Star of the Sea; Hail Mary

Fingers move from bead to bead,

Prayers like incense rise.

Mother Mary hear our prayer,

Listen to our sighs.

Implore your Son to hear us,

Comfort and provide.

For you will not forsake us,

True and faithful guide.

Teach us to trust in Jesus,

Just as you have done.

Fix our eyes upon on the Cross

Where victory was won.

yes to trust.

It’s really nice to have a solemnity in the middle of Lent! Especially this Lent. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to fast and keep up my Lenten observances with all this covid chaos. The temptation to eat away my sorrows with chocolate is strong …

Today is the solemnity of the Annunciation of our Lord, and I think this solemnity is exactly what we need to hear right now. Why? Because Mary can teach us something about our current situation.

Mary, received the incredible and UNEXPECTED message that she was to conceive Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. She didn’t request this, she didn’t plan for this, and she surely didn’t know how things would turn out.

Fast forward to today. World leaders are up in arms, countries on lock down, hospitals overloaded, families in isolation, people are dying, infection rates are sky rocketing, and many are anxious and fearful. We didn’t expect this. And we definitely didn’t plan for this…

Perhaps accepting our current situation like Mary, is exactly what we need to be doing! To take on this attitude of the handmaid of the Lord. Of course, Mary’s situation is lightyears away from a comparison to Covid-19- but it’s about finding the right approach to a complicated, and unplanned time, like Mary. She trusted in the Lord, with a trust so pure and loving.

I pray that we, like Mary, can use this time of uncertainty, to trust in the Lord more deeply! To surrender our fears and anxieties to He who came into the world, to redeem his beloved people.

learning or living forgiveness?

A street corner in the area of Düsseldorf, Germany

Forgiveness.

The theme of forgiveness has been on my heart after hearing the parable of the unmerciful servant ( Matthew 18:21-35) a few days ago in the Gospel. 🥜 Nutshell version: A servant owes money to his master, begs for forgiveness and is forgiven. However, the servant does not forgive his own servant’s debts. The master gets word of this, calls the first servant back, and punishes him for not extending the mercy he received.

The theme of forgiveness is not new to most Christians. We’ve been learning about what it means to forgive since we were in primary school!

But that’s just it. There’s a difference in learning about it, and living it. I guess it sorta hit me this week. Forgiveness has the power to change our lives, if we let the Lord help us! It’s one of the hardest things to do; especially when we have been wounded unjustly. But I’m starting to see how crucial forgiveness is, if we want to grow in holiness.

What makes the saints so special? That’s a loaded question! It’s a combination of factors….But in my opinion, what separates them from the rest, is their radical mercy! Think of saint John Paul II, St. Bakhita, St. Kateri… so many of the saints had a pivotal moment in their lives where they could bear a grudge for the unjust treatment they received, or forgive. They had every reason, according to the world, to get angry, resent and retaliate. But they didn’t. They chose the higher way. They chose to forgive.

I don’t know about you, but that inspires me! I want to start living this mercy more and more radically. I want to mirror what the saints did, following the ultimate model of Christ on the cross. What joy and freedom the Lord wants to offer us through the power of forgiveness. For many of us, this is a hard and rocky road.. but we have the intercession of the saints, and our Saviour Jesus Christ to teach, guide and strengthen us!

positivity amidst pandemic.

COVID-19.

The panic, the hype, the concerns, the reality… it’s all a bit overwhelming at the moment. No matter where you live on this planet, somebody either had the coronavirus near you, or will contract it sooner or later. For some it’s just another media frenzy, for others a legitimate health concern.

I’m not sure where I stand on the whole thing? I’m far from panicking, but as a person with asthma, the reality of a serious respiratory illness lurking around is something that peaks my attention.

pexels-photo-3786211

But I digress. I don’t intend to add to the Corona chaos, but rather write a few things I’ve noticed about the pandemic response, and how it might actually be more positive than we think.

It seems to me that (sadly) the world functions around success, power and money. If the world had a motto right now it would be something along the lines of:

” If your not profitable, powerful or pretty, get out of the way” 

The focus isn’t about authentic health and caring for our minds, bodies and souls. It’s about making money, at all costs and moving “up the ladder” no matter what or who get’s trampled on in the process.

But what we are starting to see, whether you agree with the measures taken or not, is that politicians, businesses, and powerful players in the sports and entertainment industry are actually taking a hit for the good of others!!

In Canada and the United States, major sport seasons, music awards, and other public assemblies are being cancelled or postponed. Italy is on lockdown. Trump has banned flights from Europe… We are starting to see people take measures to prevent the spread of the virus, even at the cost of loosing money or hurting the economy.

