A Day at the Sea

The Sea

The sea can be pretty much anything hereabouts. In this case it’s the Mississippi Sound, from earlier this week, where Zeta just blew ashore tonight.

I’ve been back out with the camera more and more. I really need to work on my photography skills. So much to photograph around here, so little skill.

Look at that – such a potentially interesting photo, yet so unremarkable. Like the one below:

I love this little place. The good sisters here have made it into a tiny gem sparkling in the depths of the deep green forest. It deserves to be photographed much better than this.

Reading at the moment Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castles.

It can easily be read in a few hours, but it’s enjoyable to slow down and savor her words. Linguistically she’s a lot of fun, her personality is remarkable fresh and engaging.

She speaks often of being recollected, which today we would probably call composure, or being composed. For her, composure is has a greater depth than we might consider in mere psychological terms. The spirit is conformed to the will of the Lord, and recognizes his great majesty – being conformed to the will of the Lord is not a chore or a burden. It’s freeing, to be who we fully are and to walk, work, and speak in confidence.

Her work is much more than that also, it’s a masterpiece in spiritual literature. But being away right now is the perfect time to be doing some spiritual reading. My director has been encouraging me into more Adoration also, which was – oddly – difficult to do at the Parish. It wasn’t a matter of being busy, really. I’ll write more about that in my own book, which may or may not be written, as the Lord wills. As Teresa often said, “I am too stupid to do such things.”

I’m leaning towards redoing this blog, getting it into shape, and perhaps moving on. Before I do though, I want to finish learning about SEO, readability, etc. It’s not much, it’s just a matter of learning it. I’ll probably put in a lot of the photos I took over the years while redoing things at St. Jane because those are quite interesting.

In the meantime, the power’s out from Zeta, and I am off to do some reading.

Stay well and be great.


The Art of Composure

Finding myself on sabbatical, and in need of a theme, a place, arrangements, etc, was certainly not what I was planning on doing for the end of 2020. I’m working on a book about the experience, because I’m sure there are many spiritual lessons to be learned that will be valuable. And I have to write something.

With all of that in mind, I landed on the theme of composure.

What exactly, you might ask, is composure?

Composure Defined

Merriam-Webster defines composure as “a calmness or repose especially of mind, bearing, or appearance.”

Some of the many, many, many weblogs devoted to the subject define composure further as “Self-possession in a time of anger and gaslighting.”

I like that.

Covid and Composure

Scripture is filled with examples of composure. Jesus before Pilate, carrying the Cross, undergoing Crucifixion, for instance. Or look briefly at Esther. Or almost anyone in Scripture for that matter.

We can look at the saints too – St. Denis last Friday, the patron saint of Paris, was beheaded in the city, picked up his head and walked back to the then village of St. Denis. Now that’s composure.

This time of covid have found many, and I was saying this back in April, looking for someone on whom they can take out their anger. Just when we think we’ve found the culprit, the story changes, and there’s someone else. Then a news story breaks, and it’s someone else all over again. It’s a study in non-composure.

Composure and Web Presence

I’ll also decide what to do with my site here – it was a repository for photos back in the day, but as my spiritual director says about things in general right now, it’s the end of an era. Maybe I’ll find a seminar during my sabbatical that can help with that decision.

The soul is an image of heaven because God dwells in it. ~ St. Basil the Great (Office of Readings for St. Seraphin of Montegranaro, OFM Cap.)


The Rev. Kenneth Allen