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?

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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?

Quote for the soul ✨

“ …A duty performed solely from a sense of duty may prove wearisome and difficult; the same duty performed out of love becomes easy and pleasant. Love always minimizes the difficulties in its path…” -Fr. William R. Bonniwell, O.P

A beautiful reminder to let authentic love guide our words, actions and thoughts this day ❤️

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…

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
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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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