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Frame of Faith

Frame of faith

Worth more than a thousand words

I remember getting scolded by my grandmother at a very young age for what she considered the mother of all profane utterances – taking our Lord’s name in vain. “Oh my G _ _” wasn’t followed by a bar of soap and a lashing. However, she made it very clear that I shouldn’t be verbally disrespecting God – no matter what.

There were a couple of other instances in my youth where my grandparents rebuked my actions. Whether it was wearing jeans to Saturday-night Mass or chewing gum beforehand, I would get the usual lecture; then I would politely nod and just go about my business. I will admit, I felt annoyed at times, but I just took it for face value – that their generation and mine were worlds apart, and that their ways were a bit rigid and old-fashioned.

It wasn’t until long after my grandfather died that I started to grow deeper in my faith. It was then that I came to the realization that it wasn’t that my grandparents were “being old fashioned,” but that they were only trying to protect us and help us in our faith formation. And I was going to later find out that their watchful eyes and “rigid” instruction had actually planted a seed, which would soon grow into something so valuable.

Today, when I visit my grandmother or look at a photo of her and Grandpa as a couple, I am reminded of, and thankful for, the guidance they gave me. Indeed, the greatest gifts our ancestors have given are not found among the mothballed heirlooms that crowd our closets, but in the intangible gifts of our Catholic faith and tradition.

Like me, perhaps many of you recognize this and think about this gift when you stare at the old photos of loved ones who have died. Does the black and white picture merely collect dust and cover a blemish on the wall, or does it remind us to pray for and thank our loving relatives who gave us so much. Perhaps the way in which we adorn their photo can be reminiscent of this incredible gift that our prior generations have given us…

For this project, you will need the following:

Vintage or “distressed” 5x7” picture frame

Assorted crucifix or cross pendants (can be purchased at Catholic bookstores or online)

Small- to medium-sized wire cutters

Jewelry or metal glue (follow directions on tube – some are resin with hardener)

Begin by using the wire cutters to remove the loops/rings from the selected crucifix/cross pendants. Arrange the pendants in any fashion on the picture frame. Apply small drops of the glue on the back of the pendants and gently place on frame. Wait a couple of hours for glue to harden or set.

Other Ideas:

Create your own vintage frame. Give an unfinished frame a distressed look by gashing it with a flathead screwdriver before staining it.