Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blessed New Year

This is a lovely and loving way to bring in the New Year. Yes, understanding and knowing we are in the care of our loving God. Wishing you all the very best!

In The Cradle Of His Knowing

I am a child of God
Placed in the
cradle of his knowing

No matter what stage I am at
In life

There is a part of me
That has not yet reached its prime

Like the bed of a river
That is composed of histories
Laid down
by flowing water

Impressed upon my soul is
A story all its own
A tale of dying to the old world
Of not yet being born into the new

Riddling and sifting
His journeying through.

Poem by
Ann Murry at
Prayer, and Praise.


Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What Child Is This...

G. K. Chesterton has written a really lovely poem. It is tender and visual. It is rare that I read a poem and feel I am there, experiencing the sight. Not so with this poem. It is from Advent and Christmas, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton.

The Christ Child

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-Child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

Collected Poetry

Thanks be to God!

Monday, December 14, 2009

An Advent Reflection

Still I have neglected this corner of my world. But today as I have read other posts I have come upon one at Poetry, Prayer and Praise that I wish to save here. Ann has posted a wonderful reflection by John Henry Newman.

A Meditation

by John Henry Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work

to me which He has not committed to another I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection

between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good.

I shall do His work.

Visit and enjoy the entire offering. Then take time to reflect.


Monday, November 30, 2009

The Season of Advent

I have been remiss is my journaling here. I will make every effort to improve on this during the Season of Advent. It is a time of reflection and soul searching. It is a wonderful time to remember the past, live in the present, and hope for the future. Through the grace of God I will walk this road.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Bible

This evening I will present the topic of the Holy Bible to this years RCIA inquirers. Every time I speak before a group of those searching I am awed by their bravery to explore something I have lived with my entire life and in which I find such comfort in, that my Catholic faith. They are courageous and inspiring.

I enter with trepidation. Yes, even fear that the words I speak in instruction will not be clear and perhaps even confuse. I am afraid that I cannot answer their questions because I either do not have the answer or that I will not explain it to their satisfaction. I realize this is, in some way, my pride speaking, for the words should be coming from the Holy Spirit, as I am only his lowly instrument for the words.

I pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit to guide me in this endeavor again and that the words are those that empower the listener to yearn to learn even more.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Contemplation, The Second Pillar

I find it so terribly hard to be quiet. I don't me to not speak, though for me that is also a true statement. I mean to be in a place where my mind is free of WORDS. The words of shopping-for-groceries, why-didn't-I-read-that-book words, or the resonance of I-can't-do-that. Somehow, I manage, when I try to focus, to compile a list of everything I think I should be doing instead of trying to be quiet and centering on the presence of God within me.

Matthew Kelly asks,

Why do you suppose God called so many shepherds to occupy positions of authority and influence? Perhaps it was because they were out in the middle of God's cosmic temple all day, and in the middle of God's cosmic Classroom of Silence they had plenty of time to think, reflect, ponder, and listen to the voice of God in their lives. (Rediscovering Catholicism, pg 181)

I'm always busy thinking about my life. I can't seem to block it out. I've tried centering prayers, prayers for meditation to start my contemplation or used soft music to settle my mind. I have often thought I have Spiritual ADD (attention deficit disorder). I can't stay prayer-focused.

Matthew says to start with ten minutes a day.

If you are confused, angry, tired, frustrated, happy, excited, grateful...come to the silence...[A]sk yourself, "When will I spend my ten minutes in the Classroom of Silence today?" Don't be deceived by the simplicity of this message. You will be amazed how much ten minutes each day in a quiet church can change your life. (pp. 183-184)

Though I cannot sit each day in a quiet church, I will commit to sitting in a quiet room each day for ten minutes. God is everywhere and ten minutes can be found. I'll find them.

Finally, Matthew said to me in this text,

If we wish to encourage today's saints to emerge, we must simply return one question to our inner dialogue, I call it The Big Question. As far as I can see, it is the ultimate question, the only question.

