Blessed by John O’Donohue

Years ago a dear friend had suggested I read the international bestseller Anam Cara by Irish author John O’ Donohue. From the moment I began reading this treasure, I was a devotee of this amazing writer. He was born in 1956 in County Clare, Western Ireland. Just after I began to follow his writings, he unexpectedly died in 2008. He introduced me and others to the beautiful world of Celtic spirituality, which merges a strong sense of mystery with a passionate embrace of nature, the body, and the senses. The divine is understood as manifest everywhere, in everything. His final work was To Bless the Space Between Us, published posthumously. His writings have a mysterious way of entering into your heart and transforming you at a deeper level. May you experience a Beannacht (Gaelic for blessing) this day.

by Cathy


Sister Dearest

We met thirty years ago when she was our new Director of Faith Formation at our parish in San Diego. From the minute I met Sr. Joan Derry we were as the Irish say, “Anam Caras,” soul friends. She has been a dear friend and most importantly my spiritual mentor for all these years. Being Irish, she certainly knows how to have fun and live life to the fullest. Her love of people and love for the Lord is evident in all she does. She was constantly encouraging me to find my own gifts and use them for the glory of God. This has led me to the work I do in ministry today. As a God coincidence, our daughter has been attending college only minutes from where Sr. Joan lives in Northern California. We have been able to see each other frequently and continue to grow this special friendship of ours. Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I am blessed to have “Sister Dearest” as she is affectionately called, as my friend for a lifetime!

by Cathy

Touched by a Poet

I remember like it was yesterday, my first class in my three-year journey to complete the formation to be a spiritual director. I had waited many years for this day to come, this calling on my life from God. I was like a blank canvas waiting for the Spirit to begin to write my new story. Then our presenter read this poem by Dawna Markova and I was moved to tears. Dawna is a cancer survivor and wrote this poem from a deep place of transformation. What she expressed so beautifully through her poetry was in my heart but I did not have the words. It has been a favorite life poem for me and one that resonated deep in my soul and continues to be a light that guides me and reminds me to live my life with passion and pass on the fruit of that passion to others.

by Cathy

Poem: https://www.values.com/inspirational-quotes/6160-i-will-not-die-an-unlived-life-i-will-not-live

Papa Francisco

After recently returning from a trip to Buenos Aires, one of the highlights for me was being able to experience a tour titled “In the Footsteps of Pope Francis.” We traveled around to see the home where he grew up, the park that he used to ride his bicycle, all of the schools and seminaries he attended, ending up at the beautiful cathedral where he presided as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. I have witnessed this humble man from afar, who each day tries to put one loving foot in front of the other in the name of the Gospel.  He inspires me to be obedient to the call of God in my life and stand up for the truths we know. He passionately loved his flock in Argentina and now, as our pope, he has had to enlarge his heart to include all of us as well! In the end, he is just a regular man who has been called by the Spirit to lead us to a life of simplicity and love.

by Cathy

Photos:  First Communion photo (boy on the left;  First grade class picture; Seminary picture


Eyes To See

As a spiritual director, many times I ask directees, “Where do you see God in this story or situation?” It is a time to reflect just where God may be showing up, where the Holy One may have left a handprint behind. There are many ways in our daily lives where God shows up, makes his way known, gets our attention. Our youngest daughter is living with a family in Chile this summer, teaching them English, and I have missed her so much. She knows that I love taking pictures of hearts anywhere I find them. She sent me this picture yesterday taken from her lunch plate and I felt her love, God’s love, 6000 miles away in the guise of a heart-shaped potato. It reminded me that God’s love (and others) shows up in the most unexpected places if we have eyes to see.

by Cathy

Drink of Love

This question appeared on one of my emails this morning. “Need a drink of love?” Who doesn’t need a drink of love? I thought. Who doesn’t want to drink in all the joy and beauty this life can give? Who doesn’t want to as Thoreau challenges us to “ live deep and suck out all the marrow of life?” It was actually an invitation to a workshop and they took this quote from the poet Hafiz, “I know the way you can get when you have not had a drink of Love.” Life can be hard, challenging and we can become weary. Can we then lean into being intentional to our need to play, laugh, and live our lives at a deeper place?  Jesus did not intend for us to live mediocre lives. He offered us life to the fullest (John 10:10) and for each of us that will look very different. Use these days of holy leisure to reflect on the invitation “Come to me all who are thirsty.”

by Cathy

Holy Fun

I have had the privilege this summer of traveling down to Tijuana and helping the Missionaries of Charity with their summer camps for the children in the barrios they serve. These sisters not only care for the poor but they restore their dignity. The children arrive at the camp, which is offered at their modest church, ready for a day of fun, crafts, and song. Being with these children who come from very poor homes I am always amazed at the joy that fills their hearts. There is this transparent grace that fills the spaces between us all. We feed their stomachs and feed their souls. We all leave satiated by lots of hugs and Holy Fun. “At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” St. Teresa of Calcutta

by Cathy


Shifting Sands

I grew up in a family of six children and we really could not afford elaborate summer vacations. We were content going to the ocean for the day, grilling hot dogs on the beach for dinner, and staying until the sunset. It was a simple childhood. It’s all we knew. I was thinking today about all those who will not be taking summer or any vacations this year because of health reasons, financial concerns or experiencing trials, loss or transitions in life. Hopefully, in time, you will move through this season you now find yourself in, stronger and better in some way.  You know you are not alone. There is someone who knows everything you are going through and his name is Jesus. We lift you up in our prayers this day because that is what we do. It’s all we know…”I am with you always.” Matthew 28:2

by Cathy