right now.

So last Sunday, we were watching the mass with Fr. Mike Schmitz and he said something in the homily that has stayed with me all week. He said ( I’m paraphrasing here) we can’t encounter God in the past or the future, only in the present.

Obvious? Maybe. Profound? Definitely. If we actually believe this, it has the power to change our attitude, our perspective and our life!

How many of us are guilty for playing on repeat the mistakes of the past, or the way things should have gone? Or how about the worries of the future? How much time is wasted thinking about what might happen, what could be, or the perfect scenario?

Photo by Franck Denis on Pexels.com

What Father Mike is encouraging us to do, is to radically trust in the power of God working in the present moment! Isn’t that freeing?! Just think: actually letting go and surrendering all that happened in your past, and all that you worry and fear for in the future. Just living moment to moment with your Heavenly Father.

Lord Jesus,

You see each one of us right now. You know our hearts, and our thoughts. You see the burdens we carry from the past and the fears that we hold for the future. We surrender all of these moments, worries, anxieties and hopes to you. We want to live in the freedom that you have won for us on the Cross. We want to live with you right now! Come Jesus into our hearts and meet us in this exact moment. Show us how to live a life that is truly present to you and your people. Send your Spirit to guide, inspire and enlighten us. We love and thank you.

Amen.

steeped in love ☕️

I think it’s safe to say that most of us experience desert like conditions in our prayer life! Perhaps our prayers seem insincere or maybe we have no desire to enter prayer because we feel lost, empty or confused.

That’s pretty much where I found myself today during my prayer time. After a lot of non prayer related thinking and worrying -I tried to actively receive the love of the Lord. Father Larry Richards gave a talk in a virtual conference a few weeks ago, and he mentioned how crucial it is to let ourselves be held and loved by Jesus. That talk and his words have really stayed with me and came back to my mind in prayer today.

So after finally letting go and just focusing on the love of Christ- I had this beautiful image. It was a very simple cup of tea. The tea bag was released into the hot water, and slowly the water was changed into a beautiful rich brown, full of flavour and depth.

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It seems to me that we could be likened to this bag of tea. We are called to steep in the waters of the love of Christ; in his warm, constant and life giving presence. Christ gives us this daily invitation to accept, receive and steep in his constant, perfect and all fulfilling love. What could be more wonderful?

through the lens

You guys know how much I love writing about finding God through beauty! I mean, it’s the basis for my blog after all! But what I just keep coming back to over the years, is how present and close I feel to God in the natural world.

I can’t get enough of the sights, smells, and wonders that come with the passing seasons, diverse landscapes, plentiful plant and animal species, weather patterns, sun rises and sun sets.

It’s in these moments that I feel close to God. How can I forget his love when it’s literally painted across the sky, the sea, the fields, the stars?! God doesn’t waste a moment trying to win our hearts and remind us of his steadfast love.

So today I wanted to share a few photos that reflect those times where I felt the immense power and beauty of God, the divine Artist.

Lemon tree in the Angelicum garden in Rome, Italy. Perfect moment.
Prairie sky after a little evening rain. Even a little rainbow if you look closely!
Exploring the city of Heidelberg, Germany brought us to this incredible path leading us to a gorgeous look out point!
Dreamy sunset with colours that melt my heart!

All these photos and more can be found on my instagram account theauthorofbeauty! God bless and keep delighting in all that is truly beautiful…

Holy Spirit & the baking aisle

Howdy!

So, one of my hobbies in isolation has been cooking and baking. I’ve been trying out new recipes, and even ventured to make fried pickles! It’s been both fun and challenging because a few of the recipes didn’t work….the perfectionist in me was quite agitated!

But nevertheless, I decided that since Easter is coming up, I would make a few traditional German cakes to celebrate 🙂

With my newfound baking zeal, I zipped over to the store to grab some flour, quickly realizing that everyone else and their dog had the same idea: the shelves in the baking aisle were bare! My first reaction was grim. I imagined myself walking out, empty handed with all my baking dreams crushed… when all of a sudden, I spotted on the bottom row the LAST bag of Robin Hood flour. I didn’t care that it was 10 kilos too much. I didn’t care that I could hardly pick the thing up and hurl it over the side of my cart… I just saw my baking dreams coming true! It was a sweet , sweet moment.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

But then it happened AGAIN today. I went to grab a few last ingredients, and while taking a stroll down the baking aisle (in a new store this time) I found myself staring at nothing but empty shelves. Like what the heck people?! Isolation brings out many hobby bakers I guess? I was pacing up and down the aisle searching for icing sugar. It wasn’t looking good. I mean, everything was stripped clean. A bit like what piranhas do to their prey. It wasn’t until I decided to crouch down a little, crane my neck, and peer into the abyss of the middle shelf area, when sure enough, what do I find, but the LAST bag of icing sugar.

Then it hit me. This was a Holy Spirit moment. He saved it for me. I felt that way with the flour, but I knew it with the icing sugar! He knew that I needed this little blessing, wink from the heavens, reminder that I am loved. It sounds so simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts with the smallest of things.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

So, what are the winks that you are receiving from God!? They might be something small or something great! Perhaps you haven’t felt them… so I invite you to ask Him to send you a wink. Ask Him to show you His love- especially in these trying times. God isn’t hiding, and He surely wants to remind you, that you are His beloved.

God bless you!

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.

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!

glory to God in the highest

Happy New Year Everyone!

On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord,  I came across a magnificent quote by Saint Gregory the Great (in my Magnificat prayer/mass book). I had recently watched the movie Planet Earth II ( which I highly recommend- very well made, adorable & inspiring)  which rather unexpectedly, renewed in me a sense of wonder, awe and beauty for our home here on earth. So with these sentiments already in my heart, and a thankfulness for God’s gift of nature, I read the following words of Saint Gregory the Great with a blissful and joyful heart:

“When the king of heaven was born, the heavens knew that he was God because they immediately sent forth a star; the sea knew him because it allowed him to walk upon it; the earth knew him because it trembled when he died; the sun knew him because it hid the rays of its light” 

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Even the great and uncontrollable weather systems and created world bow before the King of the universe. The earth and all it’s beauty are simply a glimpse into the wonderful being of God, our Father and Creator. If we appreciate and are amazed by the complexity of the galaxies, the seasons that bring forth change, the animals and plants that bring life, then we have received an incredible gift. A gift meant to bless us, amaze us, and ultimately, bring us back to the Giver of the gift. Back to God. Back to the Author of beauty.

I pray that 2020 be a year of deep encounter with the wonders of God that have been painted all around us. May the black and white view of the world, that so often threatens to bring us down, or deceive us, be replaced with a vivid and magnificently bright and colourful lens.

God bless!