barron + beauty + blogging

Bishop Robert Barron

(these are the pictures i took surrounding bishop barron's visit. there were many smiles, happy tears + joy-rides to soak in the glories of creation during those couple of days. also: i have wonderfully joyful and beautiful friends)

One of my two living heroes, Bishop Barron, came to my university in March, providing the opportunity to not only hear him speak live (an surreal experience in of itself) but also to thank him personally for the work he's done that has pointed me in a direction I scarcely knew existed.

Alongside a few podcasts brought forth by Peter Kreeft (this one in particular), Bishop Barron's youtube videos were instrumental in bringing me to recognize exactly why I had always been attracted to beauty. It was through their works that I came to know that it wasn't simply beautiful things that I loved to photograph and create, but, rather, it was Beauty Himself whom I loved. This was life-altering.

From this realization stemmed the desire to pursue more than photography which prompted me to delve deeper into Catholicism and to eventually study theology and philosophy. It has shaped my endeavors, provided me with a direction to go in, and shown me a glimpse into my particular vocation. For all this, as I got to tell Bishop Barron, I'm profoundly grateful.

As it was through the presence of beauty that I was drawn further into Catholicism, it's precisely through beauty that I hope to bring others to Christ and his Church. We must start with the beautiful...we must lead with the beautiful...and then present others to the goodness + truth which follows. This is the heart behind my creative endeavors, my willingness to endure the stress + debt that is a college education, and this little blog. It's all about beauty. It's all about Beauty.

I've long felt compelled to share my faith, life + art online as so many others have done before me. I have enjoyed much of the blog, instagram, and facebook posts and hope that they have made some sort of impact somewhere. However, it's all to easy to let the sharing and making known the presence of beauty turn into a game of getting likes + hearts + comments. It gets ugly and it gets ugly fast.

Because we're made in the image of a Triune, relational God, it is, of course, part of our nature as social creatures to desire to be known, liked, and to want community with others. These desires are not inherently wrong but we can easily become slaves to them which leads us into an angry sea of pride + attention seeking.

Been there. Done that. It's time to move on.

I've slowly pulled away from posting to social media over the past several months in an attempt to detox my mind + heart from the noisiness + vices I'd become so accustomed to. It's taken awhile, but I think I've found the happy balance of social media usage and currently, for the first time, don't feel like the posting, scrolling, replying, etc is overruling my life. YESSSS.

Putting a more consistent effort into posting on my blog is part of of this initiative. I still feel pulled towards sharing + evangelizing online, but, at the same time, know that I get sucked into attention-seeking far too easily. The problem with posting to fb + ig, for me, is that it's too easy to post something quick, nearly meaningless, and rack up quite a bit of attention in a relatively short amount of time. Little thought or effort is needed in order to receive 'love' and an ego-boost. Not so, however, with blogging.

Blogging requires a certain diligence and thoughtfulness. Content, according to my general standards, should be meaningful and that doesn't come on a whim most days; it takes time and effort. It's here, on this blog, that I can both continue to share all the beauty + goodness + truth that I encounter, as well as recognize the call to be mindful of what/who I'm promoting with my words and photographs. (Further, I happen to get less traffic here which is good for keeping pride in check. Win-win!)

So that is essentially why I'm back here, blogging again and not sharing to fb + ig for the time being. It's part of an endeavor to s l o w d o w n  + become more mindful of what I'm posting and who I'm promoting. If it's Beauty whom I truly love, and Beauty whom I am called to share with the world, then there isn't room for self-love and attention-seeking. There's only room for one Sheriff in this town so lets attract others to Him and not ourselves.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful, thanks so much for sharing. <3 it's people like you that make me so glad to be back in the blogging world once again. I've missed this. beauty + truth + goodness is what my college is all about too, its been amazing discovering so much through philosophy and theology and everything this past year. beauty leading to goodness and truth...aaaah i love it so much. AND BISHOP BARRON ISN'T HE AMAZING. I'll never forget him speaking at TAC and talking about having to live the culture to be able to evangelize and not to lose hope for there's truth and beauty to be found in so many places and then that leads people back to Christ <3

  2. i really love this, mariah. i went through the same struggle of "why am i here, why should i be here" in regards to social media. i took a step back from all of it and found the balance i needed. i knew it wasn't something i wanted to give up because i've made incredible new friendships from it, but i needed it to be something that was going to make me more humble and receptive to grace, more compassionate. social media frequently drags us the other way. but i know from blogs like yours and kathryn's and peregrin's and other lovely girls that when someone finds that balance it changes lives. i don't know how much traffic you all get in terms of quantity but i DO know that many of the words i've read in places like your blog here have worked their way into my heart and soul, sometimes without my knowing it, and then tided me over in difficult times. and that is amazing. that's what i realized during my "sabbatical" that i wanted my blog to be, and it gave me direction. ♥


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