Sunday, December 20, 2020


Advent is Truly a Miraculous Adventure

As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect on a year that was for most of us mixed with unexpected blessings and unexpected sorrows. Perhaps both are necessary to prepare us both for our eternal home and a deeper joy in this life.

This Advent is unique for me..I journeyed with the Magnificat Companion. And actually I had not intended on it. I originally ordered it for a friend and that manufacturer said it could be past Nov. 29 before it was delivered.  So I tried to cancel the order and in the meantime picked up a copy at a local religious bookstore and mailed it to my friend. Ironically, the other copy came as well and I asked him to drop off the extra copy in my box. I received it just in time to start on Nov. 29.

And what an adventure it has been...from unexpected meetings to unexpected phone calls. And in the process, layer's being removed and fears discovered. For me..the most surprising thing is how much of an undercurrent fear plays in my action and inaction. Certainly love has also motivated me but I just did not realize that fear was so strong. I guess the quiet allows each of us to reflect...if we take the opportunity to do so.

I will start with the beginning and then my own personal discoveries.  Oftentimes, what appears as one thing is often another thing nuanced. For example the story about Adam and Eve.  Aside from the serpent's deception and guile, I would like to look at Adam and Eves response.  Certainly disobedience was there but it was also FOMO perhaps. Fear of missing out. If this fruit opened eyes and provided wisdom and one could be like God knowing both good and evil...then if they don't eat it they will stay ignorant. Certainly they knew God and what he had said and enjoyed but what if there was something more? They would have consulted God with this dilemma first. They had no reason to doubt his goodness..yet FOMO won the day.

Then their eyes were opened and when they heard the Lord they hid out of fear. Then they feared taking responsibility and feared God and started to cast blame around. Fear prompts a whole host of behaviors and thoughts that are sinful..but the genesis may always be fear. Certainly fear is good in some instances as an alert..but if our response generally speaking is love then we are never filled with angst or fear. No matter what the consequences are.

So now to the personal. I would venture to say that most people on a superficial level think I am a fairly courageous woman. And to some degree I do believe I have been blessed with this gift thru temperament and circumstance. 

However, what appears as courage sometimes...not all the time of under laden with fear. When I am doing something that I believe is Gods will then it is much easier to be courageous. But when the motivation turns to my own needs as the primary focus...well for sure that can be fear.

I tend to be fairly proactive with friends but sometimes it is to be in control of how much company I have. I fear the silence sometimes. I fear finding out what happens if I don't do this. Thankfully, Covid has afforded the luxury of more submissiveness and humility. Probably traits that need a bit more attention in my temperament. 

I also tend to use my reasoning and detachment as means of protecting myself. I fear rejection and I fear being taken advantage of..I fear caring deeply and hurting deeply. But alas..this where this Advent is a huge blessing. The adventure has led me outside my comfort zone of control and fear..trusting God and letting him lead but doing so with trepidation at times. But there are many moments and in particular now...that I feel this sense of hope and joy that makes it easier to be open to God and his love and then in turn be loving in my actions.

Reading the Magnificat Companion, the book given out by my Parish named the Hidden Power of Kindness and praying and also praying the rosary  have been a huge blessing for me. Having faith and letting time and Grace happen is also a huge blessing.  The reward is that this adventure has led me to a deeper peace, a deeper joy and a deeper love.

And that is more than I have dared hope for in Advents past.  Christmas is coming....are you ready? Are you ready for transformative miracles? No matter what the outcome of the days are whether joyful, sorrowful or a mixture of both..we always have the choice to say no to fear and yes to love. May the serenity that surpasses our understanding bless you during these last few days of Advent and give you the deepest joy in opening your heart to remembering the miracle of God becoming the form of baby Jesus. 

Advent is a truly a miraculous adventure.

Sunday, June 7, 2020


The Holy Trinity, Love and Each Other to Help Us Find the Way

2020 was supposed to be a year of clarity and maybe it is.  Aside from Covid -19 which has altered our life as we slowly find joy in a modified fashion..we have seen our own humanity in light amidst the darkness.

Perhap it's fitting to reflect on Holy Trinity much has happened liturgically. We went thru Lent, the Passion, Resurrection, Eastertide and Pentecost. Today is a reflection of All of God..the Holy Trinity.

There is no question we all have our blind spots. If we could see them perhaps we would, and perhaps we can't see them simply because we are not ready to see them.

This past couple of weeks I have seen a lot of emotion most focused on a small set of circumstances. The full truth is rarely sought. Anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, peace, injury, help, courage,  group think and comfort and healing have all been on display these past two weeks.

I am grateful for those who comforted those who mourned, protected those businesses who were attacked, for those that helped clean the messess created by chaos and for those who prayed. These are our better angels. 

Perhaps unjust suffering, abuse and murder can best be seen in what Jesus allowed, embraced and endured. If you have doubt this happened..I suggest you research and look it up. And He was innocent. Not only did He not have a rap sheet, or was drunk/high or resisted where he was lead, he actually had a history of healing, dining with the criminals of that time, and helping those who persisted in their pleas..even if they were not his target mission.

