Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday

It's Trinity Sunday, the feast of the Holy Trinity

This concept of the Trinity, it's one of the mysteries in our universe, our faith, and  my mind.  In fact, if you ponder it long enough, and get close to thinking, "Aha! I've got it! I understand it now!"...then back up, you've just slid into heresy, presumption, and you're wrong. 

There is no fully complete understanding of this. It's a mystery with a capital "M."  One our puny human minds can't ever really fathom: three persons in one God.  The simplest way I've been able to grasp it is the catechism answer: God the Father, Christ the son, and the love between them SO powerful that it begets it's own person, the Holy Spirit. {Yeah, sounds familiar, no??  In marriage we love each other so much that our love begets another whole person, or more....  Kinda the same thing, but with the Trinity it's compounded to a factor of unspeakable billions, beyond our ken.} 


This is a short terrific book about the sign of the cross, which is, in it's purest form, a visual, physical recognition of the Trinity.  A very good quick read, but will make you think again about this common gesture.  As you make the sign of the cross, touching forehead, chest, shoulder, shoulder, and say these words: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."....well, you've pretty much just summed up the most important bits of,  um, everything.  

Anyway, I'm no theologian.  If I start to think too hard about the Trinity, this mystery, my brain starts to scramble and ache. I prefer to gaze at this icon, above.  It's one of the oldest, most classic and best.  It does the best job of what icons are meant to do: to be windows into heaven.  They help represent the unknowable, the divine.  They help our minds and hearts and prayers step through that window into the divine.  Gaze.  Rest. Look.  Ahhh. 

Happy feast of the Holy Trinity!

God, we praise you:
Father all-powerful,
Christ Lord and Savior,
Spirit of Love.
You reveal yourself in the depths of our being,
drawing us to share in your life and your love.
One God, three Persons,
be near to the people formed in your image,
close to the world your love brings to life.
We ask you this, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, forever and ever.
From the, collect:  prayers of the day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Clown Cars, Italian Style

******NOTE: yes this is a travel post. But to any bad guys out there, while we are in Italy my big burly brother with anger issues is staying at my house, plus well trained guard dogs.  So, look somewhere else for your poor decisions.******

Today we are traveling from Rome to Tuscany. 
Which means we have to rent cars. 
Which  means we have to rent two cars. 
Which means we have to try to cram all eleven of us plus luggage into two cars, for a number of hours. 
Which means Tom and I have to each drive a car....on Italian roads...possibly into Rome! 
Which means I will be hoping that the owner of our villa greets us with some good Tuscan red. 


Which means we could use your prayers today:
for safe travel on the wild Italian roads
and also for peace and serenity with our sure to be squabbly kids who are stuffed into these two cars.  Sort of like a clown act at the circus. 
But without the funny wigs. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't forget that it's May

Because May is a special month, this is a last reminder.  Better late than never. And, never too late.




It's true, so many religious...not only priests but also monks, brothers, sisters...they pray the rosary for us, every day.  For you. For me.  And I know it makes a difference.  I count on it.  I think the least we can do is say thank you by praying back for them sometimes too.  Think about it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LIghten Up!

It's the Feast of St. Philip Neri!

He is a saint I should really get to know better.  Because I love to laugh and yet, too often get caught up in the to-do's and then forget.  I forget to laugh.  And really, what a pity!

It's too easy to think, and a common trap, that having a life of faith, trying to live a life of faith, must be so serious.  Really? Does it have to be? Well, sometimes, sure.  But always? Golly, no.  No one is going to be drawn toward any sour saints, are they? Nope.  Heck, don't you think that God doesn't want any sour saints either? Who would? But it's an easy trap to fall into.  Mea culpa.

Anyhow, St. Philip Neri is a good one for reminding us that laughter is one of God's greatest gifts to us all.  I think  you can be dead serious about what is true, even as you glory and laugh in the wonder of what that really means too.  St. Philip was very serious and devout, dedicated to his prayers, but he also had a compelling personality, loved to talk and even would have music and picnics on excursions to visit churches.  He lived in a very corrupt time; he worked hard to restore a strong spirituality by hosting "oratories," formal talks and music that focused on spiritual topics.  Even so, he was known for  his great sense of humor and practical jokes, in addition to his gentle manner and his skill as a confessor.

