Updated: Aug 27, 2021
I'm rather shy, and I am whatever the opposite of being competitive is. So whenever I get cornered, I freeze up, and my mouth starts to twitch because I get so nervous. If I have defend myself, or anything, I need at least a few days to edit and revise what I've got to say. That's why I take so long to respond to text messages.
Anyway, I imagine shy little Flannery O'Connor must have gotten shy at confrontation, too. But while I get at a loss for words, she scowls, growls, and drops the mic. Here's a story recounted in her collections of letters The Habit of Being (tell me a more Thomistic title than that). It's that casual thing that happens at parties where you like have to defend the Real Presence, casually:
"Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. [Mary McCarthy] said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the 'most portable' person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, 'Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.' That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable."
AH! GIRL! PREACH! I literally got a t-shirt that says "If it's a symbol, to hell with it!" from Word on Fire and it's like the edgiest thing I've ever spent my money on (besides that fake nose ring I got from Etsy that I probably will never wear). Anyway, this is all to say that the Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life, or whatever they say in the Catechism.
So, Archbishop Gregory Aymond announced 2020-2021 to be the Year of the Eucharist for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. All the events that have been happening around NOLA to celebrate this have been really cool, but my favorite part about all this is the Year of the Eucharist lecture series that you can check out here: https://nds.edu/els/.
Phew. Ok. I had to get that out the way. My Gallop StrenghtsFinder top CliftonStrength is Intellection, so I have these moments of aggressively sharing lectures. This sentence was in no way sponsored by the good people at StrengthsFinder or whatever they're called.
My favorite lecture so far is the one on The Eucharist in Art, which you can watch here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k00TpPDKmSw . (If you watch the lecture long enough, you can see me ask a question at the microphone. I'm an introvert, so I never do that. I had to hibernate for like two weeks to recover from such an extraverted gesture.)
The lecture is given by one of my favorite professors, Jordan Haddad, PhD (candidate) who also founded the St. Louis IX Art Society in Louisiana. You can learn more about this cool art society here: https://m.facebook.com/StLouisIXArt/.
At this lecture, the archdiocese announced the finalists for the Year of the Eucharist Art Contest. My very, very, very, very, very, very good friend and fellow artist Claire Duhe and I both entered, and we both won as finalists! Claire's piece is a really cool Mardi Gras bead mosaic of the Eucharist, and my piece is a watercolor pencil drawing of my boss, Fr. Ed, elevating the monstrance.
Look how happy we are! Yay art! Yay Eucharist!
And look how happy Fr. Ed looks in my watercolor pencil drawing here! Jesus FTW!
Y'all can check out tall he finalists' works here: https://nolacatholic.org/photoalbums/yoeartcontestselections.
All these pieces are so legit! Dare I say: real.
Also, be sure to check out Claire's work here: https://www.claireduheart.com/
Now go to Adoration or something!