"God, what do you think I should do?"

Well, there's the rub. Do I really want to know what God thinks I should do? What if it's not what I want to do...Hum! The reason for contemplation. God and Me discussing it!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Reconciliation, The First Pillar

We all have spiritual disease. We all have sins. Some people like to pretend that they don't, but their sins will just spread through their lives like cancer in the body. And in the end, they will be devoured by their sins...God sees your unrealized potential. He sees not only who you are, but also who you can be. Ask him to share that vision with you...
a great freedom is born by bringing your darkness into light. Our faults and failings have a tendency of eating away at us inside. But when we bring them into the light they lose their power over us...I assure you, if you will approach this sacrament with a sincere and humble heart, you will experience the flow of grace in your life. [As the priest speaks the words of absolution,] the flood gates of grace will be opened your soul will be filled with a deep peace, and you will experience inexplicable lightness, a sense of liberation.

Reconciliation is a gift. Behold the beauty. Embrace the treasure.
Rediscovering Catholicism
by Mattew Kelly

And so it is today that I am called to reflect on my own sinfulness. I do a poor job of making an examination of conscience each day. My excuse is I'm too tired. The TRUTH is I don't want to think about it. If I'm too tired I can go to bed and forget about it. In reality it will not go away. The sin is still there and when I awake in the morning to a new day without claiming my sinfulness that day will be no different that any other day in my life.

My happiness lies in claiming my can call them faults if you like, but a sin by any other name is still SIN. And so this day, before I go to bed I will do my examination of conscience, claim the sins as my own, and ask forgiveness. Then I will take these sins to my confessor for absolution. Amazingly, when I make it a practice of recalling my offenses in the examination of conscience, I have no need to make another examination of conscience before presenting myself before the priest for reconciliation with God.

I am beginning a renewal. I have done this many times before. Yes, and many times have let it slide. Yet again, I will try! I will made every effort to visit the Sacrament of Reconciliation monthly. And in this renewal, I ask for prayers that I may have the will, courage, and strength to continue this journey and that if I falter, I will have the wherewithal to begin again and not dwell on this as a failure but as another hurdle to be overcome.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality

It has been a week since Matthew Kelly was here and spoke to us. I have been "busy." Just as he said I need to take time out for the things most important. And the thing most important is my SOUL. I will reflect on how I can continue to be a Better-Version-of Myself by integrating more fully the seven pillars of Catholic spirituality as he puts it.

Matthew says in his book Rediscovering Catholicism

Our Spiritual heritage is rich in wisdom and practice. If we can embrace this spiritual heritage and adapt it to the modern context, we will begin again to thrive as the spiritual people God intended us to be. (pg. 156)

And so today I hope to continue the Provident Journey with more enthusiasm and zeal prayerfully and with vigor. Pray for me!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Super Abundant Grace

Reflection by Herni J. M. Nouwen.

Super Abundant Grace

Over the centureis the Church has done enough to make any critical person want to leave it. Its history of violent crusades, prgroms, power struggles, oppression, excommunications, executions, manipulation of people and ideas, and constantly recurring divisions is there for everyone to see and be appalled by.

Can we believe that this is the same Church that carries in its center the Word ofGod and the sacraments of God's healing love? Can we trust that in the midst of all its human brokenness the Church presents the broken body of Christ to the world as food for eternal life? Can we acknowledge that where sin is abundant grace is superabundant, and that where promises are borken over and over again Go's promise stands unshaken? To believe is to answer yest to these questions.


I read this, re-read it, thought about it, and read it again. If we study the Holy Scripture we find the same history throughout all time from the beginning of creation. Where there is sin, greed, and jealousy there will be pain, conflict, and violent death.

What I find in the Church is the love of God through the sacraments, nourishment in the Word and the Body of Christ, healing through the community of the Family of God. To this I say, "Where else would I go?"

