Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fruits of the Spiritual Exercises

A few years ago, I directed a 30-day retreatant and encouraged his artistic expression through prayer. He sent me notification of his upcoming gallery exhibition. With pride in his good word, I post the words of his flyer.

I want to call my first exhibition “Heavenly Dreams” because when we plan, God smiles and you know what happens.

God loves our dreams and He loves when we put our trust in His loving hands. You might not believe it, but I never painted in my life.

In 2012 I went for a 30 day silent Ignatius Retreat in beautiful Gloucester, Massachusetts on the east coast. On the third day of the retreat, an UNKNOWN POWER brought me to the art room and I took a piece of paper and began to draw all of my feelings and emotions. When I presented this art to my spiritual director, he strongly encouraged me to continue expressing my emotional outlet through art. On that day I was not aware that it was the beginning of my new journey.

An explosion occurred. I realized that through colors, brushes, and scissors, my creative work allowed me a new way to communicate with God. I tell Him what I cannot express with words. He is doing the same through me. Right now painting becomes my way of prayer and meditation. I am amazed at the depth and new meanings of the stories I come to understand when I put them on canvass. I realized that through my paintings, my communication skills with my people, believers and nonbelievers, has reached a much deeper and more spiritual level.

I want to thank God and St. Ignatius Loyola (the best psychologist and spiritual director in our western civilization) who opened a completely new exciting chapter in my life. I want to thank my parishioner and friend, Frank Santos who introduced me to the best local artist, AnnLee Brook, who has become my mentor, teacher, and good friend. I am constantly learning from her and she always inspires me to explore and reach unknown areas of art.

In conclusion, I pray for each of you who looks upon my artwork, that the genuine and merciful hand of God will touch and transform your life. In these moments of reflection and meditation while you are experiencing my art, it is my hope that it will help you to be healed and make you free from wounds, pain, and suffering. I hope that you will find and experience NEW LIFE and NEW LIGHT in the LOVING and MERCIFUL HAND OF GOD. And… not be afraid to listen to your heart and be prepared for surprises. This is what happened with me and you see the results. St. Ignatius, pray for us.


  1. John, I slipped over here to see if you had posted anything more about your health and found this beautiful expression of gratitude for a God-given gift. How wonderful that you were the spiritual director whom God used!

    1. Thanks, Lynda. I enjoy directing those retreats and seeing grace unfold in a person's life. It is quite a sacred honor.