Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Thousand Gifts #25: Inspiring Women Writers

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"I did my work, time went by..... The great relief and surprise about the devout life, is that it looks similar to the not so devout life I was living last week, except that I smile more, because I am free. I’ve said it before; It’s not that I’m unhappy with my life, it’s that I’ve been divided--divided by concepts that I have created."

The above is a quote from this post by Betty Duffy. I've only recently discovered her blog--such well-written, honest and thought-provoking posts. There are very few out there that I find myself continually drawn to. I have such a huge list of blogs to read that I’m getting more and more picky as time goes on. But I will always gravitate to someone who can make me pause for long enough to be refreshed anew.

Thanks you God, for writers like Betty Duffy, and for making sure I discover them.

A Thousand Gifts #26

Jonathan show us how to play joyfully!

Thank you God for Jonathan!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010


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Irritation and annoyance. Stewing in my juices. Fantasy conversations where the main martyr is I, stoic, heroic. Epic resentments, festering, boiling, churning. Seeking, in truth, no happy reconciliation. There's too much fat to chew in this pride and anger. The buzzing of my many personal demons, humming, tapping, dancing, stirring the blood, louder and louder, unrelenting. Then in my head a tiny prayer.

Lord make haste to help me. Lead me away from this. Teach me how to overcome this rot. Open my heart.

A deep breath. A slow uncoiling. Yes. Calm. Peace. Wonder. How does that work anyway?  Holy Spirit, it’s you I thank. How does grace do what it does? God is good.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


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Reflections from the Saints

According to the divine plan, action must be fed with prayer. The interior life is the wellspring of the apostolate. Do not believe in the slogan, 'The priest is sanctified in sanctifying others' - it's an illusion. The real formula is, 'Sanctify yourself so as to sanctify others.' – Bl. Edward Poppe via

and this...

One Bread, One Body - Reflection for June 10, 2010

"Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, crouched down to the earth, and put his head between his knees." –1 Kings 18:42

Elijah prophesied that three-and-a-half years of drought would soon end although there was not a cloud in the sky (1 Kgs 18:41ff). He told his servant seven times to look for a cloud. "Seven" possibly refers to an indefinite number of times. Time after time, the servant reported: "There is nothing" (1 Kgs 18:43). Finally, the servant sighted a very small cloud with little possibility of rain. However, immediately "the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and a heavy rain fell" (1 Kgs 18:45).

This pattern is very common in our life with the Lord. Like Elijah and his servant, we watch and pray, and pray and watch, but see nothing again and again. We wonder if God is even there. We think: "Why pray?" Finally, we see something which is so small it isn't much different than nothing. Nonetheless, the Lord amazes us again by using a little something to make a big difference.

Where in your life are you praying for something and seeing nothing? Persevere, a small cloud is rising in the west.

Father, give me faith to move mountains (Mt 17:20) and clouds.

"I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God." –Mt 5:20

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Thousand Gifts: #23 - 24

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We found them among her things after she died. I gasped when I saw those long-forgotten but familiar rosary beads. They are now one of my most treasured possessions, my link to her, these worn beads, fragile, patched together with filament. I can easily picture her hands moving along them as she whispered the prayers, day in and day out, asking that Mary pray for her oldest daughter to be led back to the Church. My mother and the Blessed Virgin are a formidable pair, and I'm so very grateful they never gave up on me. My turn, a mother too, joining the prayers of mother, grandmother and Blessed Madonna, all of us bound by these simple beads and our love for our children, invoking grace and mercy, never denied.
Thank you God, for my mother's rosary, and thank you Mom, for your ceaseless intercession on my behalf.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Thousand Gifts #21-22 A Rainy Day and A Husband

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Thank you God, for a rainy day on a boat, and for a husband who insists on going out in it. 
Our plans were not to be as we had hoped. We were longing to be aboard Harmony with family for three days of relaxation, fresh air, good food and the joy of being with our loved ones. Pouring, blowing rain discouraged even the most optimistic among us and we decided to postpone our get-together. Then a full day went by, now it's Sunday morning. A dash to early Mass, then home to jump aboard, just the two of us for a quick trip across the strait to rest at anchor, where a few short miles removes us to a place an eternity away from our daily life.
A sleepy, quiet bay, a strong anchor, a gentle breeze swinging us 'round, a good book, and the sound of rain above us on deck--simply heavenly. Music plays on the stereo, coffee is almost ready, coziness is abundant! And my sweet, wise man is here with me to share it all. Twenty-four hours later, we are home, renewed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Thousand Gifts: #20 Music

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Thank you God, for the gift of music by which we are uplifted, consoled, made joyful, and through which we are given another means of prayer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Thousand Gifts: #15 - 18

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Thank you God, for:

Weathered old one-room schools, still standing

Miss McPike, my teacher in the two-room school of my youth, who taught me about literature and s'mores

The ancient bell atop our ranch house that summoned us from blazingly hot hay fields in for a mid-day meal 

The smell of alfalfa hay wafting up to the straw-filled-gunny-sack-padded seat of my tractor, as I bounced along, singing at the top of my lungs.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Thousand Gifts #14


Thank you God, for:

My son...born 32 years ago today.