He got it. St. Philip understood that you can enjoy the bounty and fun of God's goodness, even as you live a deep and powerful life of faith.  He became known as "the apostle of Rome." And, as that is where I am at the moment...today I will ask St. Philip Neri to say a prayer for my family here and everyone on my prayer list. 







Happy Feast Day!

Saint Philip Neri, 
we take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. 
Help us to add humor to our perspective -- 
remembering always that humor is a gift from God. 
Amen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let the Fire Fall

Pentecost, by El Greco

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.

Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.

Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy
Prayer to the Holy Spirit by St. Augustine

painting by Titian, Pentecost.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Can I go with you?"

 
Lately, Gabriel has developed a new intensity.  Some of that is just standard issue three year old boundary testing.   However, it occurred to me, today (because I am a slow study) that part of this intensity is actually different from my other kids when they were three.  There is an undercurrent of intensity to his relentless pursuit to "go."  He wants to go.  Everywhere. Nothing makes him happier or can get a grin and a jig out of him faster than being told, "You bet, let's go."
We've all been thinking that it is just "going" for the minor adventures that are "going" places in our busy days.  But, as I drove today to Sarah's school for a class project (Living museum, very cute), I was stewing about Gabey and his kind of desperate begging to "Go with you."  Especially when it comes to myself and his dad, Gabey is desperate to go.  With us.  Anywhere.  Everywhere. 

Today it finally dawned on me, and you could argue that I'm overstating it, but my gut thinks otherwise.  Knows better.  Gabey IS desperate to "Go." He has a much more intense need to go with us, beyond your standard three year old desire to go and be with their parents.  His is different.  His is, after all, an adoption remnant.  It's very easy to think that he's been  home two years now, and thus he is over all his adjustment.  I know better.  But even so, daily life sweeps a lot of latent stuff off the radar.  That's just how it plays...until it smacks you upside the head or you run into a wall.  {Well, in  my house, that's how it plays...we're a fast moving place.}  

This need has a root. 
Gabriel was left.  
He was left at eleven months. 
It wasn't just being left on the side of the road.  
But he was taken to an orphanage, in a planned relinquishment by his great uncle.  
Goodbyes were said.  
And he was left.  
And he was old enough to not understand. 
Not even a little. 
But old enough to be confused and scared and missing his family.
And I can see in his pictures from that time how closed his face was. 
The immediate shock of that event is submerged by those pics, maybe, but it still shows.  

 
It's so easy to forget that he experienced that. And it imprinted.  And it's deep and it's primal.  A primal scar.  And sometimes, I see a glimpse of it, when he cries out in his sleep, "Don't leave me!" Or, when, now, every day, he clings and grasps and holds on and says, "Can I go with you?"  He will say it twenty times in a row, he does not want to take no for an answer.  Sometimes we have to say no. 
But now, as I realize what is under that relentless questioning desire and need, I am saying more often, "Yes. You betcha."  

And then I get this, the sweetest smile on the sweetest face.  
And my heart swells right up to my own grin.   

 "Yes, my Gabey, you can go with me.  Forever."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

We had a big weekend around the Coffeehouse.  
My boy, my Booboo...Jon...graduated from high school!
Which means we had a weekend of celebration and sniffling up a few happy tears but mostly grinning from ear to ear that he did it, and he did it well! We are so proud of him, happy and excited for him.  He is now ready to rocket into a future of big adventures. 

Here are the pics. These are from the beautiful (My favorite part of the graduation ceremonies) Baccalaureate Mass, then from Graduation itself (venue change from flooded Opryland to the Belmont Curb Event Center).  I'll save the most of the commentary except to say, it was once again pouring all day on Sunday, (changing the fashion choices and making us all a tad bedraggled) and that this graduation was special, of course.  But they are a really great group of  kids and this bunch has one of those rare group friendships that is a gift to all.  And, last but never least, this boy, my son...he makes my heart burst. 


Friday night. Before the Baccalaureate Mass....excited and happy for my son (and he cleans up well!).  Marta was giddy over the thrill of  her first graduation weekend of hoopla and for her adored big brother.

After, proud happy parents, happy Jon.

After the Baccalaureate Mass, with a few sisters.


