Tuesday, January 9, 2018

St. Dunstan

lighthouse mosaic made under the patronage of St. Dunstan

Lately I've been feeling a little guilty about the extent to which my sea glass obsession has taken over my life.  At the end of 2017 more often than not I would begin the day driving into the sunrise to daily Mass when the beauty of the morning would turn my thoughts to the beauty of nature and of Lake Michigan and I would steer my car in the opposite direction from the church and instead head to the beach.  Now I know that private prayer on the beach is something that can lift my soul and please the Lord, but to give up the Eucharist for it, that I'm not so sure is an even trade.  Could it be that sea glass has become a false God to me, I wondered?  And how much sea glass does a person even need?  I have become a borderline hoarder, I'm sure, as jars of sea glass and sea glass mosaics line every windowsill and nook and cranny in my home and are even starting to clutter up my office at work.  Sea glass collecting is more than an obsession, I'm afraid.  It's an addiction.  

Recently, in addition to sea glass mosaics, I've begun to create sea glass jewelry from my better pieces and have opened an Etsy shop, Sea of Glass by Annie.  The name of my shop is based upon Revelation 15:2  "And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name."  

Last January I played along with Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint's Name Generator.   The saint who had chosen to companion me was St. Mark, patron saint of stained glass window makers, which is what started my new hobby of creating sea glass mosaics under his patronage.  This year it's St. Dunstan whose name appeared to me.  St. Dunstan, born in England in 924, became a Benedictine monk and later the Archbishop of Canterbury.  He revived monastacism in England and reformed the church.  He was a skilled musician and metalworker and had used his metalsmith tongs to attack the devil during a temptation, according to legend.

St. Dunstan, whose feast day is May 19th,  is the patron saint of jewelers and lighthouse keepers.  When I learned that fact I knew that God must not mind my sea glass addiction too much because he blessed me with a patron for the year who would surely understand and approve of my hobby.

St. Dunstan of Canterbury, pray for us!

Hear, O Lord, the supplications your people make under the patronage of your bishop St Dunstan,
and grant that they may rejoice in peace in this present life and find help for life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  (prayer source)

St. Dunstan

lighthouse mosaic at night with porch light behind it

Lake Michigan in January:  a sea of glass