Jessica of Telos Design got into handmade jewelry around the same time she got into Catholicism. Jessica was a faithful Christian, but then her husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law all converted to Catholicism around the same time. Jessica was left wondering: what’s all the buzz about?
Her conversion, made official in 2011, was widely celebrated (on both Heaven and Earth) and marked by a deep desire to learn more about the Saints. So now, ten years later, it is an absolute honor and joy to feature the St. Benedict bracelet she has made in this quarter’s Little Catholic Box. Known as a miracle worker who fought temptation and traps through the invocation of the Holy Cross, St. Benedict is also the patron Saint of both protection and a happy death...which can seem like an oxymoronic combination. But then again, the very foundation of our church (God dying to give us eternal life) can seem like a contradiction if it’s examined without faith. Which is why touchstones, like the beautiful bracelet Jessica has created for this quarter’s box, are so valuable in grounding us when the contradictions of earthly understanding seem too much to bear.
Inspired by this, I asked Jessica which scents she finds the most grounding and she suggested warmer scents, chrism oil in particular. I found this comment particularly touching, as it seemed to pay a quiet homage to her conversion. And so, I dug a little deeper, asking her what her favorite thing about being Catholic is. She told me that she loves the “weight of the Mass”.
A pattern seemed to emerge in Jessica’s answers, one that spoke to a denser definition of faith than I’m used to. So often, beauty is alluded to as something delicate and ethereal, as if it could just float away on a whim. But the beauty that Jessica spoke of, in her conversion, creation, and chrism, seemed much stabler and stronger than this vague image of beauty I had come to accept. I took a moment of gratitude for the depth and substance that Jessica’s conversion and creativity had added into our church, making it all the more stabler and all the more stronger.