5 Learnings for Midlife: 1 – We have to get lost in order to find ourselves.

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Today we’re starting a series of five podcasts on my “midlife learnings.” The first one we take up today is about getting lost. These middle years can leave us feeling lost at times as we transition from who we have been to who we are to become…. Jeannette de Beauvoir and I take up this conversation of why it is important to get lost sometimes. “Being lost is challenging. Dante wrote about his traveler finding himself ‘in dark woods, the right way lost’ when he descended into the Inferno, and that’s what it can feel like, being in dark woods. You don’t know which way to take to get out. You don’t know what tomorrow will look like. You wish you had what you lost, even if it wasn’t good for you. You might even feel like God has abandoned you. But that’s when he’s closest. That’s when he’s saying, ‘Take my hand. Trust me. I love you. I’ll show you the way out.’ ”

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

The year I fell in love with death

When I was seventeen, I fell in love with death. Or rather, I fell in love with someone who had fallen in love with death. I was a pre-postulant in the Daughters of St Paul assigned to the typesetting department (in the days when publishing houses actually retyped manuscripts submitted by authors). The author was Hubert Van Zeller. It was in a footnote in one of his books that I read, “At the age of ten I fell in love with death.”

I was fascinated and have remained “friends” with Van Zeller all my life. And through him, friends with death.

So, as you can guess, November is one of my favorite months. I love the cold crisp air. The trees quickly turning from vibrant colors to faded browns and yellows and stray flaming oranges. The crunching sound as I walk through piles of dead leaves on street corners and the vision of stark and naked trees reaching up into the wintry sky. It is the month also in which we remember why we’re here, where we’re going, and those who have gone before us into eternity who still need our comfort and the compassion of our prayers.

Falling in love with death in my teens helped to set my intention to focus on arriving at my final and eternal destination prepared. But through the years that initial love affair with eternity has undergone quite a metamorphosis. In these past ten years as friends and sisters with whom I have lived have made the great leap of faith into the arms of the Father, the prospect of my own death has become more real. Tonight, when I put down the phone after speaking with my parents, I realized that one day I won’t be able to call them anymore. My body reminds me with its aches and pains that I am older than I was, and an internal alarm keeps reminding me regularly that time is running out. Each November now is also a reminder that one day I will die, I will have said my last word, done my last task, prayed my last prayer, said my last I love you, and I will gently let this life go to begin a new life that will be forever free and full of joy.

I am still in love with death. I don’t know if I have convinced you to take up this romance with eternity, but I pray that the natural aging process with its human fears and uncertainty and surprising sorrows will lose a bit of its edge. I think that God wants us to greet death with joy since Jesus himself has died and risen. In fact, for those who are baptized into Christ, there is no death. We have already died in his death and risen in his life. Life eternal is begun here and we will simply change rooms when we breathe our last. I realize, however, that doesn’t make it easy.

And what about the judgment, you may ask. And the punishment of purgatory and the fires of hell…. I’d like to share with you these paragraphs from Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi:

“Paul begins by saying that Christian life is built upon a common foundation: Jesus Christ. This foundation endures. If we have stood firm on this foundation and built our life upon it, we know that it cannot be taken away from us even in death. Then Paul continues: “Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3:12-15). In this text, it is in any case evident that our salvation can take different forms, that some of what is built may be burned down, that in order to be saved we personally have to pass through “fire” so as to become fully open to receiving God and able to take our place at the table of the eternal marriage-feast.

“Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Savior. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire”. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. In this way, the inter-relation between justice and grace also becomes clear: the way we live our lives is not immaterial, but our defilement does not stain us for ever if we have at least continued to reach out towards Christ, towards truth and towards love. Indeed, it has already been burned away through Christ’s Passion. At the moment of judgment, we experience and we absorb the overwhelming power of his love over all the evil in the world and in ourselves. The pain of love becomes our salvation and our joy. It is clear that we cannot calculate the “duration” of this transforming burning in terms of the chronological measurements of this world. The transforming “moment” of this encounter eludes earthly time-reckoning—it is the heart’s time, it is the time of “passage” to communion with God in the Body of Christ. The judgment of God is hope, both because it is justice and because it is grace. If it were merely grace, making all earthly things cease to matter, God would still owe us an answer to the question about justice—the crucial question that we ask of history and of God. If it were merely justice, in the end it could bring only fear to us all. The incarnation of God in Christ has so closely linked the two together—judgment and grace—that justice is firmly established: we all work out our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Nevertheless, grace allows us all to hope, and to go trustfully to meet the Judge whom we know as our “advocate”, or parakletos (cf. 1 Jn 2:1).”(nos. 46-47, Purgatory specifically mentioned in no. 45 )

