Friday, January 21, 2022

Winter Ordinary Time 2022: Word on Fire illustrated Bible...

Hello all and happy end of week! It's SUPER chilly in my part of the world, and I'm tucked up cozy with Barney as I write this. 

*blissful sigh*

I get very inspired by the starkness and freshness of winter, and this year is no exception. I'm thinking ahead to Lenten planning (doesn't start until March this year, so still plenty of time!) and getting so excited! In the meantime, I'm enjoying the slowness of this particular part of Ordinary Time and just savoring small joys as they roll in. Related to my last post, I added a Great Feasts icon to my home icon wall, and a small and *adorable* Christ and Theotokos chapel icon set to my desk at work. I'll post photos next time as I forgot to photograph the desk set in particular, and those are just spectacular! 

I've also been allowing myself to read more this winter, and just enjoy some of the books, both fiction and non-fiction, that have been sitting on my Kindle for a long time, awaiting my attentions. One of my New Year's resolutions was to be more active on GoodReads again, keeping track of books that I'm actively reading and those that I would really like to get to in the near future. (I enjoy inspiration romances, romantic suspense, religious non-fiction titles, fitness and dance memoirs). This has helped me to stay focused on making steady progress with books, rather than allowing days to go by without reading at all (or, a single minute of reading in bed on my Kindle before my eyes drift closed). One of the things I'd like to examine for Lent is to select 1-2 non-fiction Catholic titles on my bookshelf and dedicate myself to finishing them before the end of the season. Selecting them will be the most fun!

In that realm, I got an email earlier in the week that the long-awaited new Volume II of the Word on Fire Bible was ready and available for purchase, this year it's Acts, Letters and Revelation:

I learned my lesson from last year (the Gospels) and immediately braced myself for the cost of the leather bound version, because I know now that that is what is want. :-) And there is a GREAT bundle available to purchase both Volume I and II! My order is in, and was shipped yesterday. 🙌

This will be a lifetime project to get through, to be sure, but I'd like to pick it up regularly over Lent. *quiet squee* I cannot wait to structure out my reading plan! I believe that the next volume, for 2023, will be the Pentateuch, so exciting. 

Any other Word on Fire Bible fans here? How have you been approaching reading with yours? Each evening or some other system that you have? I would LOVE some ideas as we approach the start of Lent 2022!

Friday, January 7, 2022

Winter Ordinary Time 2022: Icons and Eastern traditions...


Hi friends, and welcome back to blog following the 2021 holiday season! :) I've decided that what I'd like to do on this blog going forward is to post with seasonal themes as regularly as I am able. This time of year, I am often inspired by Winter Ordinary Time, in this space between the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent. Each post will feature something that I'm feeling particularly inspired by this year as we journey through winter towards Ash Wednesday. As ever, I delight in hearing what you're working on during these seasons in your own life down in the comments! 

One of the devotional items that has really captured my imagination this year is Eastern style iconography. I first learned a bit about Easter Orthodox spirituality via reading Facing East, by Frederica Mathewes-Green, a number of years ago. Since that time, one of my good friends joined a Byzantine rite Catholic parish, and this has really captured my fascination to learn more about the Eastern traditions within our faith. She shared a photo with me of her home prayer corner, and the icons truly fascinated me. I went on a bit of a research and shopping expedition of my own over at Legacy icons (a beautiful Orthodox company) and have added a bit to our home artwork:


Gorgeous set of Christ and the Theotokos 😍

I also purchased a small icon of the Baptism of the Lord, called Theophany in the Eastern tradition, as my and Mike's wedding anniversary right near that feast each year:

They had a sale recently, and I picked up a few others for my office. ;-) A smaller Christ and Theotokos (means Mother of God/God bearer) set for my desk, and a large icon of all the Great Feasts: 

  • Nativity of the Theotokos, 
  • Exaltation of the Cross, 
  • Entrance of the Theotokos, 
  • Nativity of Christ, 
  • Theophany, 
  • Presentation of Christ (Candlemas), 
  • Annunciation, 
  • Palm Sunday, 
  • Resurrection of Christ, 
  • Ascension of Christ, 
  • Pentecost, 
  • Transfiguration of Christ, 
  • Dormition (falling asleep) of the Theotokos.

I have to say, I am quite fascinated by the Eastern tradition, and I absolutely LOVE icons. Just looking at the Christ and Theotokos set in our bedroom makes me feel so comforted and happy. Icons are artistic representations of our family of faith in heaven, and their presence is such a solace to me. 

I am also loving learning more about the Eastern side to our faith. Given my attachment to our Latin rite traditions, I don't see myself ever officially changing rites, but continuing to learn more is bringing me a lot of joy, and I plan to attend a Divine Liturgy for the very first time this month! 

Have you ever attended an Eastern Divine Liturgy? Do you own any icons? Or are there other devotions you're focusing on this winter? I would love to hear about it in the comments!