I recently hit a bit of darkness in my spiritual life when I went through several important changes in the late spring/early summer. They were all challenging to say the least, but God is faithful and He led me one step at a time through those dark woods. My friend, "Dred" who is training to … Continue reading Strengthened By Brokeness
In a culture of comfort we can follow the example of St Junipero in fortitude for mission.
Waiting in the hospital while her husband was in an important surgery, she saw him. He was walking between two armed officers, chains bound his wrists and feet. As he shuffled toward her she noticed his disheveled appearance--tattoos everywhere, long unkempt hair and his prison jumpsuit. Do not avert your eyes....she reminded herself. Last week's … Continue reading The Gaze
The storms of our lives are where we need a savior. Will you keep trying to be your own savior? There is a better way. The way of LOVE.
What do a dazzler, a marathon runner, a male nurse and pizza delivery guy have in common? The powerful name of...
Baby Fiats are little moments of the day when we can say yes to God. We reflect this week on the fiat of Mary to understand how we can imitate her.
Why would someone take the hard way around in life? Why would anyone scrape through brambles and climb hills where there is little path and a narrow gate, when there is a wide, paved open road before them? One would assume that the right thing to do is take the easy road. Often a rule … Continue reading A Moral Litmus Test
Back to school week for most of us means back to business, including meeting to Encounter Christ in the upcoming Sunday gospel together as a group. Usually one of our well-attended gatherings, we were happy there were a few more than normal in attendance for digesting the challenging nature of this gospel passage. Christ explains … Continue reading Peace and Division
When my children were little, we would have what was called a "Book Picnic". Sometimes we would read together in an elaborate "fort" made from kitchen chairs, couch cushions and blankets. Sometimes we would pile all the blankets and pillows on the floor and lay on our tummies together reading our favorite books. My personal … Continue reading Bedtime Stories
Changing things up this week, I am introducing you to a blogger who has a huge beautiful family and a wonderful sense of humor. The very name of his blog expresses who he is "Fortitudine", meaning fortitude. And, oh yea...he has brain cancer. But that is a post script, because as all people with this … Continue reading Kids and Confession Verses Cancer
As we reflected on this Sunday's gospel about the woman caught in the act of adultery, the current headlines involving rich and famous parents trying to buy their kids' way into reputable colleges lingered in my mind. Like the media frenzy in this "bad moms" of college students scenario, I could similarly envision the ruckus … Continue reading “Bad Moms” and Fire-Fighting Storks
The first of spring's warm and sunny days are everyone's joy. They remind us that the sun did not abandon us, but was quietly accompanying us through the long winter days, shrouded by a haze that required our trust in knowing it would come back out again. When our trust is rewarded by those first … Continue reading A Day in the Warmth of the Son
A few weeks ago during mass, Deacon told us the story of growing up with influences who lead him to look down upon and be repulsed by homeless people. He used to feel that they were a "tax" on society and should be working, not relying on people for money. One day while walking down … Continue reading The Man On The Plane
Listening to a radio talk show this morning, one of our friends heard a caller relate the story of her son who is in college. When he had chosen to study the Swahili language, she questioned him. Why? He had no specific answer at the time, but four years later, God would chose to use … Continue reading The Ridiculous
This weekend's gospel teaches us about the abundant blessings that await us in the "deep water", a timely indication of the need for deep prayer, especially just having finished our silent retreat which was themed around hope. Traditionally, we use the first Encounter With Christ meeting after our retreat to talk about the beautiful things … Continue reading Put Out Into The Deep Water
The Case of the Perfectly Placed Stranger Staying in a hotel during a large event, a woman felt as though the Holy Spirit was prompting her to go down to the lobby. She didn't know why, but being the obedient and humble person that she is, she decided to abide this marked feeling. She went … Continue reading A Perfectly Placed Stranger
"Do whatever he tells you" stamped on a silver cuff bracelet was a meaningful gift from one my beautiful sisters last year for my birthday. The inexhaustible meaning of this line from The Wedding at Cana, continually leads me like a star toward my quest for guidance on how to live my faith. Although, due to … Continue reading Do Whatever He Tells You
What are you going to do now? That is the question we should be asking ourselves every day in regard to how our love for God compels us to act. The "Jesus Man" was a person who understood this well.
