Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Deo Gratias - Writing and Rainbows


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. Long weekends! We had sort of a busy Labor Day weekend. However, Monday was a quiet peaceful day. Deo gratias!

2. The rainbow I saw on my home from work. It got brighter and brighter and by the time I drove up the road leading to my home, I could see the whole rainbow, end to end. And the colors were so bright and distinct. Looked like a painting! Deo gratias!

3. Our Bishop-emeritus (retired) passed away last week. Funeral is today and I am unable to go but my deacon hubby is going. He was a truly wonderful kind and spirit-filled man. He was so gentle and Christ-like in his approach to people. He was the bishop that ordained my husband. One of the things that amazed me about him was that he remembered names. Every time I saw him, he called me by name. And even went up to my son one time and said he remembered confirming him! This was years before my husband was ordained. He is face to face with God now. Deo gratias!

4. I recently wrote a post about wanting to write my book about spiritual direction and wondering if I should post some of it on my blog as I go along. I got little response but it was enthusiastic so I will try it for a while. I have not had as many readers in recent months as I have not been writing much more besides my weekly posts. I have thought of closing up this blog and concentrating on the book and my other blog and website and the reflections I wrote for Catholicmom.com. But I will try this for awhile. I am grateful for this blog and all who visit! Deo gratias!

5. Speaking of Catholicmom.com, I have been writing gospel reflections every month for this awesome website. The website started with these daily gospel reflections in January 2014 and we are now working on our 2015 reflections. Those of us who volunteered for the "team" are each assigned a day of each month. My day is the 20th. It is a wonderful ministry. I read the gospels for the 20th of each month and reflect and pray with them and then write my reflections and send them in. We have deadlines that can get kind of scary at times! Especially when the inspiration does not seem to be there, but the Holy Spirit always comes through, giving me what I need. And as with all things we do for the Lord, it seems like I receive more than I give. Deo gratias!



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Monday, September 1, 2014

Light in the Darkness - September 1


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness!

OK. I can't help it. I keep finding the stories that need tissues. Read about this girl and a horse.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Carry Our Cross

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Every Easter, when I was a child, I would watch King of Kings, a movie about the life of Jesus. Every time I watched it, I would start crying as the story moved closer to Jesus’ passion and death. I couldn’t understand why this had to happen. Couldn’t he just live forever? I didn’t understand that the cross has to be part of the story.
Peter seems to be thinking the same thing in this week’s gospel passage. Last week we heard Peter making his bold statement of faith. He tells Jesus - You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.
This week, he shows another side. When Jesus says that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer, die and be raised, Peter won’t hear of it. He is horrified that something like this should happen to Jesus. It is as if his faith has gone out the window.
Peter doesn’t understand that the cross has to be part of the story.
I think that the path of faith is like this for us too. Some days we are bold and sure. Other days we are doubting and afraid.
One day we say – Jesus, you are the Lord of our life! The next day we turn around and say – I will manage things from now on!
But deep in our hearts, we really know - if we wish to follow Jesus, we too must carry our cross.

Oh Lord, it is so hard to deny myself. I know that I cannot do it without you. Sometimes my cross is light. Other times I cannot possibly carry it. Please, Jesus, help me carry my cross. Help me make this journey to you, for you, and with you. Amen.


published 8/2011

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sharing Thoughts on Spiritual Direction

I am writing a book on spiritual direction. Spiritual direction is a passion of mine, a "calling." I have been a spiritual director for about 17 years. I went to a spiritual director for about 10 years and I am about to start with a new director.
There are so many questions about spiritual direction and so many misunderstandings as well, that my former spiritual director suggested I write a book about it. Even though he is not my spiritual director any more (he now lives hundreds of miles from me), I tend to take his suggestions very seriously. He is the one who suggested that I write a book about what it means to be a child sexual abuse survivor and it was one of the most healing things I have ever done. Not only for me, but for many others.
So eventually, with much prayer, I decided I would write a book about spiritual direction. I also decided that it would be more of a personal memoir rather than just a "how-to" kind of book.
However, I have been procrastinating a lot. So I decided that one way to keep me working on it, would be to share my plan and even share some of my book as it progresses.
So I am asking you, my readers, if this would be a journey you would like to take with me.

