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At the Feet of Christ

A friend and I were recently together during Adoration and she said to me, “I have to spend more time gazing on the Cross.  I notice that you look at the Cross a lot.” Her words seemed to penetrate my heart and I realized that, yes, I do spend a great deal of time with my eyes to the Cross.  In pondering her statement, it seems, almost without thinking, that upon entering a Church, I allow my eyes to search for Him Who is Crucified.  When my eyes and my heart have found Him, they make their way from the…

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Healing After Trauma: Awakening to God’s Call

Talitha cumi … Let Him kiss me I feel like I’ve been asleep for a long time. I’ve been entombed, like a fairy-tale princess; enclosed in a glass casket, cut off from the rest of the word, secluded in a forest of my own making where no one can find me, let alone touch me. Betrayal trauma does that to a person, especially if the betrayal is a protracted one, spanning years or even decades. Infidelity, domestic abuse, the confusion of being brainwashed into thinking you’re the cause of every problem … All these issues naturally lead to self-doubt, a…

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Reaching a Little Higher

As we pick the "low-hanging fruit" along our faith walk, we begin to reach for those gems we can see, just up a bit higher. I think of the low-hanging fruit as those foundational practices for living our Catholic faith, such as daily prayer, regular confessions, Mass every Sunday and, if possible, during the week, as well as regular spiritual reading. Participating earnestly at this level stokes an ever-expanding desire to draw more deeply into union with Jesus. As I do this, I find that the Lord fosters within me a curiosity and a taste for new fruits. For example,…

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A Curly Willow Tree from God

Two weeks ago, I was driving through the countryside. It was a perfect sparkler of a day; the green golden corn stalks were breezing against the azure sky. Everything was invigorating. I had my windows down and music pumping. As I wound around a bend, in an instant, I spotted a curly willow tree, glowing green and dancing in the light air. The thought flashed through my mind: “Oh, I love curly willows! I would really love to have one in my garden someday!” It was not even a prayer, just a thought. But all is prayer really, and God…

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The Garden of the Soul

Looking out upon my yard fills me with many emotions… wonder, gratitude and awe for God’s creations.  But there is an area of my yard that I have been purposefully avoiding for several summers… the dreaded weed patch!  This area seems to have a mind of its own.  It gets weeded and then seems to regrow overnight.  This has caused some angst in me at the thought of tackling the project, especially after such a rainy few months, the weeds have taken over!  Recently, on a sunny day, after much prayer and procrastination, I decided to take on the weed…

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It was Always Him

If you had told me back in 2018 that one day I would fall in love again and even marry again, I would have laughed in your face and said you were crazy. After a 27 year marriage that ended in a three year traumatic divorce and child-custody battle and left me with Complex-PTSD and chronic debilitating physical ailments, I had no intention of even thinking about dating or falling in love ever again. And then, Jesus, the love of my life, sang His way into my heart and I couldn’t help but fall in love. I used to think…

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Intercessors with Jesus

How easily the words "I will keep you in my prayers" can slip out of my mouth when I am moved by the need of another. Not that those words are insincere, but my good intentions intersecting my distracted mind can mean I easily forget my promise. A dear, older nun-friend of mine comforted me years ago when she told me of a saint who advised that when we agree to intercede for someone, we should immediately tuck that person into our heart, confident that Jesus, our great intercessor before the Father, from that moment on recognizes that dear one…

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Nest in the Depths of God

"Storms have no strength to upset [souls filled with God] even slightly, because there is no strength that can defy God. As the soul detects the storm, she puts the virtues in order, and goes to nest in the inmost depths of God. So, while externally there seems to be a storm, it is completely false – it is then that the soul enjoys more peace, and rests, tranquil, in the bosom of God, just like the fish in the bosom of the sea." - Jesus to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta We sure are weathering some storms presently; in…

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Together let us be One

The other day I was walking down a long corridor in Brethren Village Retirement Center, going from one elderly massage client to another. As I passed by the door decorations of the sweet Lancaster County residents, I could feel the familiar mode creeping into my mind – thoughts and feelings like, “I just can’t relate to these people – their lives, values, and priorities. The aesthetic of these styles are just not beautiful or inspiring to me. I could never live in here. I do not feel at home in this world.” These sentiments are distancing and isolating, not communing.…

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The Love Challenge

Many years ago as I was being prayed with at a conference, the person praying over me said, "Love. Your vocation is love." I remember thinking, "That's what I am to do...love? Well, alright then, this will be so easy! I am pretty loving already!" 🤔 A few months later, at a parish mission, the deacon who was leading deflated my naive little love bubble when he spoke about the verses we heard in the second reading at this weekend's Mass: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, It is not inflated, it…

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