Sunday, March 11, 2018

How Is Your Soul?

Has anyone ever asked you that question before?

No one has ever asked me, but I will be bold and ask you:

How is your soul?

Lent is a beautiful time of year to let go of all the sins you've been holding on to.

How long has it been since you met Jesus in the confessional?

A short time?

A long time?

A LONG time?

Be good to yourself.  Go get cleaned up.

It will change you in ways you didn't know you needed to be changed.

The sun will shine brighter (so will your halo), the world will feel like a new place.


Don't be.  Jesus is all merciful.  He can forgive any sin (except those for which you do not repent and confess.)

Do you think the priest will be shocked?

He won't.  If he's been ordained more than a year, he's probably heard it all.

What he will be is JOYFUL!

He may even say, "Welcome back!" I hope he does.

Not sure how to start?

First pray to the Holy Spirit to show you your sins. He is very gentle, but persistent!

Do you need an examination of conscience?

Go to  Use the search bar and type in examination of conscience. They have different options depending on your state in life. They are very helpful.

Decide if you want to talk to the priest face to face or anonymously. Choose your confessional based on your preference.

Then begin:

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bless me, Father for I have sinned. It's been _________(weeks, months, years) since my last confession."

Then pour out your heart.  Remember Jesus is there hearing your confession. The priest is there to say the words Jesus wants you to hear.

You may also want to look for and print out an Act of Contrition.  Some parishes have them printed out for you, some don't.

Most parishes have extra confession times during Lent. Check out their websites or go in and grab a church bulletin. (You may find some other interesting activities you'd like to try.)

Make this your best Easter ever.

I'll be praying for you.

My other blog

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How God Loves Us

I left morning Mass yesterday feeling a little lonely.

I get to communicate with my siblings often as we text and talk and work out a schedule to help our parents.  I get to see our two oldest daughters frequently as I am blessed to watch their children a couple of days a week.  I get to see my parents almost daily.

Still something was missing.

I told God all about it in very few words.  God works with what we give Him, no matter how small.

Yesterday turned out to be a very blessed day.

Two friends that live in separate cities, miles apart, in Massachusetts sent me elaborate heart emojis just to let me know they were thinking about me.

My Florida cousins (husband and wife) both texted me about totally different matters, but I knew that they were thinking about me.

Wayne and I got to have dinner together at the Lenten Fish Supper that our church hosts.

After the fish dinner we went to Stations of the Cross and a couple we are friends with sat behind us.  After the stations we were able to catch up a little bit. Wayne and I shared our date night journaling with them.

Turns out there was a talk for married couples that we and our friends stayed to hear.

The talk was very uplifting and each couple was given two notecards.   We were told to write a prayer for our spouse on the notecard and then pray the prayer over our spouse. It was lovely.

God sent all these people into my day to let me know He heard my prayer and was concerned about my needs.

Then He gave me a little something extra.

There was a give-away at the end of the talk.  The couple with the notecard that matched the card the presenter held up was the winner.

That was us!

We won a heart shaped box of chocolates (Ferrero Rocher-the good stuff) and a $75 gift card to Andiamo (a very nice Italian restaurant close to home)!  I see another lovely date night in our future.

All this to say, take your needs to the Father who loves to love us in so many ways.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lent Begins When?

In case you haven't heard, Lent begins on, of all days, St. Valentine's Day.  February14th for the non-romantics out there.

Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and abstaining vs. St Valentine's Day, a day of chocolates and date night dinners out.

You will all have to figure it out on your own.  I'm writing to encourage you to start thinking about Lent.

What are you going to do to draw closer to Christ this year?  After all, He made a pretty big sacrifice to draw close to us.  He came down from heaven!

Just let that sink in for a minute: The God who created EVERYTHING humbled Himself to become human so that we could know Him personally.

I think that makes what we do for Lent worthy of much thought and prayer.

There is a lot of reading material out there for the season.

Magnificat puts out a Lenten booklet available here.  It's concise and easy to read.  I used to buy it, but my parish now has them available for us for a $1 donation.

I'm intrigued by this offer called "The Last Four Things".  Daily email videos and essays to read for the 40 days of Lent.  The only thing slowing me down is the $20 price tag.  It looks amazing but if I get busy and fall behind I feel like I wasted my money. Praying about it.

Of course there is always that "giving up" part of Lent.  This year I am giving up internet time, whether it is on my computer or on my phone.  I am reading two wonderful books that encourage way less internet "boredom therapy."

I actually spent one full hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament today.  If I gave up an hour of internet time wasting I could do that everyday. I can't imagine the person I would be if I spent an hour with Jesus everyday (in addition to Mass).

I know for today I had a LOT to do.  I spent the hour anyway and got so much done afterwards that the day was just wonderful.  God will never let the important stuff go undone if you give Him your time first.

So, Lent starts in 19 days.  What is your Lent going to look like so that you look more like Christ at Easter?

My other blog

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Deep Work" vs Deep Listening

Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success In A Distracted World, by Cal Newport, is the January book for the Modern Mrs. Darcy online book club that I joined this year.  My hope was not only to read more, but to be able to discuss what I've read with others.

The book takes a look at how our culture and work places are hazardous to "deep work".

The book flap states that "deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.  It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time."

Being a stay-at-home mom for the past 34 years (and homeschooling for a major portion of those years) means I have not been able to do a lot of deep work. My days consisted of 'demands' from the little people that needed me.

Well, the little people are not so little anymore and they are no longer homeschooled so I decided it's time to start honing my "deep work" skills.

I did not know this was a book I desperately needed to read, but God did.  He led me to Modern Mrs. Darcy and thus Cal Newport.

The author gives several examples of some pretty over-the-top lengths some deep workers have gone to achieve the quiet, uninterrupted time they required to go deep.

Psychologist Carl Jung built a two story house in the woods with what he called his retiring room. No one was allowed in!   J.K. Rowling, while writing the final Harry Potter book, checked herself in to a luxury hotel for more than a week so could finish her masterpiece without the distractions of home. Bill Gates has been known to isolate himself for a week at a time to do deep thinking and reading.

While I haven't found my deep work spot yet (it certainly is not in my house anywhere!) I absolutely know where my deep listening spot is; in the basement, with an iron in my hand, one of my beloved's shirts on the ironing board and the washer and dryer running in the background for some white noise.

This is where I hear God.

This is my prayer spot and my listening spot.  We have had some pretty good conversations, God and me.

They are not always earth shattering discussions but they change me; they ground me; they let me know I am definitely not in charge!

This morning's discussion was a bit different.  It was bold!  It may be dot connecting (you know the dots that God puts in your life that you don't really pay attention to, and then one day something happens and you look back and you're able to connect the dots?).

I'm not sure where we (Wayne and I) are being led, but if my God discussion from today bears fruit it will be a fun ride to get where we might be headed.

I may not have deep work down pat yet, but if my deep listening bears fruit, I will be needing my new skills and a place to hone them. I look forward to the challenge.

Prayers appreciated! Watch for updates.

My other blog