Saturday, September 15, 2012


Some of you may know/recognize the name Owen Swain. Owen has been on board with Shirt of Flame almost since its inception and has been a loyal supporter, an insightful commenter, and a man, Catholic, and artist (that's his drawing above) of deep experience, talent and wisdom.

Through the months and over the two years, he's tried his hand at various on-line endeavors, generously keeping me abreast of each one.

The other day Owen sent me this email:

"Dear Heather,

I feel a bit shy, a bit awkward and a bit weird but you're not a celeb type Catholic and I am not a stalker or weirdo fan (dear God, I hope not) but I am going to dare to let you know, while not dropping my art blog at all, I have returned to writing on a blog. It's very much a story. I tell you because I value your reading eye (not an editing eye but only the eye of an Internet friend) and I place no, zero, nada expectation on you. Not interested then you are not interested or too busy. No problem.

Breathe, OK

- the why of it is here.

- the current story is here.

- an opinion piece that drew little attention is here.

And that is what the writing is and will be like.

Brotherly love in-Christ,

It's good, good stuff. Here's a sidebar describing the flavor of Owen's blog, both/and: stories from one Catholic life:

good & bad
hope & doubt
jesus & mary
peter & paul
god & man
art & words
bible & tradition
faith & reason
bicycle & commuter
grace & works
new & old
love & hate
mercy & justice
holy & flawed
mystery & substance
catholic & christian
conscience & magesterium

I personally love 'holy and flawed,' though maybe that pairing's redundant.

Check Owen out. We need more like him.

Thanks for your incredible generosity of spirit. And blessings on your work, drawings, writing, ministry, and life.



  1. Had not thought of "living with humility and patient grace" as militant, or as Mary being the model for that. Way to go, Owen. Rock on, Heather.

  2. Dear Heather,
    Thank you. Well, thank you plenty.

    If I ever do write that book various folks have said I should (and I really don't know - I say that without pretence or fakeo humility) I know the editor I will hire.

    - - -
    Dear ejf,
    Thanks. Hebrews 4:16 strikes me as a most militant and gutsy thing. That is, as I get older I see more clearly how inseparable true humility and true boldness are. It's not a placard waving affair, is it?

    - - -
    Thanks to each of Heather's readers who dropped 'round either of my blogs. What I found two things interesting about the visits: 1) the tone / nature of the comments. They reflect the kind of generosity one finds in those who read SoF. No surprise there really and, 2) The variety of posts folks responded too. It wasn't merely all on one post but all over the place which is humbling because it means folks roamed around a bit. That's good.

    P.S. I was asked if I had checked out my stats for the day. Honestly? No.

  3. Thank you, Heather and Owen, for sharing!

  4. So glad you all like Owen's blog and so glad you were gratified with the response, Owen! Blessings and happy reading to all...


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