Conversion

“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew,” he told Fr Spadaro. “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.”
-Pope Francis
quoted in the chapter, “Who Am I? A sinner…” in the book, Fioretti, The Little Flowers of Pope Francis, by Andrea Tornielli

“Pope Francis asked people in the crowd to find a quiet time at home or in a church to remember in silence and with gratitude an occasion when they felt that merciful gaze of Christ.” quoted in an article by Cindy Wooden, link here

The rendition of the The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio with narration here

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note: Part of my daily readings during Lent is spiritual books:
Into The Silant Land, A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird, Fioretti by Andrea Tornielli, and Franciscan Prayer by Ilia Delio. The other book I’m reading is Becoming Wise, An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippet.

The photo of The Calling of St. Matthew is from Khan Academy. org

Faith

“In Scripture, the opposite of faith is not doubt but anxiety. To lack faith is not so much to have theoretical doubts about God’s existence as it is to be anxious and fearful at a deep level…

It is this kind of anxiety, the deep fear that we have been forgotten, that pushes many of us to make an assertion of our lives. Nobody wants to live and die unnoticed, insignificant, forgotten. This anxiety is the opposite of faith. It is not so much the fear that God doesn’t exist, as the fear that God doesn’t notice our existence.

What is faith? Faith doesn’t have you believe that you will have no worries, or that you will not make mistakes, or that you and your loved ones won’t sometimes fall victim to accident or sickness. What faith gives you is the assurance that God is good, that God can be trusted, that God won’t forget you, and that, despite any indication to the contrary God is still solidly in charge of the universe. Faith says that God is real and God is Lord and, because of this, there is ultimately nothing to fear. We are in safe hands. Reality is gracious, forgiving, loving, redeeming, and absolutely trustworthy. Our task is to surrender to that.”- Ronald Rolheiser, Prayer Our Deepest Longing

Pure crystals

“Pure crystal are those that have perfectly repeating units. You told me this after I asked you what you found beautiful about chemistry. But what of the repating units in life? Most often imperfect.”
-Weike Wang, Chemistry

note: Yesterday Mrs. Abstract and I toured the Degas and with other Impressionists’ exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

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Today I finished Chemistry by Weike Wang. I added Keeping an Eye Open, Essays on Art by Julian Barnes in my reading list.

Why I like chemistry

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“That’s dispersion. That’s when boring white light goes through a prism and comes out a rainbow. Blue light disperses the most, hence the blue sky you see everywhere. Yellow light disperses the least, hence the yellow sun you see in one place.”- Weike Wang, Chemistry

note: I finished reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck just in time for this Saturday Book Club. I’m finishing Journal of a Novel, The East of Eden Letters by John Steinbeck
which is an added reading for the discussion of East of Eden.

I’m reading a new set of books:
Chemistry by Weike Wang,
Forest Park by Nicole Krauss
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing by Daniel Tammet
World Without Mind by Franklin Foer.

I put back on the shelves the other set of books I was reading before and didn’t finished.

Really? Really.

“A wolverine is a strict loner, but a man needs people.”
-James Campbell, Braving it

Note: Books I’m reading;
Ripples in Spacetime by Govert Schilling
The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand
Braving It by James Campbell
Flirting With French by William Alexander
Entering the Silence by Thomas Merton
Living the Kabbalah by Simcha H. Benyosef
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (for my book club in September)

A lot but it makes the reading interesting. Mixture of ideas. Some of the books are at my bedside, others are on the sofa downstairs.

Mrs. Abstract shakes her head. She reads one book at a time.

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Can you see a man? Can you start a story?

A man alone on the beach,

looking beyond the waters,

a letter inside his pocket.