downloadable PDF file: Women of Faith Resources November 2017
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” ~ Anne Frank
“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, cling to it, feel it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” ~ Sylvia Plath
Featured Feast Day: November 22 – Saint Cecilia
Born: Various dates are given for Saint Cecilia’s birth and death. Several sources indicate she was born in the second century and martyred in the third century. Others refer to the life of St. Cecilia as a legend. Whatever, this beloved saint has appealed to musicians and singers for centuries.
Patron of musicians and Church music
Lectio Divina: Scripture for spiritual reading and meditating
- Psalm 144: 1-10 – Blessed be the Lord, My Rock
- Luke 19:45-48 – Jesus Cleanses the Temple
- Matthew 25: 1-13 – The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
For reading on Contemplative, Centering Prayer, see Contemplative Network.
When considering St. Cecilia’s life and her attributes, we nourish contemplative prayer. See:
“From a Discourse on the Psalms” by St. Augustine
The Litany of St. Cecilia offers details about St. Cecilia’s life and attributes
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
St. Cecilia is the patroness of musicians and church music. The following selections connect music and spirituality.
Sometimes a song becomes important in the soundtrack of our life. Do you have a song that touched you deeply at one moment of your life and still touches your heart when you hear it? See Finding God in the Soundtrack of Life, also at Ignatian Spirituality.
Lastly, here is the Hymn to Saint Cecilia by Benjamin Britten on YouTube.
Visio Divina: Art for prayer and meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
“St. Cecilia and the Angel” by Carlo Saraceni c. 1610 Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome
What strikes you in this painting? Look carefully at the profiles. What do they say to you?
In the 1920s, this was the first club banner of a music club in Oudler, Belgium, a German community in the Walloon district. The banner was the pride of the music lovers. The Bordeaux red is exquisite and Saint Cecilia with harp was an embroidered and applied motif made by the Luxembourg tailor Kauffmann.
To what are your eyes attracted on this banner? Let the colors speak to you.
For Spiritual Reading: To learn more about St. Cecilia
The Life of St. Cecilia: Patroness of Musicians by Nick Rabiipour
Text of the Prologue and Second Nun’s Tale by Jeffrey Chaucer. This is a modern English version in poetry form. In this tale, Chaucer tells the story of St. Cecilia.
Featured Classical Spiritual Music
Enjoy and let your heart vibrate to classical, spiritual music.