An invitation to participate in the 'Traces of Him' Photography Project from the Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford:
Last autumn, many of us in the Carmelite family gathered together – at an online Spirituality Summit – to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Doctorate of Santa Teresa of Jesus. As part of this celebration, Cardinal Anders Arborelius encouraged each of us to participate in the sacrament of the present moment’ (opening up to God, and His glorious eternity, in the every day and the here and now), ‘finding traces of Him’ in all that surrounds us.
This Lent we invite you to join us in prayerful attentiveness to God’s presence in our everyday lives – including amidst the pots and pans – photographing some of the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, within which imprints or traces of Him are revealed and received.
Our invitation is thus a simple one – to continually open to, and behold, the sacredness in the ordinary and when so moved, from time-to-time, to photograph something (using a digital camera or phone) that pertains to an encounter with Him.
Each person’s photographs will, of course, be deeply personal, bearing witness to their own path of ‘sacred seeing’. But our hope is that each Friend-in-Carmel will share with us a single photograph, arising from their Lenten attentiveness to His traces. The intention is not that this image is conventionally beautiful or accomplished, rather that it is part of something received by the ‘graced eye’2.
We will compile these images – unadorned by titles and attributions (although everyone choosing to share a photograph will be acknowledged), on a publicly accessible web-site. This site, which will be launched on Teresa’s feast day of 15th October 2021, is intended to facilitate the joyful, collective sharing and receiving of each of these precious images.
Our wish is for us all to co-create a thankful, visual celebration of His presence in our lives and a further legacy of the 50th anniversary.
The Traces of Him team will email again, after Easter, encouraging all Friends-in-Carmel to share a photograph with us. For those choosing to do so, details regarding the submission of an image will be communicated then.
In the meantime, we wish you a blessed Lenten season.