For those who are fortunate,
To soak up the sun,
Walk the streets,
Lay on green grasses,
See a friend,
And visit family,
As we emerge from our stupor,
With red-rimmed eyes,
From so much crying,
Or fragmented hearts,
And reaching out for You.
Continue reading “Prayer for Humility and 2020 Vision”
To hold onto any humility,
You may have gifted us,
In this time of woe,
This picture is a detail from François Gérard’s painting of St Teresa of Ávila, a Spanish Carmelite nun, contemplative, and mystic who was born in 1515 and died in 1582. She wrote several spiritual classics considered to be masterpieces of the spiritual life, and was the first woman to be made a doctor of the church with three other females who were also designated doctors (St Catherine of Siena, St Thérèse of Lisieux, and St Hildegard von Bingen).
I adore St Teresa of Avila. It is because of her (and St Ignatius of Loyola, and so many other brilliant Spanish saints), that I took up learning Spanish (I don’t think she would be thrilled with my slow progress however, but I digress…).
The title of this post, ‘Nada te turbe’ translates from the Spanish as ‘(let) nothing disturb you’. It is part of her famous prayer which is included at the end of this post.
I have had this little prayer affixed to my bed and used in books as bookmarks for many years. While I have looked at it often, along with my half-read books written by St Teresa, only recently have I returned to her writings as a great source of comfort and reality for me, and I suspect for many others at this time.
Continue reading “Nada te turbe”
Did you keep a journal or diary when you were a child or teenager? If not, are you thinking of starting one? It need not be January to start getting your thoughts down on paper, especially in this crazy but significant year we are all living through.
The other day I decided to look through a few of my old diaries. I assiduously kept a diary every year since I was in grade five until my late twenties. At some point I transitioned to an electronic journal and continued in a stop-start fashion, only to yearn for writing again in different ways. I also started this blog and other reflective or religious-inspired writings in poetry and prose.
I am so pleased that I decided to keep writing throughout my formative years as a youth, and throughout tumultuous world events which I also recorded with the enthusiasm of a serious journalist, complete with newspaper clippings. The words that poured out of my young mind through my pencil and later on in pen (because, like, ink hadn’t been invented yet, right?) made me laugh out loud, cringe a little, and even tear up slightly.
Continue reading “Gone But Still Remembered”
A short note to say thank you for visiting (or remaining with) my little blog. It means so much to me to know that people in various countries are reading my simple offerings at this time, and that perhaps my words can make some difference in your lives. It makes me want to be a better writer and reader too!
I think that words and communicating positive messages about life, the Catholic faith, creativity, music, singing, and food for both the mind and soul are critical at any time, but especially now.
Your support helps me more than you’ll ever know.
Continue reading “With Gratitude”
Lord, give me the grace to fall at Your feet,
At a world in free fall.
We are living on edge,
Continue reading “Give Me the Grace”
Each and every one,
Afraid to admit we are weak and need You.
I am reading various books during this time of isolation. One of them is Day by Day with the Catechism by Peter A. Giersch. At the time of writing this post, the reflection for the day included these words which have remained with me:
“We rise from the dead with Christ… If he rises, we rise.” (p. 78)
The simplest words are often the best aren’t they? They can make the most difference.
What does this mean?
Continue reading “Go to His Word”
How are you all going out there?
For me it has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult and lonely time, as it would be for many others who are far worse off than I. For those who have lost their jobs, find it difficult to put food on the table, have lost a loved one to this terrible virus, have lost a loved one due to any other cause but who cannot attend their funeral or feel doubly grieved in these stressful times, those who suffer from anxiety or depression, for all the faithful who cannot attend Mass, those who are single and isolated, the elderly, parents educating children at home, and so on – my heart goes out to you.
We keep hearing about how these are “unprecedented times” and how we must be strong and resilient. Yes, we must. But we also need a shoulder to cry on and a pillow to scream into when we feel broken.
Being in “the lucky country” down under we have indeed been one of the most fortunate in comparison to many countries overseas. Our curve has flattened and the death toll low. We are now ever so gingerly beginning to emerge from our cocoons and dipping our toes into the water of “normality” again. But how can things truly ever be normal again?
Continue reading “When Returning Is Harder Than Leaving”
The world has been turned upside down. Of that there is no doubt.
In a few short weeks we have stopped everything we love doing as a community, are unable to be with friends or extended family, have changed the way we work, or have lost jobs. Children are mostly being educated online at home, and many of us who are lucky to have the Internet are turning to online communication tools and ways to occupy our time. For Christians, the most painful sacrifice has been the inability to physically attend Mass and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
We have had our ‘normal’ way of life disrupted. We have been forced to adjust to something strange and new.
In many ways – and without any disrespect to those who are suffering with COVID-19 – we have all been holding our breath in fright. What will happen next? Will we beat this pandemic? How long will these restrictions be in place? When will we return to Mass, public gatherings, and so on?
Can we acknowledge and feel in our hearts that we must go to God?
We are finding ways to function, and if most of us would admit it, we may also be struggling to cope. So how do we learn to breathe again? We are stronger than we think.
Continue reading “Learning to Breathe Again”
I find myself writing more often for this blog now (hmmm, one wonders why, more time perhaps?).
This is not only for creative purposes, mental health and stability, and to escape the dire news pouring out of my radio, television, and Internet screens, but to document what is an extraordinary time in life and history.
So it got me thinking.
Continue reading “How not to waste your COVIDays… COVIDaze?”
In my last post I wrote about being calm in a time of chaos.
But sometimes we will have days – perhaps more than often as this virus drags on – when the calm evaporates and the seas will get choppy. There will be days when the waves will roar above our heads, and I would encourage it between the days of calm and quiet reflection.
Today is one of those days for me.
Continue reading “Thank you, COVID-19”