More images celebrating the Virgin Mary
These images suggest a traditional stained glass Virgin Mary with a somewhat more modern twist. With these images I hope to inspire in you the grace, humility and virtue that Mary lived with; as well as enjoying the fruits of her blessings. Each image features the same design of Maria with a different word; may you enjoy both the reflective nature of these portraits and the quality that each word indicates.
The first in the series is Joy, which is I believe one of the main benefits of practicing purity and humility (as did The Madonna) in our own lives. This can only be accomplished moment to moment, day to day; and as we can water the good seeds in us, the fruit of joy will be more and more evident in our lives. You may take a moment now, if you want, and consider the things in your life for which you're grateful. In this very moment, likely there are things you can bring to mind; perhaps your faith, or your ability to read. Just take a moment, and with each of the next three breaths you may consider one thing for which you are thankful. Just take a breath, and reflect. Take another, and reflect again. And now a third. I hope this short exercise has provided you with more joy.
It is said that with out hope there is despair. Some would say that this points to the ever-after; however, despite The Bible's continual reference to Heaven and Hell, I believe that Jesus was much more canny than that; and understood that these qualities exist here on the material plane. That is, there may be an existence after our demise; but, that Heaven and Hell are qualities to be found in human consciousness. I think this is where hope plays a hand; if I'm despairing, perhaps I can consider that "this too shall pass". That's hope in it's most passive sense, to reflect that things will change, and after a while, perhaps for the better.
There is a more active interpretation of hope though. If I just hope for a good grade on a paper, or that I'll be able to sell paintings, or have a good relationship with my girlfriend, or hope for anything else that I'd like to see in my life; well, that's pretty ineffectual, unless I couple it with action. It may be just the action of consciously thinking "this too will pass" when I notice a negative quality to my emotional state; or it may be more concrete, such as studying for an exam; letting you know that these images from Hughes Design/Create - like this portrait of the Virgin Mary - are available for sale at CafePress; or spending time and talking with my sweetheart. That is, to the extent that hope motivates me to do something else, it is a useful emotion; and also, that just by being hopeful, it may help to change difficult times faster than they would otherwise.
There are two kinds of peace; external peace, and internal peace. There are I suppose degrees of peace, and one of the best teachers for me about peace is Peace Pilgrim. She lived from 1908 -1981, and for the last many years of her life traveled the United States on foot. She said she would continue walking until there was peace on earth. A truly inspiring story. Her book is very readable, and better still it is free. Just visit the link above, and they'll send you a copy. Well worth reading.
As far a peace goes, without being ourselves peaceful, we will always see the world as an unpleasant place. There are lots of ways we can cultivate peace in our selves: through prayer, meditation, singing, walking, noticing our breath, noticing our posture; and many other ways as well. A guided meditation can bring you peace; sleeping deeply, and so on. In nature there is often an abundant quality of peacefulness if we only allow ourselves to become aware of it; and since we are made of earth (so to speak), we have only to open to our nature to experience peace.
I'm listening to the Beatles right now; "Can't buy me love!". What is it? Love. All around, ever available; or only in the eyes of some special person. Some of both? Perhaps you may consider what love is in your life.
This portrait series of the Virgin Mary from Hughes Design/Create is offered in the spirit of unity and inspiration. I hope that you have had the good fortune to experience some degree of the qualities discussed; that is love, peace, hope and joy; while reading this hub; and that you continue to experience them as the week goes on. With each day, and every breath, it is my contention, that we are the creators of our experience. We are able to access these positive states, and others too; whenever we want too. We may also experience negative states of consciousness; and when we do, perhaps that is the time to call on hope.
Nameste - The Divine light in me salutes the Divine light in you.