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Prayer Through Paintings

Rev. Dennis McNally, SJ, is a Jesuit artist who has directed more than a hundred individuals through the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life (19th Annotation). His paintings have become a way of praying, and he offers them for your consideration. If they help any of us with using our imagination for entrance into contemplation, he is satisfied that he is doing his part for the Society's commitment to the arts that has developed over the centuries, offering the gift to others. On his blog or by email, he welcomes interaction. Fr. McNally has sold signed prints, as well as the originals.

Below are several of Fr. McNally's paintings for your consideration, along with his brief reflection on each.

I really wanted to capture my own first evening at the Sea of Galilee. This father and son are, in my mind, enjoying a wondrous moment together after trying the waters of the Galilee at sunset. Joseph and Jesus are blue in the shadow of the trees; they share a universal humanity. This father of the Lord is a humble person of no consequence; we are all like him, given the life of the Lord to protect, instruct, and cherish. Joseph is easy to identify with when contemplating the life of the young Lord in time and space. He is such a clear model. His own insecurities pale when facing the needs of his son...We can take courage from his example and talk like he might with the Boy.

This is a painting done as many of my recent ones are, from a dream. I often find images in dreams, no story, no narrative, but I realize it's an image for painting. This one started after a dream on the 12th of May 2-17. There were two dark areas, one in the upper right and one in the lower left. I couldn't imagine what the painting could be about until I realized the lovely blue was so peaceful. Unable to make sense of where to go with what I had in a few hours of painting, I went for a swim to cool my energized but confused mind-----and realized it was the 100th anniversary of the appearances at Fatima. I completed the whole painting in one day, a very rare experience for me. We all have miniscule messages in which we can see that God means what God says. In this one, the Virgin appearing to the children is so small yet in so wide a world of grace. She asks us always to seek peace.  



 









Recent News

August 5, 2019 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for families and the role that they play in teaching future generations. "Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly 'schools of true human development'."

July 31, 2019 – Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and inspiration of all we refer to as Ignatian spirituality.

July 1, 2019 – More than 125 spiritual directors attended our Symposium for Ignatian Spiritual Directors last Thursday through Saturday at Fordham University. Thank you to everyone participated in this wonderful event!

June 13, 2019 – The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) in Baltimore is looking to hire a full-time director to manage and grow the regional office. IVC matches seasoned professionals with charities and nonprofits seeking skilled volunteers.

June 10, 2019 – In February, the Society of Jesus announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences. These Preferences—promoting discernment and the Spiritual Exercises, walking with the excluded, caring for our common home, and journeying with youth—will guide the global mission of the Jesuits for the next decade. While the Preferences are not exactly ranked, it seems appropriate that the Spiritual Exercises should come first.

June 6, 2019 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to pray for priests. "Let us be thankful for their example and testimony," said Pope Francis. "Let us pray that priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively, above all, to solidarity with those who are most poor."

May 10, 2019 — On May 7, Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche, passed away in Paris. He touched the heart of many, including several Canadian Jesuits.

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