#Cathy

Joy of Giving

I read a wonderful book, The Good and Beautiful God by James B. Smith.  When I arrived at the chapter titled “ God is Generous,” I stopped to thank God for all the blessings in my life. Then the challenge came. How do I continually live from a place of generosity and not a place of scarcity? Living from a place of scarcity says there isn’t enough to go around and questioning why God calls us to give. We find that a life of generosity is a life of deep joy. The author shares that “God is generous because he lives in a condition of abundance, his provisions can never be exhausted”. The sun is up, I am breathing in and out. That’s generous. “The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything but only in giving.” Henry Drummond

by Cathy

The Right Thing To Do

I had just finished a phone conversation with a friend while sitting in my car at Target. In front of me I noticed a Dad with two young children loading his purchases into his car. All of a sudden I heard him say, “Kids, Dad forgot to pay for this paper towel so we need to go back inside and pay for it.” The kids protested a bit but the Dad persisted, “No, it’s the right thing to do.” I got out of my car and said to the Dad, “Thank you for being such a great example to your kids of what it means to be an honest person.” He said, “Thank you for affirming me because I came real close to throwing the paper towel in the trunk and leaving!” It was in that exchange, at that moment that I had this feeling of aliveness; that the world is good and humanity is still trying to choose the right way. He gave the best version of himself to his children and to me.

by Cathy

Darkness and Light

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about living in dark days and a dark culture. While some of that may be true, it’s not anything new. There have been thousands of years of dark times and somehow miraculously we survived. It’s about living with hope in the midst of a changing world. It’s about relying on something bigger than us. We cannot do it all. Being people of faith means we can turn to God in those dark times knowing with complete confidence that there are listening ears. I share this quote by Corrie ten Boom, holocaust survivor, ”When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” There is always Light at the end of the tunnel if we just hold on. This day, think of someone in your life that has been a light for you and say a prayer of thanks for them.

by Cathy

No Greater Love

I was hiking in the desert a few weeks ago and came across this heart shaped cactus. I am particularly drawn to seeing hearts in nature, on sidewalks; imprinted in the most unusual places and I take photos of them. They remind me that love is where I find it and to search for it. It’s as if God is sending those hearts as reminders that I am loved and cared for by the One who is Love. This cactus though reminded me that the love shared on the cross, came with pain, thorns and great sacrifice. There will never be any greater love. This Lent and everyday give a portion of your inherited love to others. “Whatever happens, those who have learned to love one another have made their way to the lasting world and will not leave, whatever happens. Amen.” Wendell Berry

by Cathy

Open the Door

One of my favorite books is Open the Door by Joyce Rupp. In this book, the author invites you to open the doors of your heart to God, to a more life-giving way of living. It is in the opening that you are then invited to cross over new thresholds. There always has to be a newness to our spiritual journey. Otherwise, we are doing the same thing year in and year out and never really growing in our intimacy with the God who wants to be so close to us. We get stuck. We get comfortable. Lenten seasons can come and go unless we challenge ourselves to unlock those areas of our lives that need the most work towards wholeness. “The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfillment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to ‘God’s surprises’? – Pope Francis

by Cathy

Being Strong

When I reflect on my life, there have been numerous times that I have been required to be strong. One Scripture that helped navigate those times was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It wasn’t about me being strong as much as it was about the One who was tirelessly carrying me through. Especially in those heartbreaking times of loss and disappointment, the boundless flow of grace sustained me. There is a beautiful phrase from West Kerry, Ireland where you say, “Mo sheasamh ort lá na choise tinne,” “You are the place where I stand on the day when my feet are sore.” That is what we can be for each other and that is what God can be for us.

by Cathy

Humble Living

I just finished a six week study by Bishop Robert Barron titled,  “Untold Blessing: Three Paths to Holiness.” The three paths are: Finding Your Center, Know You’re a Sinner and finally, Your Life is Not About You. When you realize and embrace the fact that your life is not about you, you enter into humble living. Humility it is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance or the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. In the current climate of our country and our world, that is a challenge isn’t it? St. Paul learned this lesson. “I know how to be abased (humbled), and I know how to abound (be abundant).” Philippians 4:12

This Lent, how can we learn this lesson better?

by Cathy

God Is. . .The Word

Being a writer, words fascinate me. Whether preparing these spiritual snacks or preparing lessons for groups I teach, I could spend inspired hours crafting words. To date though, I have not found any words more transforming than the Word of God. When I was a young mom, I can remember putting my kids in for their naps and spending time in God’s Word preparing for the Sunday readings. My life was transfigured! Those words continue to live and breathe and have a heartbeat, the heartbeat of God. It is the Master teacher’s lesson plan for me as I sit in the school of prayer and understanding. Even though there are so many translations of the Bible, whichever translation we read; the luminous, revelatory message is still the same, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. “When we pray we speak to God; but when we read God speaks to us.” St. Jerome

by Cathy