Our world is in a state of chaos. There is no denying it. Every direction you turn right now, we are faced with upset, turmoil and often issues that are too big for us to take on alone.
One aspect of my work tends to be a total drain psychologically. My work thrives on social media, as a mobile retreat house. There is no way to turn a blind eye to the events going on in the world, as hard as one tries to do so. As I read and hear about the daily news of the world, I ask myself daily, ‘How can I be a positive force in the chaos?’ The answer is simple; lift up, not down.
The world is real, the struggle is real. Depression and anxiety are nothing to dismiss....listen and share.
Undoubtedly, every day we live our life for ourselves first, without even thinking. It truly is a rare breed of individuals who ACT within their faith they practice on a regular basis. Mother Teresa is one of those very unique stories that inspires us to go out into the world to be a part of the change that is needed. Her countless stories, lives she has touched and the living situations that need our help, care, and love teach us about faith in action this moment.
Will you be challenged today, to be a person of charity?
Can you BE FAITH IN ACTION?
A lamentation in the truest definition is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, a time of deep sincere weeping. Many of us walk through this life doing everything we possibly can to avoid such admonition of grief. We believe that we have to walk through each day with our head held high and be able to recite only the good of each moment that has passed. Society has made it impossible to be okay with times of struggle labeling it as weakness and an inferiority.
I am here to say that this is very dangerous. What is a life if we cannot acknowledge all the aspects that our feet walk within a day, good and bad?
“Tears are a way of freeing the self from ills and allowing blessings to come in.” ~Joseph Sergott O.P.
What makes you cry? The answer is different for all people.
I used to hold all my emotions inside for many years. I held back my tears out of fear of losing complete control, fear of not being able to stop the pain I thought would pour out uncontrollably.
What would life be like if we could see the soul of each person, rather than what we wear on the outside?
1. the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
2. the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come:
arguing the immortality of the soul.
‘Do we say ‘yes’ to God the way Mary did?’ ~ Pope Francis
How many times in a day do we say ‘no’ to one question or another that comes at us, for we don’t want to be inconvenienced?
It could be as simple as a neighbor asking for a ride to the store as their car is broken down. A friend needing someone to just listen on the other side of the phone, but you are just too tired to hear another sad story. A co-worker who is falling behind in their work due to personal problems and yet no one offers to help.
I have begun to realize that I have used my repentance, my insistent focus on my unworthiness to protect myself from facing the truth that God loves me even in the midst of my brokenness. Repentance: the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.
The older I get the more I am aware that I am simply weak and broken, as are we all. My struggles along the ever changing journey have taught me that I have to trust my life to God’s love.
51 Billion Dollars on one Olympic Celebration.
It happens every Olympics, the stories and people forgotten among the grandiose celebration. You don’t have to be a top educated person to look around at the poverty around us to know that has to be one of the most ridiculous insults to every child going to bed with the pains of hunger so deep within their stomach tonight. Homeless Shelters are overcrowded turning people away in the bitter frigid darkness of winter sending fearful families to the streets to find shelter.
The internet is a flurry with discussion and every opinion under the moon on the papal documents, ‘Amoris Laetitia’ or ‘The Joy of Love,’ that was released last week. A simple search can find every angle you could possibly imagine on the document.
You can throw your own thoughts into the never ending discussion threads until everyone tires of their own voice only to realize in the end there is only one bottom line from this beloved Pope; love wins.
Titled appropriately ‘The Joy of Love,’ he is reminding us that no matter what, our lives begin and end in love. It is up to you to recognize it, embrace it and choose to live it fully in your faith above and beyond what the ‘rules’ tell us on a daily basis. For when we trap ourselves into staying behind such rules, we often miss out on the greatest gifts in life.
"When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Where do you pray?
There was a time when the answer was obvious, Church. But, as centuries go by life has evolved as do our daily practices. We are approached by new and often younger spiritual leaders with new ideas, new calls to service, prayer and faith. We are re-introduced to what we have experienced our whole life on a regular basis in a completely new light, challenging us to continue walking the same road with new ideas. The question then lies; are you open to change? Are you open to finding God truly in all things and places?
How good are we to our children if we are only ‘living for them?’
I hear this often, ‘my kids are my everything’ or ‘life just doesn’t exist without my kids.’ I believe we are doing them an injustice with this mentality. I came before my children and I came to them with quite a journey! A journey that deserves to be honored not just for me, but for my children as well.