 Sunday: The real thing, shaking Bishop's hand and getting the diploma! Hooray!
(thanks Marcie/Fred for the pic, those seats paid off!)

We have a bona fide graduate! 
Shaking hands with the Headmaster, Faustin Weber. 

First steps out into the world, 
girlfriend Leslie and good friend Gabriella.

Jon, with cigar (a nod to tradition/dad), channeling his inner Columbo....

Jon and my goddaughter Olivia, priceless.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Acoustic Flood:" Song for a Friday

Ok, it's late, but still worth a listen.

My son Jon, Booboo, wrote and played and recorded this for me for Mother's Day.

It's a song: "Acoustic Flood," but I rather prefer the title, "Mom's Song."  Just for me.  It's acoustic guitar, one of my favs....and it's tailored to me, for me, because I fuss at him to play "something nice."  Jon is very creative and loves to spend every waking moment a good bit of time fiddling with his music stuff.  Often however he asks me to listen to his latest creation or some music that he and his friends were making and that he recorded.  Often that music is, um, LOUD, and ELECTRONIC, or RAP and just too hard for my old stodgy ears, I guess. That's when I fuss and say, "Good...but, oh, play me something nice."  He usually rolls his eyes and says, "I am!"  And around we go, but with a smile.

So for Mother's Day this year, he did it. Jon played me "something nice." He made me smile, and he made me start to cry.  Because THIS sound is my son, my Booboo, and his playing makes my heart kinda burst.


Have a listen, it's a treat {h/t to Marc}:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Going up...

Ascension.  Today is the feast of the Ascension of the Lord.

Painting by Salvadore Dali.

Now, I have written before about this, and how it kind of always boggles my mind.  Because I am a visual kind of gal, I always get stuck in the imagining of this event, in the unimaginable visuals.  My mind wants to do a whole movie panorama on it, more old Cecil B DeMille flicks, less Spielberg...but I digress.  My point is that I can get all hung up in trying to SEE this, and understand it....which of course totally misses the point.  As usual.

But there are two cool parts to this that I could spend the rest of my life meditating upon, and in fact it would surely do me much good. I won't, but maybe I should.  

The first part I wrote about last year, again, here.  It's the whole concept that Jesus went to prepare a place for us.   He went to get things ready for us, at HOME.  Home.  Not our current abodes, apartments, houses, condos...but our true home.  And that is with Him, eternally, in heaven (I hope and pray). I mean,  how cool is that?? I don't know about  you, but I'm  not the greatest hostess on the planet.  I failed Martha Stewart 101.  I have to write post-its to remember to put nice folded towels in the guest bath.  But here, the God of the Universe, of everything, is heading off to prepare a place for us! Now I don't know what that entails in heaven and all, but even still, He's already on the details.  

I know I know, this is really talking about bigger picture stuff, but even so, God is in the details too and  you know it.  Ever looked at the marbling in granite?? Or the  marbling in marble? Huh? Stared into a tiger lily? Don't tell me that God doesn't pay attention to the tiny details...so I can marvel that Christ left the apostles, ascended even (another spectacular detail),  to go and prepare a place for us, the best place: Home.  Ahhhhh......joy. 

The second part of this very cool event, this mind tripping visual, is that this ascension also signified a new and different status for the apostles...which of course trickles right down to us, me.  He said to them that he would go, but he would send the Holy Spirit and then they were going to be sent too.  Out.  To witness.  To tell the world about this wild amazing truth, this mind blowing love.  That it was real.  He let those apostles SEE him ascend, not just fade away like the Cheshire Cat with his grin the last to go...


nope, he ascended as they watched (and surely, gaped and pointed, and held out their hands and maybe both laughed a bit and cried a bit too).    But certainly they had to be electrified; how could you not? Surely, this very change from followers of the earthly bodily Jesus to witnesses was facilitated by this ascension.  I mean, literally, they witnessed it.  They witnessed it all: yeah, the ascension, but also Christ himself on earth, his miracles, his passion, his resurrection, his heart, his voice, his smell, his smile.  
They knew him, like the world could not.  
And thus they were the first, sent out with a bang, to bring that excitement to everyone.  Big job, but then again, big cool.  Much to think about with this day....