As we pray for the souls of the faithful departed that they might rest in peace, we also pray for ourselves that we might live in hope, that we might go to meet Jesus in trust, that even now we might allow his love to “burn” away the dross that we might more purely love him and honor him all the days of our life.

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE? HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 6 ways you can join me on the journey:

  1. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST
  2. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
  3. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace. Enroll in the free 5-day email series introducing Reclaim Regret.
  4. Enroll in courses on Midlife, Contemplative Prayer, and a do-it-yourself downloadable Surviving Depression retreat
  5. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

 

Stop looking in the rear-view mirror

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2n4ic-c2ac00

So I thought I’d start off with a biggie for a lot of people: the ghosts of the past. You know, the things we’ve done that we’re not proud of, the uncertainty about God really having forgiven us, the regrets we carry in our hearts for things that now cannot be undone, those nagging fears we keep pushing out of sight.

In other words we keep looking at the rearview mirror instead of through the windshield, straight ahead as we travel on our journey through life to our ultimate goal: heaven.

But it’s hard not to. Right? Those ghosts of the past have consequences that we may still feel and which impact our life. Sometimes they may feel like they have the ultimate power over us of eternal life or death. It’s those regrets, particularly, that we really don’t want to have to look at.

What I want to raise to your awareness here is this: We’ve listened to these thoughts in our heads maybe a whole life long. We forget they are just thoughts we’re used to thinking, we’re comfortable with. However, we’ve also heard the words of Scripture proclaimed, powerful words….

It’s time to take these thoughts in our head directly to Jesus.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

A book that shows me who Jesus is

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The bestselling spiritual testament He and I reveals the words of Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis, a single woman, nurse, and, in her later years, playwright, who lived in France in the early twentieth century. Bossis documented her “simple talks” with Jesus in her journals, intimate conversations with Jesus that were real and personal. After her death these journals were made public.

The first time I flipped through the pages of the bestselling spiritual testament He and I, I was flabbergasted. He and I is the journal of Gabrielle Bossis, a French laywoman who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. In this book, Gabrielle documents her “simple talks” with Jesus, intimate conversations with Jesus that were real and personal. The great historian Daniel Rops wrote in his preface to the original French edition: “…here we breath the sweet fragrance of Christ.”

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.


Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.


Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.


Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

How not to become the elder brother

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-s6sjs-c2abda

A reflection on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Three characters dominate the parable of the Prodigal Son, sometimes called the Parable of the Loving Father. And we—you and I—at different points of our life, are all three.

Perhaps in our younger years, and definitely in our unrepentant phases of life, we can identify with the younger son…the humiliated sorrow and long journey home begging for mercy and forgiveness. And the experience of absolute love from another or from our heavenly Father, unconditional compassion and forgiveness.

But there are other times when we find ourselves, much to our sorrow, in the shoes of the elder son. To me, to be in this angry, narrow-minded, self-serving son’s shadow, even if only in the obsessing thoughts that pester me like flies, is worse.

John Ortberg states so accurately: “One of the hardest things in the world is to stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother.”

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.


Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.


Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.


Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.


Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you
can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Getting Free from Sticky Thoughts

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-yjy3u-c22a87

We humans have a negativity bias, meaning the bad things that we see, hear, and experience far outweigh the positive and pleasurable experiences. My angry reaction to a perceived slight will stick with me longer than my meditation on being the delight of the Lord. The negative and nasty things we remember make it just about impossible to see beyond to what is most true about ourselves and others, the goodness that is most truly who we are. If we know that this is true about the human mind and heart, it is only an intentional focusing of our thoughts and leaps of the heart on what is most true that will yield happiness and holiness in our lives.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

For Those Who Wander a Call to Faith

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ng78a-be9250

So many people today are wandering. They watch a movie here, hear a comment there, ask a question somewhere else, trying to put it all together. Indeed, today a tremendous amount of information about almost everything is floating around. We have moved quickly from a culture rooted in a Judeo-Christian foundation to a rootless, “democratic” hodgepodge that each person feels a right to navigate alone.

Wandering can be a stage of life: a time of doubting or searching for a deeper understanding of what one has believed “unconsciously” for so long. Wandering can also be a way of life: an eclectic combining of curious and fascinating images and myths, resulting in the creation of one’s own belief system.

The Israelites were struck with this wanderlust. The Book of the prophet Hosea likens the Israelites’ wandering from the worship of the Lord to the false worship of the gods of their neighbors in terms of a broken relationship that caused great suffering to the Lord.

In today’s podcast we explore religion as God revealing himself. Through this revelation of God, we truly come to know ourselves. We find our way home.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

The Path of the Heart: Three Ways St Thérèse can help us weather the storms in the Church today

The fast-approaching feast of St Thérèse on October 1 got me thinking. We mostly associate St Thérèse of Lisieux with her little way. I suppose if a person had the resources, time and energy to explore the depths of the spirituality that is Thérèse’s little way, a wide horizon of possibilities for personal holiness would open up. But, as most of us don’t have this opportunity, I’m afraid the “little way” becomes something of a comfort to us who are little. I know, it in some way justifies the way I feel and choices I make. It assures me that Jesus loves me, and that my sin doesn’t stop his loving me. However, Thérèse wrote “little way” only once. And she herself never wrote the words spiritual childhood.

Thérèse is a great saint. She is a doctor of the Church. Her life from the moment of her death brought light into a darkened Church and world. So instead of writing another article about the little way, I wanted to share with you her giant heart because, actually, we all need truly giant hearts if we are to weather the storms in the Church today.

These days it seems the question for some is this: should I stay in the Church and give it my fidelity and money or just cut my ties and go elsewhere. Obviously, the Church, meaning the hierarchy, doesn’t deserve my money and faithfulness. We may be feeling powerless in the face of so much chaos and pain on all sides around us, like we are stuck in a bad dream or a vast battlefield that we can’t escape.

In truth, however, we are called to be faithful to the Word of God in the way we live out our faith. What does St Thérèse tell us today, this cloistered nun who lived in the 1800s? Here are three things I think we can learn from this teenager of a hundred years ago:

  • Illusions die—and they are supposed to.

I’m sure that just as any young person who begins their vocation in life, Thérèse had great ideals as she entered the Carmel in Lisieux. She was fifteen with a heart aflame. In fact, her prioress Mother Marie de Gonzague wrote to the prioress of Tours on the eve of her profession two years later that though Thérèse was only seventeen and a half, she had the sense of a thirty-year-old and the religious perfection of an old and accomplished novice.

Thérèse’s postulancy began on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1888. Her desires at last realized, she felt a “deep sweet peace” which filled her soul and which never really left her for the rest of her short life on this earth. Looking from the outside at the community of the monastery of Carmel in Lisieux as a teenager, Thérèse probably had wonderful dreams about what it would be like. She had visited the parlors often. Her three sisters were already there. The nuns probably appeared very saintly. But like all religious, she discovered it is not all sunshine and roses. While a postulant, Thérèse’s lack of aptitude for handicrafts and manual labor caused her to be the butt of jokes among the sisters. Sr. St. Vincent de Paul, the finest embroideress in the community, made her feel awkward and even called her “the big nanny goat.”

After nine years she wrote, “The lack of judgment, education, the touchiness of some characters, all these things do not make life very pleasant. I know very well that these moral weaknesses are chronic, that there is no hope of cure.”

On top of the turmoil in her soul as she sought to navigate the community dynamics, her father Louis Martin, now himself a canonized saint, disappeared from his home for four days. He was finally found at the post office in Le Havre, but this first incident of wandering marked the beginning of her father’s steep physical and mental decline.