Celebrating the New Year has always meant a stream of old movies or opening a new book, and of course, getting organized. I guess the best thing about New Year's is the sense of personal renewal we all feel, making resolutions to better people; physically, financially, and personally. I also feel the blessing of renewal … Continue reading Encountering Resolutions: The Best of 2018
A devastating wildfire and a fig tree don't seem to have much in common from the outset, but in this week's Encounter With Christ, the Holy Spirit connected the scourge of wildfire with the hope of human tenderness, likened to the branches of the fig tree. The watchful warning of a consuming wildfire speaks to … Continue reading Tender Embers
Knocking at her door, was a neighbor from a few doors down. She hadn't spoken with him in a while, but he came by to invite her family to a benefit dinner for "Legacy Mission Village". Down the street lived a couple who had fled Rwanda years earlier and settled nearby to make a new … Continue reading Beautifully Broken
Christ is truly present when two or more are gathered in his name, and we certainly qualified this week as a long awaited reunion took place for several of us. All things come together to glorify God. The difficult but amazing coincidence of several of our members in the past few weeks were no different. … Continue reading The Thinning Veil
It's been a week of great loss and trials for many people I know. My heart was heavy as I drove to church this morning. Having trouble distinguishing between my tears and the pelting rain on the windshield, I knew deep inside that I must shake off this dreariness immediately. In my car, I began … Continue reading The Fifteenth Time
I have a problem. I speak a rare language that not many people speak, and as such, I often go misunderstood. It can be lonely, but I can't help it. When I get excited, happy or angry, I just blurt out words..movie lines. After yesterday's Encounter With Christ, where Jesus uses a little child as … Continue reading “I sing you to me, Mrs. Boss”
September is the month of recounting some big disasters. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and hurricanes past have been on my heart lately, and seem to evoke the same sense of looming that we have been experiencing in news reports of the Catholic Church. I have ready many related articles and posts … Continue reading Florence, Falls and Feeding the Hungry
Riding through the desert nearing Palm Springs, we noticed the field of often photographed wind turbines. I was transfixed by their soothing flow; all coming from wind and solar energy, but spinning at different speeds and even different directions. These turbines stand together in a crowd but starkly individual, drawing their power from the same source. … Continue reading Be Opened
"Do you think I stole something?" I asked her. The older lady who owned the book shop across from my middle school didn't like teenagers, her husband would later explain to my mother, as he apologized for his wife's semi-paranoid behavior. "Well open it up and let's see!" She said pointing to my tiny purse. … Continue reading To Whom Shall We Go?
Commonly called the "Bread of Life" discourse, the upcoming Sunday's gospel passage is part of what is at the heart of the Catholic church; the Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist; the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Difficult for even Jesus' followers to believe (many turn away in the next few passages … Continue reading The Bread of Life
Getting ready to head back to school, LB wanted to get a few items to replenish his apartment before senior year begins. "Let's go to the warehouse club...I have coupons!" With that we were off, deliberating through the long isles of bulk grocery and home items, only to find at check out that our coupons … Continue reading Membership
We switched up some roles in this week's Encounter With Christ, and I handed over my beloved pen in an exercise of attempting to be fully present to the Holy Spirit and get some "Cross" training (+) for our sisters in Christ, always working on our leadership skills. Thanks to our recent growth spurt in … Continue reading Planting Seeds
"This weekend, there is gonna be FIRE!" This was the call from the pulpit we heard at our local church last year at this time, as Pentecost Sunday approached, and it brought a smile to everyone's face. "The Holy Spirit is coming! He is giving us the tongues of fire (like he did for the apostles) … Continue reading Peace and Pancakes
I got lost the other day. I was making my way home from my usual afternoon routine, but trying to avoid unusually heavy traffic when I decided to go off the grid; er, well, without the help of my GPS, and using, what I consider to be a great sense of direction, until I inevitably … Continue reading Birds of a Feather…
*Spoiler alert. Do NOT continue if you haven't seen the new marvel movie! Or go ahead and read if you need a shot of spirituality along with your superheros. I admit it. I really like superhero movies. I was kinda jealous a few years back when my son got Captain America socks for his birthday. … Continue reading “Above and Beyond”
How do we bear fruit as instructed in John 15:1-8? We trust, rely on the word of God, and reach out to those who are neglected around us.
Every soul matters to God. He loves each one of us beyond our comprehension. Some people understand this from early on in life, like Olivia, who was the focus of our case study today. Olivia knew that when God brought her little sister into her family through adoption, she had seen His grace in her … Continue reading The Good Shepherd
Before we met this morning, one member of our group had gone to mass and heard about the importance of focusing our words and thoughts toward the things of heaven. To speak goodness, see goodness and do good things in our everyday conversations and interactions. Sometimes our world wants us to be selective and choose … Continue reading Jesus Revealed in Breaking of Bread and A “Prom-posal”
Influenza B came to join us just in time for the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. It didn't stop us from enjoying our family or the joy of the Risen Christ on Easter, but along with the rainy weather and illness, it was a different kind of day. Perhaps like the two disciples walking on … Continue reading But Him They Did Not See
One meets a stranger, and then takes a mystical encounter and shares with another stranger. The effect? A paying forward of hope...
God sent His only son so you do not have to live in darkness.
Again today it seems our gathering to Encounter Christ was one of intercessory prayer. Turning to the Holy Spirit, we held in our hearts a list of people who are hurting and need prayers. At the time of our meeting, we also prayed for two young women who were undergoing surgeries, one of whom is … Continue reading Identity In Christ and the Truman Show
Several very sick children, aging and ailing parents, friends with cancer...what do these things have in common? Heartache? Suffering? Certainly; but what they meant to us today as we gathered to Encounter Christ together, were an invitation to go to battle in the spiritual realm; to pray and invite God into the place where are … Continue reading A POWERFUL NINE HOURS
The first Sunday of Lent always holds a small sense of reprieve for me. Even though it has just begun, the first few days are a doosey. It's kind of feels like if you are climbing a mountain and you make it to the first plateau. You take a deep breath, stretch, and then … Continue reading Being Alone Vs. Being Lonely
MK 1:40-45 A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning … Continue reading He Stretched Out His Hand
Always after a spiritual exercise weekend, our numbers for Encounter with Christ double. Why? Everyone is seeking the peace and depth of love they felt over the weekend. Much of it is sacramental, but the rest of it is the companionship in eating of the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:22), the eternal and living word … Continue reading You Are So Much Stronger Than You Know
We had a short gospel reflection this week in light of our upcoming silent retreat, but listening to the story in Mark about the calling of the disciples to be made "fishers of men", we recognized some similarities to what the apostles must have felt being called to Christ and a similar feeling of leaving … Continue reading “Come After Me”
Every time we gather to pray together over the gospels, the Holy Spirit is present; because we invite Him with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, with which we begin our meetings. There are some days that His presence feels like it pulled up a chair to the table and we could palpably touch Him. … Continue reading The Tenth Hour
Looking up the word "Epiphany" in the thesaurus, I found similar words such as "inspiration", "insight", "realization" and "vision". Secondary words seem even more fitting in trying to describe the amazing story of the Magi traveling a great distance to pay homage to a tiny baby who represented a new age; a dawn of salvation: … Continue reading Epiphany
I am sitting and watching a cartoon of some pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal together in the woods on a sunny but cool day centuries ago, the first Thanksgiving Day. I am watching the cartoon, and smelling a real turkey, and then I am pulled away from watching the show ("But wait! It's … Continue reading Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant
Jesus and Mother Teresa showed up at today's Encounter with Christ. They both had the same thing to say.
Today's meeting was a study group in which we reviewed the format and reasons for our weekly gatherings, as we were blessed to have two newer groups members join us. We discussed the fact that our "Encounters With Christ" are not a typical bible study, as some may think, but it is better defined as … Continue reading Spring Board
We definately have work to do in this world. Today at our Encounter with Christ, we got the distinct message that not only should we listen to God when He has an assignment for us, say "yes" and mean it, and complete the work we set out to do, but we need to begin with … Continue reading Everyone Is Trying
Pooped on by a bird. Yep. That was today's attempt from the little demons who try to keep me from attending my precious prayer group. Every week he tries something. Last week he won as one crazy thing after another picked off all of us but one, and since we don't meet unless there are … Continue reading I Am With You Always
Discouragement is a universal topic. It relates to every human being; every culture, race and gender. In our recent monthly retreat we watched Fr John Bartunek's Retreat for Easter, "A Cure for Discouragement". Easter, usually being a season of joy and hope, seemed like a strange time to present the topic of discouragement, but in … Continue reading A Cure For Discouragement
As I arrived for our reflection this week, there sat the very beautiful smiling faces of my sisters in Christ, among a sea of palms. The parish where we meet had announced the weekend before that they would be having a gathering where they would weave the palms in preparation for Palm Sunday, where the … Continue reading Entering Jerusalem
Today's Encounter with Christ was well-attended and although we again had a short meeting (schools were being released early for incoming storms) the upcoming Sunday's gospel was made priority and we spent extra time on this beautiful reading. This coming fifth Sunday of Lent, we will read John 11:1-45, The Raising of Lazarus. (We used … Continue reading “Your Brother Will Rise”
That isn't a typo....that is the answer that St Francis de Sales gave to the head of a religious order who asked him what is the key to holiness. He gave this answer shortly before his own death, and it was constantly on his lips. In his book, "Overcoming Sinful Anger", Rev. T.G. Morrow tells … Continue reading Humility Humility Humility