O King of Glory,
Lord of Hosts,
Who didst this day ascend in triumph
above all the heavens!
Leave us not orphans,
but send upon us the Spirit of Truth,
promised by the Father. Alleluia!
The Liturgical Year: Book 9

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Radio, oh, oh! Updated w/ link

Well, sometimes life throws you a curveball. Sometimes it's a crazy or hard one, and sometimes it's a crazy or fun one! Today I just caught a curve ball...but this one is fun!

Yup, who'da thunk it?
I'm gonna be on the radio today!
Now it's just a small, quick flash....maybe a minute or two, but even that has me very much a little bit nervous and excited both.
So who'd want to talk to me? Well, apparently Catholic Charities New York on Sirius/XM radio does, for a brief moment!
The weekly interview show, "Just Love" with Monsignor Kevin Sullivan has a brief bit in the beginning of lighter topics and they asked me to talk with the very nice Marianna Macri a bit about the whole "mom blog" thing.  I guess, I'm Catholic, I've got a blog, and I"m a mom - fits the ticket! And well you all know me, I will always talk if someone asks me to! So I said yes, and now I pray I don't sound like a dolt.  Besides, I love Catholic Charities, they all do such great work and so I'm always on board for pretty much whatever they ask!

So, if you're interested, it's around 1:10-15 or so, eastern time.  Sirius Radio channel 159, or XM 117 or online.  It'll either be good, or a really great way for God to make sure I never get too prideful, eh? Throw a prayer my way if you are of the mind to, so that I at least speak in intelligible sentences.  Whoa.

Msgr Kevin Sullivan, on "Just Love".

UPDATED: I did it! It was great fun and they were so nice! I blathered a bit as I tend to do....sorry! But maybe the best part was that my mom called me IMMEDIATELY afterward, and she told me she listened to the whole thing (to my great surprise) and that she thought I did great.  Aw, what a good mom, but she MADE MY DAY.  Because I am still six.  Even so, I love my mom and this was fun.  
Here's the link, I come on the show around ten minutes in, but the whole show is worth a listen of course.  Catholic Charities folks are always a good bet for a great conversation!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Go Girl Go...

Do we like Suess books and sun?
Why yes we do, every one!


Marta has been working very hard on her reading and Dr. Suess has been one of the mainstays of her effort: specifically, this book and also her chuckle of this week, The Foot Book. Below, we have some really great progress on "Go Dog Go!"

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Week, coming out of the water

Photo by Larry McCormick, The Tennessean Newspaper
It's been one week. One week since this region was turned upside down. One week for us to see how great the people here can be. This is why I love it here, the people.  This is maybe the best compilation of this flood.  Look. See. Help. It's simple.....

It's easy, go here: Best clearing house for help:
Hands on Nashville.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers. Happy day.

It's Mother's Day!
So first and foremost, Happy Mother's Day to ALL the mom's out there, around the world! Yes, I mean exactly that. I mean it for every kond of mom too: mom grandmom birthmom stepmom godmom spiritual mom in place heck even virtual moms! We moms deserve best wishes all the time, even more so today. So God bless each and every one of you.

Next, Happy Mother's Day to MY mom! I love her.
She is just the mom, my mom. Which means that:
I love her,
I laugh with her,
I argue with her,
I gab with her,
I call her for recipes,
I brag about my kids to her,
I fuss about my kids to her,
I cry to her,
I check in with her,
I walk on the beach with her when I'm very lucky,


I gossip about the sibs with her,
I learned what I know about cooking from her,
I have been too critical of her,
I roll my eyes at her (still sometimes, oh dear),
I have her hands,
I have her hair,
I compare shoes with her,
I compare recipes and menus with her,
I miss her,
I love her.

So, for me, Mother's Day is to wish my beautiful Mom, Happy Happy Day!
I love you so.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Every Man for Himself....Hell yeah!??

That's the American way, no?  That's the pioneer spirit....straight outta that whole westward HO, expansion thing, right?  "Get while the gettin' is good."  Right????

From the lone wolf cowboy iconography that pervades our American mindset to the reptilian yet oddly emulated Gordon Geko/Donald Trump icon....our culture too often puts up that attitude as a goal.  Even we moms get this message hammered at us: "Gotta make time for me," "Are you getting enough, YOU time? " So, that's how we should operate, right? Hmmm...

