11-29-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

There are few places where I can walk amidst great silence. One of those places is a trail leading up to the Tom Thumb Butte. From the Butte one obtains a fine gaze over Scottsdale. I enjoy the silence of a brisk walk into the desert where I am more inclined to pray. I can’t say what makes that experience what it is, but I have never had a desire to rush prayer in that place. There is time to thank God for small things and to think about what I need to really ask of Him—and then ask Him for it! Finally, there’s the prize of enjoying a view of His sunset over the Valley.


The Birth Into New Life

11-22-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

My Dad came to Arizona for the first time at the end of October and he wanted to see Monument Valley which is when I shot this photo right before sunrise. He was a fan of the “Duke” (John Wayne) who came to fame for his role in the 1939 box office hit Stage Coach which was filmed there. Before Dad traveled back to Texas, he gave me his copy of Deathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line.

It is a candy book. You can’t put it down once you start reading. It recounts the conversions of celebrities such as Buffalo Bill and Gary Cooper who found their way into Catholicism right before they died.


Spiritual Renewal

11-15-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

There is a section in Canon Law dealing with the rights and duties of clerics. Number 276 makes provision for clerics to attend retreats for their spiritual renewal. This is a big deal. By Holy Orders we clergy are bound to seek holiness of life for the good of our own souls and the people of God. In the Diocese of Phoenix our Bishop has made it a policy for us priests and deacons to attend the Diocesan Sponsored Retreat one year and, at the cleric’s good judgment, to participate at a retreat for clergy sponsored elsewhere.


Being prepared

11-08-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I have had four unsuccessful attempts to shoot the daredevils who jump from Mingus Mountain. Humanflight that captures the spectator like few other things. On every visit thus far, either no one is there or theytook flight before I was able to get off a shot. So is the predicament of the ill-prepared.


Gaze to the Heavens

11-01-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I pitched my gear at the North end of Idaho Road half an hour beforesunset. It was nice to stand there in silence with the cell on airplanemode. I stood there as the moon crept over the horizon 20 degrees Westof the Superstition, and for the next two hours I was in a delicate battletrying to get the exposures right and blend them into a single image. Thenerves in the lower back began to pinch. Just as well. I forgot my foldingchair. So I stood there—and that was a good thing too as I brought themoon into sharp focus.


His Providence

10-25-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

If you’re looking for a peaceful walk through a desert oasis visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum, just West of Superior. I did not have the patience to remember the binomial (Latin) names for the plant and butterfly. So, how did God speak to my heart as I was drawn to capture this image?

Bugs and plants are the objects of God’s Providence. He provides life-sustaining nectar to all sorts of critters and He sends the periodic rains to quench the thirst of our familiar landscapes. We human beings, however, are the apple of God’s eye. Have you ever considered that among all living things that comprise our world only you and me are capable of recognizing the loving hand of His Providence in a personal way? The uplifting vocal arrangements of Take Six, our capacity to digest liver and onions, our ability to encounter Him though contemplative prayer—we don’t need much imagination to recognize how super Kind and super Good He is to us.


Beauty and Goodness in All

10-18-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

If you live near Holy Cross and drive to Fountain Hills, chances are you will take the road east of Red RockMountain. Big rock, ‘ho-hum.’ But then you ponder that rock again but from a different perspective—a betterangle from where to point the camera. Then you wait for the horizon to take on its reddish hue andsomething interesting in the foreground also catches your attention. All of sudden something far moreappealing reaches your eyes. You ponder it one last time before taking the shot, hoping to capture its realbeauty in the best possible light.


Second Conversion

10-11-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Less than 1 in 200,000 Saguaros is called a ‘Crested Saguaro’. Its fan-like structure appears to be a genetic mutationbut research has yet to back up that claim. I was with a friend near Roosevelt Lake when he pointed one out. I neverknew they existed before. No one ever spoke to me about it before, but from that morning until evening as we drovearound the Lake and back to Mesa through the dusty Apache Trail, I fixated on the landscape, in the search foranother Crested Saguaro. My search ended without success after looking over perhaps several thousand cacti. Only atthe end of the day did I realize how exhausting the search was.


Adore His Real Presence

10-04-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Just one more image fromTonopah. In a side room of themain Church you will find thisprovocative canvas of the ChristChild peeking out of theTabernacle to see who among usis there.

It speaks volumes tome of Jesus’ longing for ourcompany. It speaks of his childlike simplicity in dealing with us.



09-27-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here’s another photo from Tonopah. A life size replica of Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ soberly awaits visitors leaving the main chapel ofthe Convent of the Poor Clares. The backdrop is completely natural.

Several centuries ago, when the Italian artist finished the original, the back portion was never sculpted because Michelangelodesigned it to be placed in the corner of a room. The unfinished masterpiece, in fact, has deep symbolism. God has made each ofus very good. Most of the work has been done. What is required of us is the assent of our wills to His work in us and through us.This collaboration brings us to live as true disciples. Discipleship is knowing Jesus Christ in a personal way. If we don’t know himpersonally, I don’t know how else we can introduce Him to others. Food for thought…

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry


The Poor Clares of the Perpetual Adoration

09-20-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

It’s not everyday you see a nun. Far less aPoor Clare. But a Poor Clare on a BMX?! Ihad to take the shot. For some time now Iwas aiming to visit the desert sanctuary ofthe Poor Clares of the Perpetual Adoration.

They have the particularly beautifulmission of praying for the growth andstrengthening of EWTN. Many of us are thedirect beneficiaries of their prayerfulintercessions.


The World in View from a Believer’s Perspective

09-13-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I spent $30 to get inside the red brick compound of Meteor Crater’s Visitor Center. My intention was not to look at thelarge hole in the ground but to capture this architecturally framed landscape of virgin desert. One can gaze perhaps100 miles of unscathed land. Humphreys Peak, the tallest crest in Arizona, rises to the far left.


The Grace of God

09-06-2015The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

One gets ‘lucky’ shooting the sky. My intuitionserved me correctly one afternoon around 5pm when the clouds where shaping up for agorgeous sunset. And, for the most part, I wasrewarded two hours later with this shot.However, a beautiful background quicklyfades. Many might be surprised to know thatthere is not a lot of time to set up gear andseize the moment. There is just a smallwindow in which to capture the color of asetting sun. Tomorrow’s sunset will be quitedifferent.