Hot weather has arrived in Chicago, which means making the switch to iced coffee, summer dresses and sleeveless tops. Inevitably someone will notice my Anima Sola tattoo, which has been hibernating under winter sweaters for far too long, and remark on it's loveliness or ask me when I got it — always surprised that they hadn't noticed it until now; after all, I've had her for five years now. But even before the day that I got this ink, Anima Sola was already a part of me; getting the ink was just the next phase in her journey along with me. It's a good reminder on this beautiful summer day that there are many gifts around us that go unnoticed, yet are there — always there. Such is the nature of Grace. We need only to step into the day with an open heart, ready to see what is around us always, and let ourselves be surprised by the grace-filled moments that await us. Sometimes we encounter a new person or situation that is very like a new summer dress on a gorgeous summer day — revealing what was always underneath the sweater, but no one got a chance to appreciate. But it's always there, whether we see it, whether we appreciate it or not. Take the time today to recognize grace. Appreciation will come naturally.
Anima Sola isn't fond of labels. She is, however, fond of embracing her many paradoxes, and walking the fine lines between religion and politics, with an eye turned toward postmodern religion, feminist theology, and challenging patriarchy from inside the Roman Catholic Church.
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell." ~From the book The Four Loves by C.S.Lewis