***image1***Inspiration designed to guide humanity comes in many forms, some of which may sometimes be easily overlooked due to a missing sense of celebrity or glamour. Yet, the true spirit of divine white light may exist within the hearts of many who choose to live in a state of quiet humility — serving as inspirational leaders and role models by the simplicity of their acts and the generosity of their hearts. Mother Theresa and the work she had initiated in India serves as such a role model.
However, in St. Louis, Missouri, another guiding light burns. Rather than feeding the poor and healing the sick on the streets of Calcutta, this inspirational leader has been afflicted with a permanently debilitating disease himself, yet forges ahead in his work as an artistic painter in his effort to fan the flame of creative spiritual inspiration to share with the world.
In a religious infirmary in St. Louis, Father Daryl Cornish fights a courageous battle against Multiple Sclerosis. He was first diagnosed with the disease shortly after he entered the Jesuits (a Catholic religious order for men) in 1972. However, Fr. Cornish is more then a man of the Church. He is an individual born with a courageous spirit that not only thinks outside the box, but also colors outside the lines. Born with a creative muse by his side, Fr. Cornish was led into the world of art. At the age of sixteen, he began studying at the Kansas City Art Institute with artist Matthew Monks.
***image2***While completing his theological training in Berkeley, Ca, Fr. Cornish began work as a counselor for the emotionally and physically challenged at the Center for Creative Growth. He began focusing on portrait work while supporting others with their own artistic endeavors.
At this time, Fr. Cornish was influenced by his exploration of Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah. He understood the significance of meditation in its connection with visual response. In addition, his work at the center played an important role in the evolution of his personal philosophy professing creativity as a necessary facet in the nurturing of the individual.
Yet as Fr. Cornish’s spiritual beliefs were becoming more defined through his passion for art, his disease progressed in an aggressive manner leaving him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use his hands. However, his creative muse refused to yield to his debilitation, and Cornish applied his strength and determined perseverance — returning to the world of art by using a mouth stick. Although those days may have seemed dark for Fr. Cornish, they led him into a new stage of his spiritual creativity.
***image3***Today, he is bedridden — meditating everyday as his student artists help to mix his paints. He continues to contribute to the world of spiritual creativity by painting for one hour a day, with a paintbrush in his mouth.
His work as a spiritual artist is known. Fr. Cornish’s work has been shown in many cities throughout the nation as they signify the beauty of creativity and its symbiotic relationship with Spirit.
***image4***Fr. Cornish carries on with his painting; however, his disease continues to mercilessly erode his physical body to the point where time is now a factor. In an effort to learn from Fr. Cornish as a leader of inspiration, a documentary is being produced about his life entitled, Drawn From Spirit. His close friend of many years, Gerry Becker, writes that the purpose of the film is to “…spread the message of his life to others who suffer any form of pain and debilitation in their lives, which is all of us.”
The true gift of Fr. Cornish’s work and that of others like him lies in the heart of those who believe in his message of the power of Spirit and creative beauty overcoming severe obstacles. His paintings — rare jewels to be treasured by the world — serve as a reminder that those who are pure of heart, extend themselves to others and have the courage to think outside the box, serve as the true leaders of humankind and healers of the planet.
***image5***For further information on Fr. Daryl Cornish, his work and Drawn Thru Spirit, please email Mr. Gerry Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org