Although it takes a pandemic to push us, we can still fight for what is important. And I don’t just mean avoiding the virus. Of course, most of us are motivated by a general desire to AVOID the virus, as we should. But we also see that the big players are capable of making choices that honour their people. Action both big and small is being taken to protect each other.

I think this whole pandemic is a reminder that we can’t control the world, and we need to put priorities straight. I’m happy to see widespread cancellations of these events and I hope it continues until things calm down.

Far greater than any money, game, event, fame or reputation, is the human person.

grayscale photography of baby holding finger

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the voice of God

Today I was really inspired by the many uplifting Christian posts I found while pursuing the WordPress “blogosphere”. I was looking through several different faith related categories, and the content was so positive, relatable, genuine and honest. It was refreshing and I praise the Lord that so many people are sharing about their faith life, and walk with Christ. It’s beautiful to read.

These bloggers reminded me of a post that I’ve been meaning to write for awhile but just never got around to. How do we hear the voice of God? How do you know that God is speaking, moving, acting and initiating in your life?  I’ve engaged in this topic with friends before, because I find it fascinating. I mean, if we all have a unique and personal relationship with God, he’s going to speak to us in different ways, right?!

low angle photo of church ceiling
Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

Since he created us, He also knows the best means of communication to use with us. For example, I often feel God moving in my life through tears. I used to resent this gift because I thought it was embarrassing, or looked weak. However, I’ve grown to appreciate the tears because they are a tangible sign that God is speaking to me. It’s a sign that my heart is melting at the presence of my Lord and Saviour. Sometimes it’s song lyrics that will bring me to tears, a kind gesture of a person or a beautiful prayer in mass.

Another way I hear the Lord is through His words. Not audibly, but in the silence my heart during adoration, or when reading Sacred Scripture. These are beautifully intimate moments with the Lord that I like to record in a journal to meditate more deeply on!

I would love to hear how you hear the voice of God? What does it sound like/feel like to hear the voice of God in your life?

empty asphalt road between trees
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spiritual seasons.

Hi!

I realized something today. I will never be one of those scheduled blogging types, managing to faithfully post each week… it feels like forever since I’ve written. Sorry for the delay!

There has been a LOT happening in the past few months, because were moving back to CANADA! Back to the land of my ancestors, the land of maple syrup, the land of my childhood. It is a very blessed and beautiful time in my life right now, with so many things (big & small) falling into place. It feels great.

Over the past two years, I didn’t say “things are falling into place” very often. It actually felt like I was constantly faced with one obstacle after the other. Instead of doors opening, doors were slamming. Instead of prayers being answered quickly, waiting was required. Instead of joy overflowing, despair was creeping in.

raining in the city

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

I am starting to learn that indeed, there are seasons of the spiritual life. I’m sure there are Saints or theologians who have expressed a similar concept with much greater eloquence… but this is how I have felt the “seasons” lately:

Spring Season– many moments of consolation, growing in the spiritual life, feeling the rays of the Son.

Summer Season; mostly moments of consolation, everything seems to be in bloom, constantly basking in the presence of the Son.

Fall Season– moments of consolation & desolation, lots of change in the spiritual life, seeing yourself/world/God in new “colours”.

Winter Season- primarily moments of desolation, feeling cold and far from the rays of the  Son, faith/spiritual life feeling bleak/grey.

So, whatever season you find yourself in right now, if you can, thank the Lord and remember it won’t last forever! That is sooo much easier said than done. I spent the past two years in pretty wintery conditions… and I definitely wasn’t always praising the Lord for my moments of desolation. But sometimes it takes someone who is in a slightly  “warmer” season, to remind you that you are not alone, it won’t be like this forever, God is faithful, God is working in your life, and the grey skies will turn to blue.

photo lavender flower field under pink sky

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

May God continue to bless and strengthen us as we battle through the spiritual seasons of life. Let’s continue to pray for each other, that we do not take the moments of consolation for granted, or waste the precious moments of suffering.

You are loved! God bless!

faithful are You.

Look to the sun, the stars, the sea, the mountains.

Look to the birds, the insects, the beasts of the earth.

Look to the children playing, the strangers walking, the family near to you.

Look to the stories of triumph, answered prayers, miracles.

Look to your own life, the moments God spoke, the times He acted.

God. Is. Faithful.

Just as he parted the seas, healed the sick, cast out demons, dined with sinners, provided food for the needy, instructed the lost and gave light to the darkness… He will be faithful to you!

Don’t lose your faith today. Read the stories of the prophets of old, ask your friends and family to share their miracles. God is moving, and His silence is not a reflection of a lack of presence. No! His silence is a preparation for something beautiful. Trust in Him. He is faithful!