About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Contemplative Photography
published 17 February 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Today I heard of the interest of Pauline Books in a manuscript I have entitled Insights: a 40 Day Spiritual Adventure. As a sample chapter I sent a favorite concept of mine you may find helpful.

Compare a portrait photograph with a caricature. The portrait photographer looks at the customer and figures out what is the most attractive way to present that face. The caricaturist, by contrast, looks for the most unattractive feature and exaggerates it.

Now, here is the analogy. When you contemplate the people you know well do you think of their best features or do you exaggerate their worst features? If you are like me, when I am feeling kindly disposed to a friend or family members, I think of moments where this person(s) was displaying virtues or delightful quirks. But when I am angry at someone, I contemplate their worst deeds, sometimes going back for decades!

Don’t you think that, in the words of Dietrich Von Hildebrand, God wants you to join the stream of His love for everyone by looking for the unique preciousness of his or her personality rather than catching the Devil’s picture?

Realistically, with the exception of Our Lady, we all have positive and negative traits. We need not ignore the bad traits, especially if we need to deal with them, but we don’t need to fixate on them either. When the caricature comes to mind, let us ask God to make us into portrait photographers.

For books, audio, DVD’s, and more, please visit rondachervin.com. And here is a biography of Dr. Ronda.