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  • Sarah Beth Dippel


On a recent trip home to Louisiana with my husband, we took a trip over to Natchez, Miss. One-stop I had to make during our Natchez visit was St. Mary Basilica. I love the feeling I get when I walk into this church. Everywhere the eye lands, there is beauty, from the ornate ceiling to the stained glass windows. Statues fill every nook, and behind the embellished high altar, there is a painting of the crucifix with Mary gazing lovingly upon her son. My heart reacts to the beauty, tears well in my eyes, and my love for the Lord overcomes me.

As someone who thinks and learns visually, Sacred art appeals to me. It draws my heart upwards to the Lord in prayer and adoration. For me, praying in an ornate church, or on an extraordinary day, gazing up at the Sistine Chapel helps me focus my thoughts on God.

Art helps me to see the holy. Because of Sacred art, I can visualize Jesus, His mother, and numerous Saints that I've never met. When I sit before an image of Mary to pray, I feel more closely connected to her.

Whether I travel thousands of miles to pray with a well-known piece of religious art or I am praying with a reproduction in my home, it allows my heart to focus on the transcendent. #livinglent2

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