Saturday, June 25, 2011


Tobias Haller wrote a series of what he calls "quick icone" selected from Holy Women Holy Men.

The icon above, which is posted at Tobias' blog In a Godward Direction, is the poet James Weldon Johnson, who also wore many other hats.

Below is a brief excerpt from Johnson's poem "The Creation".
AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
"I'm lonely --
I'll make me a world."
The poem is wonderful. Please do read it all.

Tobias wrote "quick icone" of G. K. Chesterton, Ini Kopuria, and Thurgood Marshall. The icons are written on cardboard with various materials. Tobias says, "I suppose, in prayer form, this is the difference between the Divine Liturgy and the Arrow Prayer or Ejaculation. (Quiet in the back!)"

He made me laugh. In my Roman Catholic school, we were urged to pray ejaculations, or short prayers, throughout the day, and I do so even today to my edification. (Quiet in the back!)

My Jesus, mercy.

God, help me.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.


  1. Diane! Good to hear from you. I love the icons.

  2. I think it was Francios de Sales who said, "You will be sustained by many short prayers." Or, maybe he said that HE was sustained by many short prayers. I really should look it up. But, it's true for me too. And I also call them ejaculations because it makes me giggle a little and that never hurt anyone.

    If you read the account of our old pal Jonah you'll note that when he is in the belly of the fish he says a lot of prayers and they are all right out of the Psalter. He wasn't making them up, he was praying prayers he already knew, right out of his own prayer book. You can take that literally or not, but there's something there. He was sustained by many prayers -- some of them not so short -- which he already knew.

    Good praying, Mimi.

  3. Lindy, the prayers come to mind, and I go where they lead me. It's nice to hear that you and St Francis make use of the practice, too. I'm in good company. And Jonah! But I'm told that he was not a real person. But the person who told the story must have liked the short prayers, too.

  4. I love that Johnson is included in Holy Women, Holy Men. I also love that poem by Johnson. I got exposed to him in my junior college days through a wonderful English prof who excited the possibilities for both poetry and writing in all of us. It is so wonderfully written.

    Short prayers are the best sometimes for me too. They touch how I feel at the moment, and for me touch the needs I see around me, and those that are held in my heart the best.

  5. Ciss, Johnson's poem is captivating and accessible for those who are venturing for the first time into reading poetry seriously.

  6. Dear Mimi, thanks for the plug about these icons. I'm going to be posting the saints on their days, and adding them to my facebook photo album. Just finished the Fabulous Four for Freedom yesterday! (Tunman, Stanton, Truth, and Bloomer).

  7. Tobias, I was just at Facebook, and I "liked" your latest. Your icons are wonderful.


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