Now, I'm not saying everyone actually lives this way all the time. But at it's core, it's base greed. So, what I want to say is that this is something I've been stewing about this week, after last week....seeing it too much in  my own family, and even myself.  That stance, of "what about me?" and "I'm just looking out for number 1,".....it is, in it's own way......a kind of hell.

Hell, yeah, it is.
Edvard Munch, Anxiety 1894

I think it is what hell will be, too, eventually.
Hell is, to a large degree, our own construction, right here right now.
We create our personal circles of it.
Hell is when we consciously, intentionally, shut others out.
Hell is looking only to ourselves.
Hell is navel gazing.  Even when we do it unconsciously, unintentionally, there it is.  What did Buckaroo Bonzai say? "Wherever you go, there you are."  Right, that applies even to hell.  However you get there, on purpose or by general neglect of intention, there you are: hell.

And if we are NOT vigilant, and are not fighting EVERY single day against our natural tendency toward this kind of natural consuming slippery selfishness....we lose.  Period.

If we don't fight against that tide, daily, we will find ourselves and indeed our whole family slipping perilously towards it.  Kids are naturally programmed to grab for themselves, be it toys or the last cookie or the best place in the car.  We, as parents, are supposed to train it out of them.  But, we cannot if we are too busy, too loudly, putting out the licking tips of hellfires all around as this selfishness crackles through a family. Our good parenting instincts alarm us to the danger, all the time.  It is the most insidious danger to any of us, and to our families.  That navel gaze, though, is a tough habit to break and one that can create a stranglehold before you realize it's choking you.

The only way I see to loosen it's grip, douse those licking flames, is to slow down, simplify, {'nother post that, later} look out.  See beyond you..by which I mean, me.
I need to see each child, and what's going on with them, right then, not just with my reaction to what's going on around them.
I need to stop paying so much attention to the reactions it all creates in me, and instead find a gentler way and lead them out of it too.

No.  It's not really the American way; nor should it be.  Despite what we see and hear all around us, shouted at us from every electronic box,  it is most definitely not every man for himself; Survivor be damned.
It is every man for each other.  And that is what will save us.

Even right now, on a topical news level - we are seeing this good play out, right here in our flooded town.  It is what is making this devastating flood keep our town and city from breaking...the people here are reaching out to each other, strangers and friends alike.  A hellish disaster is being overcome by the heaven of reaching beyond our own self, to each other.  This town is pulling itself out of the flood waters by looking to care for our neighbors.

Here's what I know, it's been a very tough few weeks here in this Coffeehouse!  Some of that  has been being over scheduled, overtired, overrun, overstressed.... each and every one of us.  It's crunch time. End of year events and trips and graduations and confirmations and programs, all jammed into a very small fixed amount of time.  That has made each one of us have a harder time to push back that base selfish striving.  Tempers short, gentleness....gone.


The good news is that we get to try again.  I get to try again.  Every day.  Many many times every day.  We get to redirect and try to reclaim that gentler manner, and look out beyond ourselves.  Heck in  my family, that opp comes around oh, every 8 seconds or so.  But we have to try.  We have to fight against that oh so human impulse to be concerned primarily about, well, us.  Me.  And so I must and will set my mind to it, and deliberately choose to step out of that loop.  Hell, no.  Not now, not then, no more.  I choose to look again, out, again...without taking the register of "how do I feel about this/them/him/her?"  But just to look out and try again, softly.  That very effort brings the heaven of family right back into our/my hands...right here, right now. 


Friday, May 7, 2010

Look Closer, Again

I wrote this last year.
But I don't know how to say this differently.
So, I'm saying it again:
The faces are the same.
They are joined by new ones.
But, mostly, they are the same.

So, I'll say this as many times as it needs to be said:



These are the faces of the littlest ones. 

Not necessarily the youngest, I mean, the littlest.

These are the ones it's so easy to pass over and look beyond. 

But these are our children too. 

We are so bombarded with causes and pictures that it's easy to get overwhelmed, desensitized, numb.

But look at these faces. 

Really, look at them

These are kids. 
They are orphans. 