I have to admit that in 2002, when the Archdiocese of Boston was the epicenter of a clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the lives and faith of so many Catholics, my own illusions about the ministers of the Church were quickly and painfully demolished. It was like standing stark naked with all one’s skin torn away in the darkness alone. It hurt.

This hole in my heart was for me a giant leap forward in being able to hear the Word of God and respond more faithfully in a rapidly evolving and devasting situation. It has been called, and certainly was, the Long Great Lent of 2002. To this day when we read the same cycle of readings during Lent, the emotions, the lessons, the pain becomes once more the kaleidoscope through which I examine my life with God. We all know that our illusions about life, relationships, the Church, even God get stripped away from us little by little that we might relate in truth, not in our idea of what the other is. It is one way to turn inward, and find the finger of God in our own soul, and to respond as he invites.

  • The contemplation of the Holy Face of Jesus will nourish us in this time when we feel so disconnected from ourselves, from others, from the Church, and from faith.

While Thérèse was a novice, she contemplated the Holy Face of Jesus, and it was this Face that nourished her inner life. You have seen this Face, I am sure. It is an image that represents the disfigured Face of Jesus during his passion. If you have seen in person or on the internet the Shroud of Turin, you have seen this disfigured, yet stately, Face of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As she gazed upon the Face of Jesus, Thérèse meditated on the words of Isaiah in one of the suffering-servant psalms. Six weeks before her death she wrote: “The words in Isaiah: ‘no stateliness here, no majesty, no beauty, one despised, left out of all human reckoning, how should we take any account of him, a man so despised (Is 53:2-3),’ these words were the basis of my whole worship of the Holy Face.”

On the eve of her profession, Thérèse wrote to Sister Marie, “Tomorrow I shall be the bride of Jesus ‘whose face was hidden and whom no man knew’—what a union and what a future!” The meditation also helped her understand the humiliating situation of her father.

I have found that loving that Face is not easy. The Good Shepherd’s Face that smiles at me? I like that. It comforts me. But the disfigured Face of my Master haunts me. It is the Face of a divine Lover who loves me unconditionally at his own expense. That Face doesn’t say to me that he really doesn’t care about the pockets of sin that still hide in my heart. He assures me that he can hold in his mercy my weakness and sin even as he holds in his unconditional love who I am in my createdness, I who am a daughter of his Father, on whom he can still see the fingerprints of the Tender Creator. And like a fire he seeks to demolish all strongholds of sin that block union with him.

And that’s what’s so hard these days. We see and hear a lot that makes us angry, enraged even. We sorrow, we hide our faces in shame. But Jesus didn’t do any of that. He let his own Face be disfigured by pain and humiliation so that he could forever look on us in his Father’s Kingdom with an undying eternal delight.

As I look around the Church these days, there are many disfigured faces that I contemplate: the faces of the victims, the faces of the scandalized, the faces of everyone trying to continue ministry in this situation, the face of the Church. Friends, the Holy Face will always bear this disfigurement. Despised, humiliated, considered of no account…

I want to stand near all these Holy Faces as Jesus stood by me, with a love that overcomes sin and sorrow. She wrote: “I, too, wanted to be without comeliness and beauty…unknown to all creatures.” Since I probably will be unknown except to a small few, I can take a giant step toward loving in the Church by choosing not to beautify and promote myself, but like Jesus to live in solidarity with those whose Holy Faces bear the wounds of Christ.

  • Thérèse’s vocation was to be love, a love so sorely needed in the Church today.

Thérèse famously said her vocation in the Church was to be love. It was a direction for her life that she found in reading the Word of God. It was a direction she was faithful to all her life, at every moment, in the “little things,” (there it is… the little way), that presented themselves to her during the day. “In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.”

We’ve all heard the quaint stories of how Thérèse chose to assist the most disgruntled nun that none of the other sisters wanted to be around. Or she sat next to the sisters in recreation who were discouraged or down, rather than enjoy the joyous laughter of friends. She said nothing when she was splashed with dirty water while doing laundry. These seem so small to represent “being love in the heart of the Church.” I would imagine someone with such a mission would conduct herself like my patron saint, Catherine of Siena. Now that was someone who accomplished great things in the Church at a time in which it so needed holiness and prophetic witness!

