In the early days, women didn’t have charts and apps to track their fertility, but would have known the timing of their cycles by the phases of the moon. In that first month after Gabriel’s visit, Mary would not have felt too different than she had before. It would be months before she would show, and even longer before she would feel Jesus’ little flutters. But looking out at the face of a new moon, she would have known in a very concrete way that what the angel said was true. How her heart must have thrilled with joy!
St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, but she’s remembered not for her great musical talent, but for the song within her heart that only God could hear. Her faithfulness and steadfast witness—even unto death—won many souls for Christ!
Therese is known for her “Little Way”, of perfect obedience in the smallest things. I should have known going into this painting that I would be called to just that! Sure enough, I had barely begin to mix my paints when my daughter became fussier than she’d ever been, demanding my attention every couple minutes. With paint drying on my palette, I comforted her again and again and again (and halfway through writing this sentence she woke up from her nap, calling for my attention yet again). This painting is testament that sometimes the greatest masterpiece is just doing God’s will in the small and unknown things.
I painted this for the man who is now my husband, back when we were still courting. It was a pivotal point in our relationship as we discovered that although I have a father whose faith is bold and charismatic—and that was very much what I was used to—my husband’s quiet strength is exactly what I need. He is like how I imagine St. Joseph must have been for Mary: often silent but never lacking in faith.