They lost their moms and or dads to AIDS.

See them with your heart and soul. 

Do something.
Give them the dignity and humanity to really SEE them....
Then say a prayer for them, donate, reach out...
...touch them, hold them, hug them if you can, even.

They are just kids...our kids....who have a future, or should.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flooding Wordless Wednesday: Sung by Johnny

As many of you know, we've had a disaster here in Nashville.   It's surreal, in a way.  The storms hit hard and fast and stayed and simply poured, and poured, and poured.  We have survived tornadoes many a time, drought and locusts (ok, cicadas, but still...).  Now we have the flood. We will survive that too.  Because we are Nashville, and the people here are really kind of amazing.  Our own house, "Coffeehouse", if  you will (ha!), is fine.  Minor hassle and inconvenience and expense.  Nothing.  So many have lost so much, watch this, below. 



Then, please consider helping out some of these organizations, money, time, donations of items....even small bit makes a difference. These are some great organizations that are already making a difference. Full recovery from this crazy devastating flood is going to take a long time. So many have lost everything, and the city itself took a big hit. You can help lend a hand, help someone out of the water. Thanks!

Hands On Nashville
Mid Tenn Red Cross
Community Foundation of Middle TN
Second Harvest Food Bank
Gallatin Shalom Zone
Samaritans Purse
Nashvillest: so Nashville is flooded how can I help?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Holy Mama! It's May!

So, it's May! You know what that means...not only that we can all jump for joy that the crazy stormy April is finished, but that spring has sprung and it's a new start and it's a beautiful new month, new season, new start.  May is also, in Catholic life, a month devoted to Mary. By which I mean, it's all about the mama.
 
Classic photo from 1938.  Hugo Adolf Bernatzik
http://www.flickr.com/photos/haabet/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
No, not only all about me (which of course, it always is!) but even more so, May is all about our Blessed Mom, Mary.  She is the one that I look to this month, today in a bit of needy plea (it's been a tough week), to give me example of how to do all this mom stuff right.  I look to her to see how to really love, to model humility for me (stop laughing, I know I know, better than anyone  how desperately I need that one), to model kindness and patience and just, baseline, real, love.

Joss van Cleve, Madonna and Child (see even baby Jesus was awfully busy!)

You know that it gets all tangled up too, that love stuff. It gets knotted up in needs and wants and crises and pushing and pulling of all sorts: worldly, culturally, friendly, husbandly (Is that a word? It is today).  My dear pal Sonja writs eloquently on this very thing here, today, in honor of today's feast of St. Joseph the worker.  Go, read.  It's so worth it.  (Sorry St. Joseph, not trying to slight you, but Sonja does a much better write up.)


But this month we honor Mary.  It's her month.  Because May brings new growth, literally, all around us.  So too, does Mary.  Without her fiat, her humble acceptance of a surprising radical challenge to love, we wouldn't even have a chance to know the truest Love.  She is the spring of our faith, our hearts and their growth too.  She tends and nurtures our hearts through her prayers so that we can grow and bloom and come closer to the truest Love, her Son.  She is "everymom," it's too easy to forget that, that while she is unique and selected particularly to be the earthly mom of Christ himself, she is also us, in the trenches, mom to this beautiful hard hurting but glorious world.

After this past week, I figure I am at the baby sprout stage of loving.  I could easily have been mistaken for a weed, oh, even this morning.  So, I am looking to Mary, my Blessed Mother, and asking for her prayers to humble my stubborn selfish self, to grow my ability to love, and to pray me into a bloom of some sort, someday.

In the meantime, I hope to get back to a steady consistent daily rosary (lost too often in the shuffle of some insane days) this month, and to pay more attention to the best mom and mom-model I know:  Mary. 


"The mood of springtime informs the church's interior; nature's
blossoming, the warm air of May evenings, human gladness in
a world that is renewing itself -- all these things enter in.
Veneration of Mary has its place in this very particular
atmosphere, for she, the Virgin, shows us faith under its
youthful aspect, as God's new beginning in a world that has
grown old. In her we see the Christian life set forth as a youth-
fulness of the heart, as beauty and a waiting readiness for
what is to come."
-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which is Above
(Ignatius, 1986), pp. 95-96.
{quote h/t wff.org}