“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup
Saturday, December 10, 2016
He watched me draw as in the sketch at the right. Even as a small child Dean picked up a pencil in his little and uncertain hand and began to draw with remarkable ability in my shadow. I put him in quality art classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery and watched his God-given talent soar. By the time Dean was sixteen he was better than his instructors. In fact, a time came when Dean's teacher told him there was nothing more he could teach him. The student surpassed the teacher -- and that's the way it should be.
Today, my son's work is in high demand. As Christmas draws near he can't keep up with the demand for his sketches. People want prints of his work. Others commission him for sketches. (See sample at the left of his work.)
He makes his living as a graphic/commercial artist along with portraits in pencil, ink and water-colour.
Although multiple sclerosis took away my ability to draw many years ago, I am satisfied to watch Dean excel far beyond anything I ever achieved. Now, his children are following him and producing remarkable art that may one day surpass him. That's as it should be.
Dean recently asked me if science discovered a way to cure MS and reverse my neurological damage, would I be happy to draw again. Yes, it would be nice ... very nice to pick up a pencil in my uncertain hand and draw again in the shadow of his towering talent.
It's not out of the realm of possibility. Science is advancing with dazzling leaps and bounds. Below is a link to the story of an artist who lost her ability due to tremors of Parkinson's disease. Scientists were able to settle her tremors. Perhaps one day my time will come. If it is God's will that I can serve Him better the way I am, that's fine too. --Mark
(See Dean's work on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deanpickupartist/)
Friday, December 9, 2016
My soul-bond with the Eucharist -- the body of Christ -- has consoled me in my darkest hours of degenerative disease and disability.
The body of Christ draws me ever nearer to Him; it unites me with His suffering, death, and the assurance of future eternal glory in the resurrection, of which Christ is the first fruits. It is the real presence of my Lord, body and blood, together with His soul and divinity. "The whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained" in the Eucharist.
 Matthew 26.26, Luke 22.19, 1Corinthians 11.20-24, John 6.51-56, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1333-1342. (Also see "The Real Presence" http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-real-presence )
 CCC. 1374
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
|The Nativity by|
Gerard Van Honthorst (1590-1655)
|The Annunciation (c. 1472-1475) |
by Leonardo da Vinci
|The Presentation of Jesus in|
The Temple (c. 1631)
Harmenszoon Van Rijn
|Coronation of the Virgin|
May you have a blessed, holy and merry Christmas.
To donate to the GoFundMe campaign, click on the link below:
Thank you for your generous consideration. May God richly bless you this Christmas, and throughout the year.
Monday, December 5, 2016
|Wesley J. Smith|
Sunday, December 4, 2016