washed clean

Hi Again!

During these crazy times, access to the sacraments have been scarce. We’ve had to adapt to streamed masses, reserving spots for mass online ( if your quick enough!) and a whole lot of hand sanitizer….. Let’s just say, it hasn’t been easy.

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But there is something that has brought me (and perhaps you, too?!) A LOT of peace and comfort during the past months and that is:

Confession!

Confession has been the one sacrament that has been relatively easy to receive during the chaos of Covid-19. I don’t know about your experience, but we could make appointments with our parish priest anytime and every Saturday morning from 11:00-12:00 there was “drive through” confession!

I found so much solace in the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it was the closest I could get to Jesus when our masses weren’t taking place.

The Lord knows how painful these times have been and still are. He wants us to receive him again through the Holy Eucharist. He wants to be united, heart to heart. But if we are unable to go to mass, don’t forget to encounter Jesus in confession, as well ! It is a powerful encounter where Jesus himself, through the priest, can heal all our sins, anxieties, mistakes, fears and missed opportunities to love.

I can testify to the power of this healing and life giving encounter with Jesus through confession! Every time I went to confession during the “pandemic”, Jesus was speaking so clearly through the priest about my heart and the areas that needed deep conversion. That kind of realization is humbling, but I drove away every time feeling more loved, joyful, peaceful, motivated and light. It’s a feeling you cannot buy, and one that comes only from the healing touch of Jesus our Saviour.

God bless you all!

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…

letting go: the sweet life.

“None of the thoughts that render us anxious, and agitated in spirit in any way comes from God, who is the Prince is Peace…” (St. Frances De Sales)

This morning while reading Searching for and Maintaining Peace (Fr. Jacques Philippe), I came across a quote from St. Frances De Sales. I find this seemingly simple and perhaps even obvious statement, so rich and compelling. These words invite me to honestly reflect on the kinds of emotions and reactions that dominate my life. Are they anxieties, fears, agitations and doubts? Or are they ones of hope, peace and trust?

I chose to write about this today because I know that I am not alone in this battle of positivity vs. negativity and ultimately of good vs. evil. We are ALL struggling, at varying degrees, with the pressure, stress and demands of “life”. It seems that now more than ever, people are crumbling under the often crippling demands to be perfect, powerful,  rich, put together, successful and flawless.

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* God speaks to me in analogies… even if they are seats on the train hehe *  This image spoke to me of the redemption and newness that comes from God. He takes us when we feel dull, faded and used, and transforms us into something beautiful again!

Even as I write this, it seems a bit crazy and naive of us to fall into this trap. But when it’s our own lives, careers, relationships and life choices… things can become a bit blurry. We often find ourselves putting unrealistic expectations on our shoulders and fighting back feelings of failure, shame or regret when we fall short.

The good news is, we are not destined to stay in these low and often dark places. It’s not something we can just wish away, and for some of us, this journey is going to require more work and care than others, but there is always hope.

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The sweet life!

As the quote above says, God is the Prince of Peace and therefore with Him comes a peace that no one can destroy. God isn’t some magician who just takes away every hardship in our lives… but he gives a different and deeper kind of peace. I think this quote says it best:

“Peace is not the absence of something, but the presence of Someone” (unknown)

I pray that all of us can enter into the deep peace that is of Christ. That we find solace and hope in He who is the Prince of Peace. Let’s pray for each other, that we can let go of the anxieties and agitations that try to hold us back from freedom, joy and peace! Perhaps a little piece of cake and tea is just the perfect place to start?!

lights in the world.

 The lives that change the world so much,

are ones that live in love.

Committed to pure charity,  

their eyes are fixed above. 

Not set on what this world can give, 

They seem to stand apart.

A gentle peace and humbleness,

Comes reigning from their heart. 

Their source of strength and guiding light,

Of which they move towards,

Is He who was and who will be, 

Their Saviour and their Lord.

 

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Monk Wisdom; lesson on love ❤️

The reflection in the Magnificat today by Dom Augustin Guillerand, O. Cart ( French Carthusian monk) is really special! I won’t quote the whole thing, but just a couple lines that I think are so relevant and beautifully put:

” Why does God, who is love, keep us waiting? Because he is love, and seeks love. Love that does not know how to wait is not love.To love is to give ourselves…”

How many of us are asking God to answer our intentions, hear our pleas, send our spouse, send our baby, speed up time, slow down time…

It’s such an overwhelmingly human experience. Many times, it’s very good reasons that we pray these things. But even still, sometimes God demands that we wait. When we learn to wait, we learn to love! I find this so beautiful and helps to give more purpose to our seasons of waiting.

God has a loving plan for our lives. It might not feel that way right now- but he does. These times of waiting ( as painful or confusing as they might be) are an opportunity to grow in love.

And when that prayer is answered (on our terms or in another way) we will have used this time of waiting to prepare our hearts to love our spouse, baby, vocation, new life circumstance even more. And this love will be ever deeper and more beautiful.. because it was grown I’m waiting and faithfulness.