healing love.

O Spirit of God,

On us descend,

So that we might see,

The hearts to mend.

Those broken and lost,

Or crippled with fear.

The lonely and hurt,

O let them hear:

That God is alive,

His Word stands true.

His power to heal,

Is meant for you.

Full freedom from chains,

Authentic peace.

A place to call home,

Will never cease.

Let Christians proclaim,

This healing love.

A message of hope,

Sent from above.

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dancing before the King

Do you ever feel like God is being a little too quiet in your life? Despite your prayer times, participation in the sacramental life and various missions… it just seems like you can’t hear His voice anymore?

I’ve been feeling like this over the past few weeks, and it was starting to get really discouraging. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something this past Friday during adoration:

God does not hesitate to use others to communicate His love and presence with us.

We attended an adoration evening on Friday, and we came late so we sat in the very last pew! Due to our seating, I could see the whole church and in particular a little girl with gorgeous blond hair near the front.

As the choir started to sing, this little girl stood up in her pew and started to sway back and forth to the music. There was something so peaceful and innocent about her movements and her presence before the Lord.

Immediately, I was touched to tears as I watched this young girl, so powerfully free, dance before her King. At one point, her sister tugged on her jacket to sit down, and she just pulled away and kept on swaying.

I knew exactly in that moment, that God was calling me to be free like this little girl. To find my comfort, my peace and my joy in Christ alone. To be so wrapped in His love, that I could even dance before Him.

Photo by Gustavo Tabosa on Pexels.com

This little girl modelled what radical and pure love for Christ looks like. It’s unafraid, it’s bold, it’s present, it’s pure and it’s contagious.

So, even though I didn’t hear God in my morning prayer or the mass readings, I sure heard Him speaking through His precious child, who beautifully danced before her King and her Lord.

outer or inner self.

Suffering.

This one word manages to invoke so many different thoughts, emotions and fears in my heart (perhaps yours, too?) No one really wants to suffer. We all want lives that are happy, healthy, carefree and joyful!

Yet try as we may, we all come face to face with suffering at one point or another. Some will hide it, some will highlight it, some will run away from it… but suffering is apart of our broken humanity. ***But please don’t run away now- this post has a happy ending! As do all the best of stories. I want to share some encouragement I received from the Lord. Something that has lifted my spirits in a season of suffering.

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

After getting pregnant (praise the Lord) I had to go off most of my eczema medications. As a result, my skin has officially gone bonkers ( but seriously, it’s been horrible). It’s either red, open and inflamed, or dry as the desert. One thing a lot of people don’t realize, is how debilitating eczema can be. It’s not just a little itchy skin (at least for me and many others), it’s an insatiable itch that can be all consuming at times. It means waking up in the night from scratching, constant moisturizing, physical pain, and a lot of emotional burdens from feeling and being inflamed/swollen/red/itchy/worn down……

I’ve been really trying to grow in trust and faith throughout this trying time! During adoration this past week, I remembered a verse that in the past has brought me a lot of peace when it comes to physical suffering. I had my bible and thought, ” it would be so great to find that verse tonight”. I flipped to a page in Corinthians, and it wasn’t on that page, so I turned one page back and sure enough, there was the verse, waiting for me! The Holy Spirit had definitely guided me to this place, because like many good Catholics, I know the verse but have NO IDEA where it is located. This is what it said,

” So we do not lose heart. Though the outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Isn’t this beautiful! When we feel our outer selves wasting away ( physical sufferings and burdens we carry on/in our bodies), we can be reassured of the fact that Christ wants to strengthen us and our spirit. He does not want our inner self to waste away, fall into despair, feel rejected or forgotten.

No!! Christ wants us to hope, and “not loose heart”! Christ is near to us in our suffering, even when we feel alone or frustrated. We have the opportunity to invite Christ in to our sufferings. To be vulnerable, open and honest about the crosses we carry. To ask him for his help and presence in our pain. To unite with Christ on the Cross each and every day.

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Although this doesn’t “solve” the problem of suffering, or even take away my pain (or yours), it does remind me that our suffering can become life-giving. We can ask Jesus to use these hard times for someone else’s good (spouse,child,friend,world) and trust in this mystery of redemptive suffering. This is not an easy path, but I know the Lord sees our efforts, sufferings and offerings, and will reward us- either here on earth, or hopefully in heaven one day!

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.

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.

heavenly roses.

Over the years, I have struggled A LOT with praying the rosary. I seem to find a way around praying it by saying things like, ” I’ll pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet- it’s shorter” or ” I prayed it a few days ago, so I can wait a little while” or “Why don’t I just pray 1 decade”… you get the idea!

It’s not like I had anything against the rosary and in fact I wished to pray it more regularly and genuinely. I usually avoided it because it would take around 15-20 minutes and I could always think of “other” prayers I preferred. When I actually did pray the rosary on my morning or afternoon commute, I was totally distracted and found myself only saying the words instead of praying the words. I just decided to kind of give up on the whole devotion because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite who prays but doesn’t mean it.

beautiful bloom blooming close up

Photo by Jovana Nesic on Pexels.com

This whole narrative has been pretty accurate until about two weeks ago. I found myself on what felt like a chaotic emotional rollercoaster with no end in sight. I was wondering what I could do to calm my spirit and find peace again. I ended up (#ThanksHolySpirit) thinking back to a moment years ago when (during a very blessed time I was praying the rosary quite regularly) I felt this profound peace during an absolutely mental day at the daycare I was working at. The kids were literally running around like monkeys with no parents, jumping on beds and making so much noise during NAP TIME. On any other day this would have pushed me to the limit, but that day, I was sitting rubbing the back of a child watching mayhem unfold with an incredible peace in my soul. I just knew that the profound deep peace I felt was coming straight from the graces of the rosary!