Thanks be to God

Monday, October 12, 2009

John Angotti "Feed My Lambs"

I am reminded that I am called to feed his lambs. I pray for the strength to do Your will. It was a weekend of joy and jubliation. New birth and family love. "Feed my Sheep."


Thanks be to God!!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Journey

Today is the day I journey to meet Sr. Dorothy for spiritual direction. This is a journey anticipated with enthusiasm. We have such fulfilling discussions and I leave after every meeting feeling uplifted and validated in my faith and as a person. We discuss today our Inner Resources. Believe it or not I found it really difficult to define my inner strengths. Maybe that is because I have never been asked in all my life to so.

I was asked to name a time when I was healed by an inner wound...No one wants to delve into that so for a long time I could not or would not consider I had been wounded. I realized that we hide all those times. We don't want to think about them, so we just put them on the "top shelf in the closet" and hope we never have to deal with them again. Well, this lesson in itself has been healing!!!

And so it is with joy I prepare for this journey today, first by attending Mass and then I'm off to share with a friend!

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quote to Keep

When I was reading Matthew Kelly's book Call To Joy this quote struck me as most relevant for me right now. I want to save it so it will be easily found again.

When we look forward in our lives we see uncertainty. When we look back, the events of our lives fall together like the colored pieces in a kaleidoscope, forming a pattern with meaning. We are then able to see how certain circumstances and events of the past have been part of an unfolding plan. By recognizing that a plan or pattern of providence has been at work in our past, we are able to move forward with trust despite the uncertainty that lies ahead. (pg 11-12)

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

Precious Treasures
Given with love, affection
Welcomed with open arms and love

On Mondays I write down the things for which I am grateful. The more I do this the more I find I am saying Thank You during each day. This is a blessing!!! And so I begin!

36. Colored leaves

37. Smiling faces

38. Barking dogs

39. Singing children

40. Fragrance of roses

41. Cherished memories

42. Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi and his simplicity

43. Lessons learned

44. Well worn shoes

45. Tooth paste

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Road to Providence

For the last year I have journeyed with Sister Dorothy, as my companion, on this Road to Providence. It has been a journey of self-awareness, reflection, and spiritual direction. I have found purpose in the time and talent I have been granted on this journey. And so, as I contemplate my commitment to the Sisters of Providence as an Associate and on this feast of their foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, I am drawn to their Litany of Non-Violence. Pray it with me if you will.

Litany of Non-Violence

Provident God, aware of my own brokenness,
I ask the gift of courage to identify how and where
I am in need of conversion in order to live in
solidarity with all Earth's people.

Deliver me from the violence of superiority and disdain.
Grand me the desire, and the humility, to listen
with special care to those whose experiences
and attitudes are different from my own.

Deliver me from the violence of greed and privilege.
Grant me the desire, and the will, to live simply
so others may have their just share of Earth's resources.

Deliver me from the silence that give consent
to abuse, wars and evil.
Grant me the desire, and the courage, to risk speaking
and acting for the common good.

Deliver me from the violence of irreverence,
exploitation and control.
Grant me the desire, and the strength, to act
responsibly within the cycle of creation.

God of love, mercy and justice,
acknowledging my complicity in those attitudes,
actions and words which perpetuate violence,
I beg the grace of a non-violent heart. Amen

Sisters of Providence
of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God Calling

I have been reintroduced to God Calling edited by A. J. Russell. I used this book some thirty years ago when we lived in Oklahoma. A friend offered it to me then and now Norma has offered it to me again. I think God did hear my plea. This book as again offered me solace and encouragement in prayer. For several months it seems I have only been treading water. Today with both feet wet I have begun to wade with the Lord in comfortable waters, with less fear of drowning.

Today's reflection:

Learn of no one but Me. Teachers are to point the way to Me. After that you must accept Me, the Great Teacher.

The words of Eternal Life are all the words controlling your being, even controlling your temporal life. Take these too from Me. Have no fear. Abide in Me and accept My ruling.

