This has been a hard past few weeks. I've been wrestling with deep dissatisfaction with myself. I've been drinking from the barrel of self doubt and just trying to see if it has a bottom. It doesn't.
There are times when I really don't want to face the world, and times when I want to face this community even less, when I open a fresh Google Doc and stare at it for an hour and hit the backspace more than any other key. Today is a day like that.
I've been listening to Fr. Tansi's record, Garden, and I've really needed it. It's been speaking to me in some vulnerable places and I can't say thank you enough to Fr. Tansi and to all of the people at Renewal in Motion who were a part of making it happen. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You were there for me today.
I feel like Fr. Tansi is opening up a secret door into the garden of his own prayer, into his dialogue with a God who loves him, who's proud of him, and who is eminently present. Especially in "Rising," and "Rest." Often when I'm struggling to believe that about God and about myself, the pathway out has been encountering God's love through someone else's invitation into their own experience of the Divine.
Garden is a work that does that for me. It's not just the arrangements, the vocals, the melody, the instrumentation...all of these are worthy of recognition. It's the heart that's behind it all.
It's beautiful in every way. Even the album art, which was done by Daniela Madriz, one of my personal heroes.
Thanks again to you guys at Renewal in Motion for being so awesome. We love you guys!
By Marcellino D'Ambrosio
CoFounder of Catholic Creatives
Michief Maker at Sherwood Fellows
At that first Summit, I felt in my heart a spring of water push up out of the dry desert clay and begin making a garden of the wilderness inside me just as those mission trips did so long ago. The thirst in my soul is for the Church to look like family again, and when I look around at the men and women who’ve heard the call in Catholic Creatives and answered it, I don’t just see temporary friends, I see brothers and sisters.
I want to share this story because I believe in my depths that if we keep the community safe behind our computer screens, then we will never live to see a New Renaissance.
We’re not sure how or when it happens, exactly. Is it when two creatives sit next to each other and laugh at the same joke from a Summit speaker? Does it start as mutual admiration on a Show-Off Tuesday post? Is it even smaller, like a podcast downloaded, a product purchased, a video watched? Whenever it happens and however it develops, we know one thing for sure: Catholic Creatives is a hub for connection.
I worked in ministry, but couldn’t coax myself to join any Catholic young adult communities. I didn’t want to have to hide the fact that I did yoga in the mornings or listened to NPR. Deep down, I honestly had lost my dream for the utopic Catholic community I saw at that Steubenville conference. I kept my distance, instead making friends in the Dallas start-up circles. That is, until I found Edmund Mitchell’s Facebook profile.