Mustard Seeds, St.Michael and the Love of Catholic Imagery

Well, Kaysie McAlister’s two keychains, one with St. Michael and the other bearing a mustard seed buried in a blue glass bubble arrived over the weekend. They are everything I had hoped they would be: clean, shiny talismans of faith, hope and strength.

By sheer coincidence, this same weekend as I struggled with housekeeping that required I part company with back issues of the National Catholic Reporter, my eye was caught by an essay in the July 23rd edition of that wonderful paper headlined: “Being Catholic means finding God at every turn.”

The essence of Kathy Coffey’s reflection on the early childhood journey that makes us forever Catholic is the realization that many of us who may have forgotten or deviated from some of the teachings of the church somehow “remain faithful to the poetry of the faith: the smells and bells, the art and decoration, the saints and incense.”

It is that, she argues that keeps us forever Catholic: the impulse to find God in small things: “in candlelight or conversation, night sky or green meadow.” Or perhaps in the potentially transformative power of old bicycle chain reincarnated as keychains for a cause.  I can’t help smiling as I hold my little blue bauble up to the light looking for the mustard seed within but seeing mostly beautiful mosaics of radiance within that little sphere. A small reminder perhaps that the light of our faith can, if we let it, help us create a similar radiance in our own little spheres.

note: St. Michael, defender of the vulnerable and the mustard seed charm have been joined by others at

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Posted in I BLOG, Religion, Religious imagery

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