Sunday Snippets - August 31

This is the weekly Catholic Carnival! Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing and check out some posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Why not join us and share a blog post or two from last week?

Question of the Week: What is your favorite hymn that you hear/sing at Mass?
Last time I answered this question with "Be Not Afraid." Still one of of my favorites. And "The Servant's Song." This time, I wish to add "You Are Mine" to this list. Makes me cry almost every time.


1. Who Do You say That I Am?

2. Light in the Darkness - Amazing What Love Can Do

3. Deo Gratias - Celebrations

4. Sharing Thoughts on Spiritual Direction


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deo Gratias - Celebrations


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. My husband is feeling much better this week and is more himself. He is even making me laugh. A good sign! Deo gratias!
2. I found a podcast of a guided examen done by Fr. James Martin. I love it. (There are other podcasts, too. The examen is #19.) Deo gratias!
3. Had a great phone conversation with my mother last night. She is turning 80 this fall. I will soon fly up to see her so we can celebrate together! Deo gratias!
4. We had primary elections today. The freedom to vote is such a blessing. May we never take any of our freedoms for granted. Deo gratias!
5. Starting September 1st, my parish is celebrating our 25th year as a parish community. I am one of the founding members and I can hardly believe it has been 25 years. I have also been blessed to be the parish secretary for 22 years. What a joy to have been a member of this parish from the beginning and to be part of this celebration. Deo gratias!


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Light in the Darkness - Amazing What Love Can Do


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness!


You will need tissues for this one! 
A groom surprises his bride on their wedding day with a very special surprise. Amazing what love can do.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Who Do You Say That I Am?


… And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church … (Mt 16:18)

I reflect on my relationship with the Church and with Peter. I remember when I went to RCIA classes to become Catholic and how amazed I was to learn about the church and Peter and the apostolic succession.
I think about the troubles of the church in recent years, with the sexual abuse scandal and the abuse of authority by a few bishops and priests in the church. But I know the majority of bishops and priests are good and holy people. And I know the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
I worry about some of the divisions in the Catholic Church these days and the quarreling that seems to be going on among some of us. I cannot help but think that while diversity can be good, charity seems to be missing in some places.
So after all this pondering, how do I answer this question from Jesus?

“But who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15)

I have to answer it the same way Peter did -
You are the Christ, the son of the living God.
You are the one who will heal us and help us to grow more loving.
You are the one who will save us and unite us and love us no matter what.
You are the one who will make all things new.

Lord, I love you with all my heart. You are all things to me. You are my everything. Help me to love and serve the little ones among us. Help me to love like you love. Please give our Holy Father wisdom, strength and love. Guide his hands and heart, Jesus. Guide all of our shepherds. Amen.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday Snippets - August 24

This is the weekly Catholic Carnival! Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing and check out some posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Why not join us and share a blog post or two from last week?

Question of the week: Introduce yourself. My name is Colleen. I am a parish secretary, a mother and grandmother and have been married for 35 years to Rich, a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church. I converted to the Catholic Church about 25 years ago. I love to write about God and the Catholic faith.


1. Trusting God's Silence

2. Light in the Darkness - Finding Joy in A Shortened Life

3. Deo Gratias - Healing and Home  

4. Is it Prayer When We Yell at God?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Deo Gratias - Healing and Home


"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. My husband was in the hospital for a couple of days with diverticulitis. He was in severe pain until they finally diagnosed it. He is home now and feeling much better. Deo gratias!
2. Many people prayed and sent get well cards. So comforting. Deo gratias!
3. The nursing care was excellent and gave me confidence that my husband was in good hands. Deo gratias!
4. We signed a lease for another year in our condo. We have enjoyed living here and are very happy to call it home. Deo gratias!
5. I found some used books with Sunday gospel reflections to read and ponder. A great deal. Deo gratias!


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