nav-left cat-right

A Time To Love

In Sweet Memory of Angelo DeFranceso

April 1, 1933-November 19, 2012

In celebration of the life of our dear friend, Angelo DeFranceso, and this holiday season, I wish to share with you a beautiful writing by St. Abba Macarius the Great (295-392 A.D.; also known as Macarius the Egyptian).  He was was among the most influential Desert Fathers of Egypt, and a disciple of St. Anthony the Great.

St. Macarius, one of the founding fathers of monasticism. He was born in the village of Shabsheer, Menuf, Egypt. His father, Abraham,  and his mother, Sarah, had no children when an angel appeared to the father and told him that God was about to give him a son who would become known all over the world. Shortly thereafter, a son was born and called Macarius, which means “Blessed.”

I came across one of St. Macarius’ Homilies that struck me as so beautiful I wanted to share it with you for this season of Love, Joy, Light as a prayer for Angelo and all those who have suffered in the wake of “Sandy.”  And also to all of you, dear friends, who continue with me on this journey of life.  God bless you all and may a wonder filled holiday fill your hearts and hearth with happy days and sweet love.  Merry Christmas, Merry Holidays, and Healthy New 2013 Year.

All Eyes, All Light, All Face, All Glory, and All Spirit

By Saint Macarius of Egypt

The soul that, prepared by the Holy Spirit to be his seat and house, and found worthy to participate in his Light, is illuminated by the beauty of his ineffable glory, becomes all light, all face, all eyes; there is no part of her that is not full of these spiritual eyes of light.  That is to say no part of her is in shadow, but she is entirely transformed into light and spirit and is all full of eyes and has neither a part behind or a part in front but appears all face because of the ineffable glory of the Light of Christ, that has descended on her and lives with her.  And as the sun is totally of one likeness, and has no “behind” or imperfect part but is throughout splendid with light, and is light throughout; or even as fire, that is to say the light of fire is less; so too the soul that is perfectly illuminated by the ineffable glory of the light of the face of Christ, and perfectly partakes of the Holy Spirit, and is judge worthy to be made the house and seat of God, becomes all eyes, all light, all face, all glory and all spirit…

If then you have become the throne of God, and the Heavenly Charioteer has seated himself within you, and your soul is entirely transformed into a spiritual eye, and is made into light; if you too are nourished with the heavenly food of that spirit and have drunk of the Living Water, and have put on the secret garment of light — if your inward being has experienced all these things and is established in rich unshakable faith, then you are living the Eternal Life, and your soul even in this present time rests with Christ.

The following is an excerpt from

Volume 4 of the book,

“Ten Step – A Course in Botanical Art, Volumes 1-10”

 By OM Braida


Theodorus Clutius (1546-1598)

Libri picturati


The Libri picturati (the botanical watercolor albums of Karel van Sint Omaars (1533–1569) is a great collection of botanical scientific illustration, which comprises approximately 1,800 images housed in thirteen volumes at the Jagiellon Library in Krakow.   The collection of illustrations was meant to serve the medical students of Leiden University (Holland) as a winter garden when the actual university hortus (garden) was not in bloom!


These botanical watercolors are one of the many botanical art collections that mark this very important style of botanical art.  The artwork in this collection, however, cannot be attributed to Theodorus because it is not signed.  There is speculation that he may have done the work because he was a pharmacist hired by Leiden University to convey his knowledge of medicinal plants in the creation of their garden which was used as a primary locus of study; the earliest renderings of the Clutius watercolors were completed prior to his being financially able to pay for an artist to help and the Libri picturati watercolor collection was in his possession at the time of his death.  The influence this collection of work played on future botanical art is profound.


Author H. Wille writes about The albums of Karel van Sint Omaars concerning attribution as follows:

The Libri picturati A 16–31 now in the Jagiellon Library in Krakow were first recognised in 1936 by Hans Wegener, who attributed the collection to Clusius. A thorough study based on a codicological analysis of the collection, a comparison of the watercolours with the Kruydtboeck by Lobelius (1581) and a study of Clusius’s correspondence from the library at the University of Leiden and the Arenberg archives in Edingen caused me to reach a different conclusion. The Libri picturati A16–31 is a collection commissioned by Karel van Sint Omaars, painted for the greater part by Jacques van Corenhuyse, annotated by Clusius and afterwards rearranged and supplemented by Karel van Arenberg.            (Edinburg University Press)


Composition of the Clutius watercolors was dictated by their use as a medical reference. The majority of watercolors are painted on sheets that measure (17 ¾ X 11 ¾).   Most of the plant portraits are composed vertically in full and actual size.  They are arranged so that the various surfaces of individual parts are fully visible (fronts and backs of leaves, and flower parts, etc.). Root structures as well as other features exist as described (firm, bulbous, tuberous wispy, fibrous, etc.). Often where possible the interior of roots and branches is shown.  These parts are positioned so that the entire rendering of the specimen can not only fit within the confines of a single sheet, but appear graceful and balanced.


Like the pages of Renaissance dried pressed herbaria specimens, this kind of 16th century scientific botanical painting contains the flattened form of plants and flowers.  The central difference between the two, however, lies in the fact that the paintings retain their vivid colors.

To learn more about this  collection, you might enjoy reading the book by Claudia Swan listed below.



Book Buys

Clutius Botanical Watercolors

By Claudia Swan 1998 ISBN: 0810940957


The Art of Botanical Illustration

By Wilfrid Blunt, William T. Stearn


Australia: 300 Years of Botanical Illustration

By Helen J. Hewson



Time….a magical thing we’ve created to encapsulate and regulate our lives.  Perhaps it doesn’t exist at all and we’ve been running a race that doesn’t exist.  Are we really born to simply stack our accomplishments against a calendar, or are we born simply to learn to love and then get on with loving?  It does not seem that Love needs a clock, or calendar.  Rather, Love seems to transcend time and exist in between, on top of, around, and behind everything.  If Love is not a slave to Big Ben and has the power to stand on its own, then Love is our true power– the best kind of power.  I wish for you and for all those who fill your spaces an absence of concern about time and in place of that concern, a thought to remember there is always time to love and be loved.  God bless, OM


“And in the end, it’s not the years in our life that count. It’s the life in our years.”  

Abraham Lincoln

One Response to “A Time To Love”

  1. John says:

    You have out done yourself again, you’re the BEST.