me to complete the two large panels with great patience and pain. “ Of course it is Your grace, Lord, that I could persevere and endure even though at times, I was tempted to give up. I am grateful I am a Christian and learning to live my faith and that I have these graces to desire to please You rather than someone else in this world. Yes, I know this is not yet the perfect way and mean, but at least, at where I am now, this is my intention and conviction to serve You through sharing Your gifts to this world.”  Now the panels are complete but I still have to sand them down.  These two panels will be for another set of the same icons: Our Lady and St. John the Baptist.  Icons are quite costly in every aspect! I can see why the because they depict and reflect holy images of God, His Blessed Mother and all his saints and Blessed as well as holy people.   “Thank You Lord for You have prepared me all along for this holy task, physical strength as well as spiritual glimpse of your beauty, goodness and love in this world which reflects You, its Creator; Therefore, I am able to work hard and improvise. I thank You. ”

Spencer shared with me a tube of arthritis lotion today for my hand hurt quite badly last week from adding about 16 layers of gesso in 6 straight hours with an one inch brush!!!  I encountered a couple of people who are suffering greatly besides many prayer requests from our on-line prayer group.  There is so litle I can do directly to be an instrument of God's love and caring for his suffering people in this vast world. In faith, fixing my eyes on the Lord who died for our sins, I offer up what I am able as a little of my share in helping to carry the noble Cross of the Savior.

Oh dear Mother, please intercede for us, for me.  Thank you.   


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