After recalling this beautiful moment, I decided I should “try the rosary” once again. I ended up writing a very wise priest, in some what of a desperate e-mail, asking how to learn to love the rosary. He recommended quite a few great tips but one that has been especially helpful is a book called “The Secret of the Rosary” by Louis De Montfort. It gives so many stories of miracles that have been performed through the intercession of Mary and Jesus through the rosary. It’s so inspiring to read.

I thought I would just quickly share a few tips that have been helping me lately to delve into the beauty of this devotion. Perhaps it can help someone else out there who is struggling to enter this wonderful and truly blessed prayer.

  •  Choosing a moment to pray the rosary without distractions: I have stopped praying on my morning/afternoon commutes. I pray the rosary in silence at home so that I can really focus and contemplate on the words
  • Using a “visual aid” (hahah I sound like such a teacher here): I have a little Roary book with pictures for each mystery. It’s helping a lot to direct my thoughts towards the mystery of the life of Jesus that I am meditating on
  • Reading a short excerpt from “The Secret of the Rosary” book: Before I begin the rosary, I read one short “chapter” from De Montfort’s book to be reminded of the importance of this devotion, and how so many men and women for hundreds of years have been changed through the rosary!

I have to say, in the past days that I have been praying the rosary again, I (and my husband) have felt a greater peace in the home. I am definitely just beginning this “new” journey with Mary through the Holy Rosary, but I am confident that the rosary is truly a path to her Son. The rosary is not to glorify Mary, but to honour her as she rightly deserves, and as her Son asked us to do (on the Cross) and let her pray for us and gently bring us to Jesus, her Son.

 

God bless you all in your journey of faith!

Mary Mother of God: Pray for Us!

 

 

” Good and devout souls, who walk in the light of the Holy Spirit: I do not think that you will mind my giving you this little mystical rose tree which comes straight from heaven and which is to be planted in the garden of your soul” (P. 13, The Secret of the Rosary)

a holy glow.

Good Morning & Happy Saturday!

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I am enjoying the Wild Goose series SO MUCH.  I watched episode #5 with my husband and he too was touched. Not to mention my mom, who recommended the series in the first place. She couldn’t say enough positive things,  which is why I ended up checking it out. You can actually watch the entire series for free on youtube ( I had said only episodes 1-3, but that was wrong).

IMG_7232

Fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit and thats what this orchid has. Though close to death, it is miraculously blooming once again! I love this crazy plant.

…aaaand let’s change topics here:

For those of you following the daily mass readings, have you also noticed how incredibly rich the first readings are right now!? I feel like everyday I am saying “this is my favourite bible verse” or “I have to write a blog about this verse” or “I have to write that down in my journal”. St. Paul is on fire!

I am a mega St.Paul fan because he writes so eloquently, clearly and boldly. The style of his writing makes it easier for me to hear the voice of God. I guess God inspired different prophets, kings, apostles and psalmists to write His word for this exact reason; to appeal to the uniqueness of his people. He knows that his children learn  and understand differently. The great diversity of the scripture writers helps the Word of God come alive to the nations. Talk about a creative God! He is so thoughtful.

Here’s a few verses from the 1st Reading from mass on Thursday:

“Even today, whenever Moses is read, the veil is over the minds of the Israelites. It will not be removed until they turn to the Lord. Now this Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit”- 2 Corinthians 3:15-18

image

These verses always remind me of a person in adoration; kneeling before the King of Kings and being transformed by His light and Presence. It’s like an “Adoration Tan”, where we receive a holy “glow”. We become mirrors of Christ when spend time in adoration and prayer. Not only are our hearts enlightened by the presence of the Lord, but we are freed by the power of the Spirit. Free to understand clearly the plans of God, free to understand His voice among the voices, free to live a moral life through God’s grace, free to live true love and mercy.

Let’s be the mirror of Christ today! Let’s radiate the love, mercy, kindness, faithfulness, generosity, strength, integrity and joy of our great God.

God bless you!

 

 

Eternal love & a wild goose.

Last night I watched the first two episodes of the ” The Wild Goose” series (the link will lead you to episode 1 and you can view episode 2 & 3 for free as well!) and wow! It is so powerful to hear men and women speaking about their encounters with the Holy Spirit and how He has changed their lives. The personal love that our Triune God has for us is so real.  A few things that touched my heart while watching:

  • The Holy Spirit wants to give us peace. Fr. Dave Pivonka said ” Peace is not the absence of something, but the presence of someone”  #truth
  • God doesn’t want us to remain in the “upper room” of our hearts; afraid or dejected. He wants to send us, as he did for the Apostles, His Holy Spirit. He wants to set us ablaze with love and courage to speak the truth about God.
  • Living with the Holy Spirit is not only reserved for Pentecost Sunday. We can invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts daily, minute by minute.
  • When we feel like: “something is missing” “I don’t feel I am living my full purpose” “There has to be more to this life” “My faith life is dry” it usually means we need to invite the Holy Spirit (for the first time, or once again) into our hearts.
  • The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives can change us profoundly. He can bring the gifts of joy and peace that we are longing for.

    black goose flying

    Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Father also spoke about the story of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-6) and how the Spirit breathes life into us, like he did the bones. We all go through this valley; the times when our positive emotions fade, the consolations from God seem far away, the struggles of our daily lives and sinfulness seem to weigh us down. But God says, ” … Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord” ( Ezekiel 37:5-6). Our spiritual life is NOT meant to be dead, hopeless, dry and bare. It’s meant to be fruitful, vivid, joyful and promising. What a wonderful hope this is!

PS. I still don’t know why it’s called ” The Wild Goose”- I’ll have to keep watching and find out : )