Joy: the hidden gift I found in depression

I’m not a doctor or a therapist.  I can’t diagnose or treat depression.  I can only offer you encouragement and thoughts from my own personal experiences.   If you’re suffering from depression, please seek professional help (I highly recommend Pastoral Solutions Institute tele-counseling services).  If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 immediately.

 

It was hard for me to explain all the feelings I felt.

I tried to tell my husband I wasn’t unhappy.  But the tears and shouting that streamed from me every day said otherwise.  I was unhappy.  But I knew I shouldn’t be. Continue reading “Joy: the hidden gift I found in depression”

It would’ve been enough

A prayer modeled after the Dayenu: an ancient Passover prayer celebrating God’s blessings.

God my Father, in Your infinite Goodness You created me out of nothing.  You didn’t have to do that.  But You did it anyways, because You love me.  If You had created me and done nothing more, that would have been enough.

But in Your generosity, You did more.  You created this beautiful world and all things in it for my delight.  You filled it with incredible sights and sounds.  You gave me the changing seasons so I would never get bored. If you had done that and nothing more, it would have been enough.

But You didn’t stop there.  Continue reading “It would’ve been enough”

Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit

Mary is the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary teaches me how to love You, God the Holy Spirit, as the perfect spouse, the perfect wife.

The love between a husband and wife is total giving paired with total receiving. It’s a life-giving gift embodied by the marital embrace.

This type of love parallels the Annunciation. You my God, sent Your angel messenger with a proposal for Mary. Will she be Your bride? The mother of Your Son? Unfettered by commitment to any man, Mary humbly accepts.

You, God the Holy Spirit, came upon her.  She conceived Jesus in her womb.

Mary’s love for You was truly a spousal love. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit”

Mary: the perfect mother of God the Son

Mary is the perfect mother of God the Son.

Hail Mary mother of God the Son, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary teaches me to have perfect love for You, Jesus, the Messiah, the Redeemer.

She first gave herself to love you totally with a vow of virginity. She didn’t let any other person come first in her life, so when the Messiah came she was ready to serve You alone. When the angel Gabriel appeared to announce Your Incarnation, Mary’s faith in Your ability to save mankind from our sins made her willing to believe the impossible. She, a virgin, would bear a Son.

She accepted this without hesitation. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect mother of God the Son”

Mary: the perfect daughter of God the Father

Mary is the perfect daughter of God the Father.  Part one of a series of three reflections on Mary’s love for the Holy Trinity.

I was in high school when I first heard a beautiful rendition of the Hail Mary that made my jaw drop in realization of how perfect Mary’s love for God is.

The Rosary started as usual.  Sign of the Cross.  The Creed.  Our Father.  But when we got to the three Hail Mary’s, the leader added something special:

  • Hail Mary, daughter of God the Father…
  • Hail Mary, mother of God the Son…
  • Hail Mary, spouse of God the Holy Spirit…

I was caught off guard.  My eyes were opened to the depth of the relationship between Mary and God.

This week, I want to share with you three meditations inspired by these three special prayers.

Today’s meditation reflects on Mary’s love as a daughter of God. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect daughter of God the Father”

Dive down deep in the ocean of mercy

A reflection to inspire you to dive down deep into the waves of God’s justice and immerse yourself in the ocean of His mercy.

I sprinted across the warm golden beach and splashed into the cool ocean water.  After a few steps, the sand dropped off and the waves leaped up.  I tried to keep my head above water, but the breaking wave dragged me under, slammed me on the rocky bottom, and washed me, gasping, up on the shore.

I was a ten year old who didn’t know how to face the ocean.

With sand-caked hair dripping down my back, I slumped to the safety of our beach blanket.  But my dad turned me around and sent me back toward the water, bellowing words of encouragement.

Don’t fight the wave.  Dive down deep under it, as far as you can go.  Immerse yourself in the water. Continue reading “Dive down deep in the ocean of mercy”

The Mass: 2 things you know and 1 that will blow your mind

A reflection on the Mass in the context of Holy Week.

We go to Mass every Sunday or more.  We know the routine so well we sometimes go on auto-pilot.  We receive the Eucharist habitually.  And we lose our sense of awe and mystery.

I’m here to bring it back today.

Let’s start with what we know. Continue reading “The Mass: 2 things you know and 1 that will blow your mind”

Reflections for Holy Week

What is Holy Week all about?

I knew there was Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.  But what about the rest of the week?  Oh yeah, I’ve heard of Spy Wednesday somewhere before.  But what do we do about Monday and Tuesday?  Not to mention Saturday, the weirdest feeling day of the year, between Christ’s death and Resurrection.

Well, Fr. Mike shares a way to enter into every single day of Holy Week. Continue reading “Reflections for Holy Week”

The Gift of Friendship

A reflection on the gift of friendship.

I left the kids home with my husband for the entire. Saturday. morning. while I went out to Mass, breakfast, and Adoration with another mom friend.

We were able to actually pray during Mass (imagine that).  We talked and laughed for over an hour as we ate our entire breakfast without sharing (another miracle).  Then we spent a half hour in the adoration chapel in silence (I saw your jaw drop at that one)!

Understatement of the year: We had a great time. Continue reading “The Gift of Friendship”

Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion

A reflection on Jesus’ words to the women of Jerusalem.

A mess of tears streaked down my face the first time I watched The Passion.  My stomach churned at the horror of each torturous scene.  The unimaginable pain inflicted on Jesus weighed on my body and crushed me in my seat.

As I watched the story of the Passion unfold from the safety of my living room, I was horrified that “those people” could do “that” to an innocent man.  And I was filled with sorrow that my sins contributed to the gruesome death of my God.

I watched the crucifixion from the outside.  And it was only a story of drama, not of saving grace.

Until Jesus reeled me in. Continue reading “Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion”