Saint Basil the Great on Thanksgiving & Mourning

I know, I know, it’s the feast of circumcision- but I had no idea what to draw for that! So I went with the next best thing- Saint Basil of Caesarea’s feast day (Jan 14th)!

The following quote is an excerpt from a homily by Saint Basil on thanksgiving and mourning- you can read the whole thing here. In a few words, he discusses the verse “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)” and wonders how can one give thanks even in difficult situations. Saint Basil actually sympathizes and entertains the idea “How can I be thankful when life is so hard?” and addresses it throughout the homily and sums it up with the following:

Have you been dishonored? Then have regard for the glory which is laid up in Heaven through patient endurance. Have you suffered a loss? Then contemplate the heavenly wealth and treasure which you have laid up for yourself through your good deeds. Have you been expelled from your homeland? Then you have Jerusalem as your heavenly homeland. Have you lost a child? Then you have Angels, with whom you will dance around the Throne of God, rejoicing eternally. By thus opposing anticipated good things to present sorrows, you will keep your soul in the cheerfulness and tranquillity to which the Apostles precept summons us. Neither let the joys of human affairs create immoderate and excessive gladness in your soul, nor let sorrows diminish its exultation and sublimity by feelings of dejection and abasement. Unless you have previously trained yourself in this way regarding the eventualities of life, you will never have a calm and tranquil life. But you will easily achieve this if you have dwelling within you the commandment which advises you always to rejoice, dismissing the vexations of the flesh and gathering that which gladdens the soul, transcending the sensation of present realities and extending your mind to the hope of eternal realities, the mere thought of which is sufficient to fill the soul with rejoicing and to make Angelic exultation reside in our hearts; in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be the glory and the dominion, unto the ages. Amen.

In other words, life might be awful right now, and one’s situation might be terrible- but all of that doesn’t matter since we hope in what’s to come. (think 1 Corinthians 15:19). So be happy!

And if that isn’t enough to make you happy you can watch me spill ink while drawing the illustration above- video is linked at the bottom.


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Book update:

Saint John The Short Lettering I made good progress on the graphic novel this week, lettering chapter 3 and inking a few additions to chapter 1. I went back and added a story I had removed from Saint John the Short’s childhood- before he left his family to pursue monasticism. The upcoming chapter (chapter 4) needs quite a bit of preparation, I’ve to read a bit about history and art in Egypt at the time. I hope I start it by Wednesday next week.
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Drawing & Inking Saint Basil:

(Then spilling ink everywhere and crying in the corner)