What can anyone say about their child that is enough? Certainly not I.

Please God, watch over him, strengthen and guide him. Grant him peace. Amen

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Thousand Gifts #13


Thank you God for:

Early mornings, sitting on the couch, coffee and laptops at hand, in companionable silence with my husband, now and then sharing thoughts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Thousand Gifts #8 - 12

Thank you God for:

Paying work

The view of the sea and sky from my window

Comfy sweats to change into after work


Monday, April 26, 2010

On A Moonless Sea

Obedience is my cross, and so far I have been too stubborn and willful to take it up. In the quiet of my prayers and meditation, I can imagine that I am/will be obedient. It's a complete delusion. Occasionally the mask slips revealing my dark, cold shame. Even when faced with my guilt, however, I still do not shake off my pride and resentment. Instead, I cling to it as if  my arrogance will save me from having to live my creed--to trust in God. I turn my head away and choose delusion over truth, pride over humility, separation over union. Even as I turn away in self-denial, my dis-ease is instantly denser and more formidable.  But there has not been any metanoia, because I am a foolish woman.

Face to the sea, I hear the wind calling me to truth

Close your eyes and dream beneath the warmth of skies of blue

Longing to rest my weary bone

So long the path, O be still my soul

My God knows well my groping and sadness, and so keeps setting before me the signposts of my path and His will for me.

Today I heard a recording of the sermon given by Bishop Edward Slattery at a Mass celebrating the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict's pontificate. The Bishop said:

The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world.

And these words from a blog that I follow:

"All along, let us remember, we are not asked to understand, but simply to obey...
'And only Heaven is better than to walk with Christ at midnight, over moonless seas--'
I couldn't feel frightened then. Praise Him for the moonless seas--all the better the opportunity for proving Him to be indeed the El Shaddai, 'the God who is Enough.'"
Let me add my own word of witness to hers and to that of the tens of thousands who have learned that He is indeed Enough. He is not all we would ask for (if we were honest), but it is precisely when we do not have what we ask for, and only then, that we can clearly perceive His all-sufficiency. It is when the sea is moonless that the Lord has become my Light."

Jesus I trust in You. Help my lack of trust.

Jesus, free me from the shackles of my pride, unite me with your Sacred Heart, and fill me with the grace to abandon myself to your will for me. 

My soul is full of whispered song;

My Blindness is my sight;

The shadows that I feared so long

Are all alive with light. --Alice Cary


Sunday, April 25, 2010

God Uses Him On Me

I was reading this blog post today, and the author used the phrase "God uses her on me".  It got me to thinking about the people God uses on me, and the people He uses me on. It's pretty safe to say that everyone we encounter is placed in our path for a reason, but it also seems that there are certain people who are here to really get under our skin, who affect us like no one else. Sometimes they are exceedingly wonderful to be around, and sometimes they are a constant irritant.
In my own case the person I'm thinking of is a constant irritant. He's the only person I've ever met with whom I just hate being in the same room. This is not his problem, it's all mine. I've known him for many many years. We've both matured over time, but it appears he's made more progress than I. I know I don't irritate him the way he does me.
It appears that God wants me to recognize Christ in this person, and behave accordingly. It appears that God wants me to learn what it is in this person that is so repulsive to me, and to recognize I also have the very same trait(s). 
Thank you God, for placing this person in my path.
Help me God, to love this person.

A Thousand Gifts #2 - 7

Thank you God, for:



Our priest

Our Adoration Chapel

Small insights

My husband, who always makes us breakfast

The Thousand Gifts

I've been meaning to start a Gift Journal for some time. I want to record the gifts large and small I'm blessed with each and every day. Knowing myself, I'm sure I'll never manage to journal every day, so I'm not aiming to be prolific. What I do expect to achieve is a sense of grace, blessing and joy. And so I begin.
I'm blessed with free time.
Being a middle-aged woman who's children are raised, and who actively seeks solitude and silence, I'm blessed with free time to pursue things important to me. I'm a reader, curious, and a bit of an introvert, so free time is precious. Thank you God for free time.