Be full of gratitude. Wing up your prayers on Praise to Heaven. Take all that happens as My planning. all is well. I have all prepared in My love. Let your heart sing.

And so I say,
Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

Precious Treasures
Given with love, affection
Welcomed with open arms and love


On Mondays I write down the things for which I am grateful. The more I do this the more I find I am saying Thank You during each day. This is a blessing!!! And so I begin!
26. Rainy days

27. Marching Band Contests

28. Gifted young people

29. Holding hands

30. Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

31. Frank discussions

32. Autumn leaves

33. Chili in the Crockpot

34. Invitation to become Providence Associate

35. Thank You cards
Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

Precious Treasures
Given with love, affection
Welcomed with open arms and love


I'm a day late but grateful for the wonderful gifts non-the-less. It is important to focus on the gifts we receive and be grateful for them. Some may not seem to be gifts, but the gift of life itself is reason enough to be grateful.

21. Dogs napping.

22. Autumn colors.

23. Cool breezes.

24. Clear blue water.

25. Red cardinal.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, September 11, 2009


[Since] Christ has been raised from death,
how can some of you say
that the dead will not be raised to life?
1Corinthians 15:12

In The Year of my Rebirth, Jesse Stuart, the Kentucky writer says it was a family practice to plant Irish potatoes on Good Friday. sometimes it snowed after that date and the potatoes would lie lifeless in the cold ground, as Jesus did. But a yearly miracle always too place. One day, suddenly, "the crumpled dark green leaves would peak through the dark crust of earth." Reflecting on this unfailing miracle, Stuart writes: "How can I possible doubt the resurrection of Almighty God's Son when every springtime I have seen the process of resurrection...I have faith--that when man, the seed of God, is placed in the ground....he will be resurrected to new life." (pg. 334)
Mision 2000
Praying Scripture
in a Contemporary Way
B cycle
Mark Link, S.J.

The quiestion asked in this refection is this: "How might I deepen my own faith that I will be resurrected to neew life?"

After reading this I wondering if there is not a season of rebirth in all of us. If life is cyclical then the seasons of the year are a perfect lesson in the Resurrection and rebirth. I have looked back on my life over the years and can see that I have had periods where growth and change took place. I see this year as I began my Journey to Providence has been one of those times. It is a matter of answering the call. It means listening and saying "yes." With each "yes" we are brought again to a New Spring. It is a time for blossoming again the the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit! With each step we take in this Journey we come closer to the ultimate goal. That New Resurrection that we have yet to truly experience. This is a wonderful journey and with a great deal of gratitude I can really say and mean, "Thank You!"

Indeed, thanks be to God!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Empty Space for God

What do you do when someone comes right out and says to you, "You're selfish." That's just what this reflection said to me.

Empty Space for God
Sister Genevieve Glen, O.S.B.

"For in [Christ] dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily,
and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every
principality and power." (Col 2:9-10)

To be filled, something must first be empty, as anyone knows who has started to fill a water glass at table, gotten distracted by conversation, and gone on "filling" the glass when there was no empty space left for the water. Saint Paul writes elsewhere about Christ's self-emptying. What he calls to our attention here is the need for our own. We cannot share in the fullness of the deity that fills us as Christ's Body unless we make room by emptying ourselves of anything that offers no space for God. Saint Paul's words call to mind the holy of holies, the room at the heart of the Jerusalem temple kept all but empty to receive God. We sometimes build other rooms in our inmost self and furnish them for other gods. The prophet Ezekiel described an "idol room" in the much desecrated Jerusalem of his day. Do we have an idol room, where we keep all the false gods whom we honor with our obedience and our sacrifices? Their name is legion: public opinion, unnecessary financial gain, self-satisfaction, pleasure, comforts of all sorts. They are all demanding of our time, our attention, our energy. We recognize them best when they decree that we have no time to pray, no time for Mass, no time to do the kindness, no time because we must be at the beck and call of a TV program, an exercise class, a golf game, overtime work to pay for things we don't know then. There is room for only one God in the inner temple of the Christian self - the one "who is the head of every principality and power. " With his help, let us drive out that other crowd, with all its demands, so that our inner emptiness may be filled not with their clutter but with the fullness of God in which we share through Christ.