The journey we walk in life prepares us for each step of the way forward, the journey allows us to take on each challenge with wisdom, faith and more perspective.
All Souls Day, Día de Muertos, Day of the Dead…celebrating those loved one’s who have passed from this life; some too soon and others well lived to the fullest. Reminding us through dance, song, prayer and community that death is not to be feared rather respected. There is a circle of life to be acknowledged, to be free to appreciate each moment we are gifted breath.
Grief is an uneasy conversation for most, but one we must keep our hearts and minds open. Healing comes within the sharing and celebrating of lives past.
Today, I believe Gratitude is more important than it ever has been in our lifetime.
Today, I believe Gratitude is what’s going to keep us moving forward each day passionately aware of our country’s needs and progression.
Gratitude will hold us accountable for being present to all those who need our love; to be reminded of day to day actions we can do to heal our country.
Today, I am grateful for all those peacefully protesting hate, racism and ignorance.
ec·u·me·nism: “the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian churches.”
Anam Nostos House is the definition of Ecumenism. It was born out of a long spiritual journey that has gone in many different directions over four decades and rested in a place of unity and peace.
Born and raised in a strict Catholic family, I left, returned, left, returned and now just meander around as I have found the beauty in all faiths over my journey.
Today I celebrate women…I believe life is to be celebrated daily, blessings are to be counted hourly and not one second of any day should be taken for granted.
I am blessed to have countless amazing women cross my path young and old, living and passed on, personal and strangers within my journey up until this point, for all of them I am thankful daily.
I am thankful for the women who taught me strength by how they mirror their journey for me. I am thankful for the women who helped me find my voice when it was too deep into the darkness to find it alone. I am thankful for the women who taught me love can look like many different things and be experienced in just as many different ways. But, mostly, I am thankful that we are all deserving and capable of this love no matter what path we once walked prior.
This Triduum I lived Good Friday in its depth.
Fifteen years ago I lived a very different life. I was discerning to become a monastic nun, I was coming to the tail end in recovery of an illness that nearly killed me for fourteen years and I was contently single.
I honestly could say my faith was the single most important part of my life. I rose before the sun to walk meditatively praying my rosary to church deep in the city of San Francisco. I first would pray early mass followed by morning Lauds, or commonly known as the Divine Office with the Dominican community. It was the most blissful way to start my day, nothing felt more right in an otherwise challenging journey I had been on at the time.
I am grateful for having taken the time write my story down, for reflecting on life that has past which allowed me to learn, if I hadn’t already, the lessons from the experiences which at the time felt like their suffocation was something I would never survive.
Today, step out of your comfort zone. Buy a notebook. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and find the perfect spot that brings you peace. Put a pen in your hand…and write. Don’t think, don’t stop, don’t question…just write.
Your story is waiting to be heard today.
Walking down the street when you see a homeless person, will you turn your head away or will you 'be the sermon?' When you are tired and worn out thinking there is just no more left in you when your child comes to you with wanting to spend some time, will you 'Be the Sermon?' When you have a choice to help or to hurt, will you choose words to, 'Be the sermon?'
There are so many we can list, but only you know your day. Only you know what's stopping you. Only you can make a choice to 'Be the sermon.'
When it passed, I breathed in a fresh air deeper than I had in a very long time and a peacefulness fell over me. I realized I was still standing. Through it all, I was still standing.
Reflect on a time in your life when the monsoon seemed greater that calm, how do you come out of it standing? What did you take away from the rains to guide you forward?
And within the gift of forgiveness, we have to ask daily if we are 'willing to die over and over again.' If we are willing, then we will be able to LIVE FULLY. We will be able to experience the newness of every moment thereafter.
Are you able to look at each day and find the one thing you must forgive?
Are you willing?
remind ourselves daily about what love truly means in our own lives, our own journey's, for the people in our lives and challenge ourselves to love deeply, freely, selflessly and honor the love that is true and real for us.
How often are you able to honestly love yourself?
When is the last time you were able to tell someone sincerely that you love them?
How can you allow love to heal you?
Take a moment...
There A Single Mom's Good Friday
Celebrating Women in my Tribe
Ecumenism, Unity in Faith
In the Palm of His Hand
Living an Authentic Life
Mother Earth's Prayer
Pope Francis’ Joy of Love Wins
Poverty and a Party
Repentance, Unworthiness and the Quest for Good
Seeing One's Soul
The Beauty of Tears
What is your Lamentation?