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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"Upon the road, René was always occupied with God. His words and the discourses he held were all expressive of submission to the commands of Divine Providence, and showed a willing acceptance of the death which God was sending him. He gave himself to God as a sacrifice, to be reduced to ashes by the fires of the Iroquois, which that good Father's hand would kindle. He sought the means to bless Him in all things and everywhere. Covered with wounds as he himself was, Goupil dressed the wounds of other persons, of the enemies who had received some blows in the fight as well as those of the prisoners. He opened the vein for a sick Iroquois. And he did it all with as much charity as if he had done it to persons who were his best friends."
— St. Isaac Jogues (writing in 1643)

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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.