But Thérèse is perhaps who this post-modern world needs. Things were simpler back in Catherine’s day. She sent letters to the Pope with messages from Jesus encouraging him to return the papacy to Rome. She visited his court. She probably had no knowledge of much else that was going on in the world outside her own part of Europe.

But we today know instantaneously the most hideous and the most glorious of news. We are bombarded with commentary and fake news and don’t know who to believe. People can make their case on social media and bring together millions of people overnight to advance their cause. We know what is happening in every country of the world, the minute it happens. How can we influence such a world, such a Church? Here is where St Thérèse’s small ways of loving are genius.

There is so much hateful language around us, and I believe it is truly changing our hearts in very sad ways. People feel free to say things without the slightest consideration of how their “thought” might affect others (or even if it is based on fact or pure emotional reaction). But I believe that divine acts of loving (even if seemingly insignificant) can work miracles. It is true that we need a St Catherine of Siena for our day, and a St Benedict, and a saint that God right now is raising up to show us God’s light in today’s shadowed chaos. But most of us, as St Thérèse teaches, like her will be little.

Thérèse wrote: “Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”

To love is to give everything and to give oneself.” (PN 54, stanza 22, OC 755)

The strong maturity of this veritable giant of holiness is absolutely what we need today. We may not feel that we are giants, and I’m sure Thérèse certainly didn’t run around the monastery proclaiming she was a giant. But we can love the Holy Faces around us, wipe the tears of the Holy Faces that have suffered whom we know, honor the disfigured humiliation of the Face of Christ as it appears today as the suffering Christ continues to love you and me and all. Like Thérèse, we can BE LOVE.

If you have concrete ideas of how to BE LOVE today, or examples from others or yourself, I’d love to hear about them.

In my heart,

Sr Kathryn

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE? HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 6 ways you can join me on the journey:

  1. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST
  2. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
  3. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.  Enroll in the free 5-day email series introducing Reclaim Regret.
  4. Enroll in courses on Midlife, Contemplative Prayer, and a do-it-yourself downloadable Surviving Depression retreat
  5. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

 

Walk in Complete Trust in Jesus

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-takaf-be9201

One day I received a letter from a gentleman in Illinois. “I thought that someone might be able to use this story,” he wrote, “and so I sent it to you.” Thus began one of those connections God establishes to multiply his grace and mercy.

In his letter, Patrick described a difficult time in his life. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you.” It was the only prayer Patrick could say. He had forgotten all the other prayers he had learned as a boy. This one short plea to God, however, had become his lifeboat in a sea of disappointments and misery. It was a simple prayer, simple and desperate.

The seven months in which Patrick uttered this prayer almost with every breath were not easy ones. They were marked by divorce, loss of a beautiful home, business failure, and loneliness. Patrick couldn’t understand why his life had turned so sour. He continued to say, “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you,” though it seemed such a contradiction. Where was this God who could change things? Why hadn’t God intervened? Was Patrick being punished—and, if so, what terrible thing had he done to deserve all this? The questions kept coming as fast as Patrick could say his prayer. They were not questions of anger; they were questions of wanting to understand, wanting to communicate with the only One who could help him.

In this podcast we follow Patrick’s story, and the words of Jesus to him and to all of us.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Risk Believing in Divine Possibilities

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-c76rx-be908e

When situation in life are dark, frightening, uncertain, it is likely that we will feel apprehensive, fearful, maybe paralyzed. These three women in today’s podcast, show us the power of risking to believe that God is always bringing about life in our situations in life. They risked believing not in human possibilities, but in divine ones. And so can we.

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE? HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 6 ways you can join me on the journey:

  1. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST
  2. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
  3. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.  Enroll in the free 5-day email series introducing Reclaim Regret.
  4. Enroll in courses on Midlife, Contemplative Prayer, and a do-it-yourself downloadable Surviving Depression retreat
  5. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.