During the course of a novitiate year, special speakers and presenters are brought in from around the Augustinian world to present classes on various themes related to Augustinian life. In recent years, Fr. Richard Cannuli, OSA, a professor of art at Villanova University, has been invited to give a week long class on icon writing to the novices.
This year, Br. Manny Isaac was able to journey with his fellow novice mates as they tried their hands in a new craft. The beginning, he admits, was a bit rough,"When I started on the first day my hands were shaking while painting," however he continued, "But three days later I could feel the confidence and growth of being so comfortable with painting."
Asked about what he learned in the process of icon writing, Br. Manny shared from his experiences during the week, "It was a very different and wonderful experience of self knowing, spiritual growth, and letting go. It was a spiritual journey of self transition. It was a journey of being patient and accepting my imperfections as a human. It was an understanding of overcoming my fears and trusting in my abilities that God has given me. It was a time of reflection in silence and of becoming who I really am."
In writing the icon, Br. Manny was able to see how the process itself reflected on aspects of his own life, "When I started writing the icon, it was different and in the middle it looked messy, but in the end it was so beautiful and complete and that made me feel joyful. Likewise, God has created me good, as only good can come out of supreme Goodness. But at times my life is a mess and to make it beautiful and on track God is always there with me."
Please continue to keep Br. Manny and this years novice class in your prayers as their year of novitiate continues.