The Painter and the Priest
We asked Sharyn to respond to these questions:
1. How do you define real beauty?
For me, beauty is the sensation of alignment with Christ. By that I mean that beauty is that delightful, surprising and fleeting awareness that we exist beyond ourselves. It redirects our habitual inward focus with an affirmation of connectedness with all that is, which includes a sense of harmony and “home.” We might call it a glimpse of grace in the ordinary of life—whether it is a glorious sunset, an act of courage, expression of love or those moments of “thin space” we often experienced in the sacraments.
2. What brings you inner peace?
My many years of experience as a parish priest have led me to find much inner peace in the Eucharist. Inner peace is also the feeling that one is fulfilling their vocation. Regular retreating and journaling helps me stay in touch with whatever that is—which can change during a lifetime. Doing artwork now brings me inner peace in a way that pastoral work has in the past.
3. Where do you find soul strength?
I am blessed to have good friends who are on the same pathway. Among those are my sisters of Belle Coeur—a sisterhood that emerged from the book “Ink and Honey.” Our mutual support is empowering.
4. What makes you laugh?
I love babies and toddlers. Playing with them makes me laugh—perhaps because it brings out the child in me. Any kind of play—such as dancing.
5. Which female heroine inspires you this month?
I could name any number of women but one in particular comes to mind in this presidential pre-election month: Michelle Obama. As her husband’s term comes to an end she could have removed herself from the spotlight and relentless racist attacts, but, she continues to step forward with grace, strength and much poise to promote for the welfare of others, especially women.