O God, empty my heart of everything that crowds you out of my awareness and out of my desires. fill my emptiness with the fullness or your presence in and through Jesus Christ, so that he may rule my mind and heart with your love.
from Praying With Saint Paul
Edited by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.


This is where I am right now. I have too much outside distraction. There has been too much FUN. I know that God does not begrudge me the wonderful things that I have been able to see and do this summer. It has been grand and I have thanked him for this in all sincerity. But right now I need to be grounded in him! Because of our weekly travels myI have neglected the time set aside for prayer and thanksgiving for laundry, cleaning, and shopping for the next adventure. I should have spent more time in prayer. 'Tis nearly the beginning of a new season. Before that season arrives I hope to be back in the "room" where my Lord and I visit. The "room" where we pray. And to do that I need to rid the "room" of clutter that has filled it these last few months. I must invite the Lord to his proper home again and remember to give more than I take! I need to put away selfish and bring out selfless again. And it can be done!!!

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Practice What You Preach

I have long since come to believe that people never
mean half of what they say, and that it is best
to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.

Servant of God Dorothy Day

As I reflected on this quote by Dorothy Day, I found myself evaluating my own action. Do I practice what I preach? When I say I will do something do I complete it or do I make excuses for not completing what I started.

How often do I say I will do something, asking someone to rely on me, and then change my mind when a better opportunity comes along?

Happily I find that there have been few times when I have backed out of a commitment. That is not to say that I did not wish I could have called and said I changed my mind. I credit my parents for this. They taught me that reliability is a quality that one should be grateful for and one that I should treasure and strive to maintain.

I can be trusted to do as I say. I think that there are times in my Road to Providence that I would have gladly let someone else take my place. But as I look back I can see that the God of Providence put me on this road. I think the detours were lessons in perseverance and maturity. Along this road I still wander, taking side trips, often not a trip I was meant to take. But when I return to the correct path The Guide is there to lead me on.

Thanks be to God!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

Precious Treasures
Given with love, affection
Welcomed with open arms and love


16. Glorious blue sky that as my sister-in-law says, offers another "Bluebird Day."

17. Laughter and its healing power.

18. The gathering of people as they witness unconsciously to their loving humanity.

19. Friends smiles.

20. The wonders of the universe.


Thanks be to God!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reflection on Trust

from truthwithelegance

This very reflection on trust is where I am today. It speaks to me because I am in the back, I know it, but I want control. I want to fix it. I want it to happen now. I do not want to wait.

And then I was lead here.

God is to be trusted,
The God who called you to have fellowship
with his son Jesus Christ, our Lord.
1Corinthians 1:9

A poem compares our life with Jesus to two people on a tandem bicycle. It reads:

At first, I sat in front; Jesus in the rear.
I couldn't see him, but I knew he was there.
I'd feel his help when the road got steep.
Then, one day, Jesus and I changed seats.
Suddenly everything went topsy-turvy
When I was in control the ride was predictable--even boring.
But when Jesus took over, it got wild!
I could hardly hold on
'This is madness!' I cried out.
But Jesus just smiled--and said, 'Pedal!'
and so I learned to shut up and pedal--
and trust my bide companion.
Oh, there are still times
when I get scared and I'm ready to quit.
But Jesus turns around, touches my hand,
smiles, and says, 'Pedal!'"

I may trust Jesus too little, but I can never trust him too much.


The question for reflection, found in Mission 2000, B cycle, asks me why I find it hard to trust Jesus as I'd like. The fact is I trust him as long as life is beautiful, good, and going the way I think it should be going. But today is a day of thanksgiving for me. Yes, I have to thank him for the trial in which I find myself. I must trust him in his wisdom. I know he knows how to take care of me. Maybe my pride is in the way. Yes, pride. I want to fix it myself. Because of the pride, I see failure if I cannot help to heal the pain. When I read this I realized again that I am not GOD. I am the child He created and listening to my Father is what I must do. He's saying, "Let your brother, Jesus, do the work. You pedal!"

My life is full of contradiction. My family is full of diversity. We cannot all be alike, even if I wish it were so. So it is today that I offer again myself and family to the God who made us and let him know that I will start "pedaling" again.

Thanks be to God!

Monday, August 17, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

Precious Treasures
Given with love, affection
Welcomed with open arms and love


11. Thank God for the warmth of the sunshine.

12. For the gift of rest and quiet I am grateful

13. I am grateful for the gift of flowers that have volunteered this summer to grace the garden. They have been beautiful at a time when tending the garden has not been possible.

14. For the gifts that Jimmy and Kelly have and thanksgiving for the God who brought them together.

15. In gratitude for the strength to grow in faith when I would rather just quit.


For all these and more
I say,
"Thanks be to God!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

High On Life!

Two Miles High
Rocky Mountain National Park, 2009

Yesterday was one of those days when I felt the intimate presence of Christ. It was "Journey Wednesday." I really appreciate these days so much since I started this journey.

First, I attended Mass surrounded by loving, caring friends. It is important to me, today, as I reflect on it that, even though we were all there for different reasons, we were all there united as one. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Yesterday's journey had stops along the road, side trips. There was the scheduled visit with Sr. Dorothy. We had a wonderful meeting and discussion of "mission and ministry." We mapped our future together after this year of discernment on my Road to Providence. She graciously agreed to continue as my spiritual director and then she offered our first lesson for discussion. We will meet again in October.

My letter of commitment is written, evaluated, edited and typed. It will be mailed for approval to Sr. Mary Alice and Sister Diane next week.

On the way home, I stopped in Freelandville to visit a former neighbor, Jane, who was just recently admitted to the nursing home there. God love her, she is 89 years old and though she was weak and tired. She was still "Aunt" Jane, the lady who lived next door, the lady I'd have coffee with on her back porch all summer until Fall really arrived and she'd have to drink it indoors. A grand lady she is. I will visit her again soon!

I drove by the old house in Bicknell. It's still that lovely house I fell in love with 30 years ago, but it's not the same for someone else's personality has cared for it. God bless them.

Finally, last evening we had dinner with Fr. John Silva. He is a young priest with energy, vigor and a sincere love of our Savior and the Church. It is such a joy to be with young men who have accepted the call and answered it with enthusiasm and joy! Please God, in his busy life, offer Fr. John sufficient time to rest and recuperate, so that his vitality will not dim.

For yesterday and today, I say,
"Thanks be to God."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Patience In the Line Of Duty

"Let them look up and see no longer us,
but only Jesus!
Stay with us,
and then we shall begin to shine as You shine;
so to shine as to be a light to others."
Attributed to Blessed Mother Teresa of Caluctta

For days it has been a challenge at work not to get discouraged. We are short handed and there has not been anyone hired yet to replace the girl who left. The fact is, I'm tired of listening to one of the girls complaining about how much work she has to do.

I guess that just doing my job, offering to help her when I can and being cheerful is about all I can do. We are all in the same boat. I have learned though that complaining doesn't make the work any easier or make it less a challenge. Just do it and be done with it.

I've also found that though the grass may appear to be greener on the other side, it usually is not. I know what I have to deal with in this job...don't want to learn a new one.

So, I will smile and try with all my might to shine. It is less painful, even if it is still exhausting. If Jesus can stretch out his arms for me. The least I can do is embrace my job and those with whom I work with patience and perseverance.

Thanks be to God!

Visit In Him We Live And Move And Have Our Being for the whole prayer!