How does this inform us our current crisis and climate? That unjust horrific things do happen and that always thru the Holy Spirit's courage, kindness and peace..good comes out in the end.

In the chaos of things..we don't see the final picture. It is our collective blindspot. So while non innocent men and women are abused and killed and property is destroyed and pillaged, we have a choice. Our response is a choice, but our reaction is not so much.

All of us are not innocent and yet some of us are quick to lay blame on everyone else as being more guilty. Some of us are so guilty that instead of sowing seeds of change within us we excuse all bad behavior.

Whose fault is it that the injustices and blind spots occur? It is all our fault. Some cross the line and have to be held to account. Some abuse this hurt to take and hurt and hopefully are held to account. 

We are by nature in a fallen and disordered state. It's what causes the pain, blame and the indifference ..but that's not the end of the story. Through redemption, through mercy, through correction and through divine help..we get not only through it..but become better, stronger, wiser, with stronger discipline and with a bigger capacity to love.

And that was the reflection at mass today. Through our heads..some things we just can't understand like the nature of one God in three persons...The Holy Trinity. The only way we know people deeply is through love, and the same for knowing God.

Perhaps the way we will know the abusers and the victims is through love.  And perhaps this is what we will learn thru our heart how to love. May the unseen and least understood advocate, Paraclete and comforter guide us through it all. He can if we give him a chance.

The battle already has been won..death has been defeated and our life has been given a divine boost to the gifts God already has imbued in us at birth.  Yes, we may still be blind..but with an open heart we will find the way.

And as we keep getting lost, we keep getting found and reminded of what is possible despite the evil that persists. The big war has already been won, but we still must battle the war within so we can heal the war outside. We don't have to do it alone. We have the Holy Trinity and love and each other to help us find the Way.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


Rise From the Dead

Happy Resurrection Sunday! In today's gospel Lazarus is raised from the dead after being in the tomb 4 days by Jesus.

 Jesus knew that this delay would be to glorify God.

Jesus also loved Lazarus and his sisters so He wept. Then raising His eyes to heaven he said in a loud voice to rise and walk out.

John 11:1-45

Perhaps this scripture can give us some insight on how to handle our CV crisis.

God is infinitely and exponentially more powerful and  than this or any virus. And where science leads and teaches us..the gap to God's love and power and peace is gargantuan.

There is no doubt this is a precarious time for us as a global community and country. We all process information differently and have our own unique trigger points.

Our economy is shut down and many of us are physically isolated. We are concerned for those at risk and want to protect them.

But where is God in this for you? Our fear may drive us to Him in desperation or away from Him toward science and logic and of course some no only don't believe but have disdain for Him..why would He allow this? How could Jesus allow Lazarus to die? How could God allow his only begotten son Jesus to go thru the passion and Crucifixion?

In this scripture..a tragedy was allowed so we could glorify God. How can we glorify God thru this ordeal?

Jesus wept. How can we show compassion and also weep? 

Jesus acted by looking to the heavens and raising Lazarus from the dead. How can we raise our eyes to heaven and act to save lives?  Most of our roles are to sit at home and physically isolate. How can we glorify God and raise our eyes to heaven even if this all we do? Perhaps if we do, HE can inspire us do other things as well. We are designed to help in our unique ways. Let's allow God to magnify that.

We all have faith that we can help and that this will pass. This is the good that God has instilled in us. This CV crisis has connected all of us..worldwide in a way few things could have. Jesus coming back would be one. :-)

But how much more can we do if we put Him first?

He is constantly calling us but we have the choice to ignore and follow our own self direction. He has created us to be free. It is a collective choice we have made more often than not to be self is our human condition. And so perhaps we are here because of our choices.

So I am here advocating for us to make different choices. Who is first now? Science? Logic? Denial? Yourself? Your family? The common good? 

Almost none of these are bad things. But none should be first. God should be first. Why?

Well let's drill down a bit. The author of life and the Universe promises peace. Peace be with you. Will you get their with one quick prayer, or a rosary or family prayer at night. If this is the first time you are doing it and are not surrendering wholeheartedly...maybe not.

But you have to start from where you are. If you only practice one thing daily let it be your anchor.
The rosary may be your anchor if the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration are not available. Just know we all have an anchor to the divine and no one can take that away...not even CV.

If the  Scientists, the President, the Surgeon General you and me anchor ourselves to God how much more correct can our thoughts and actions be?  Even though we are in a very precarious position, panic and fear that are an engine unto itself will not lead us to make the best choices. Sometimes we have to act fast but more often that not calm will help much more.

Who can lead us? God. He is ready, willing and able to help. Do we have faith that He can?  Can He help the scientists get inspired after sweating it out to come up with an anti-viral that works at least some of the time at least. How about a concoction of antivirals that helps more while we wait for the breakthrough? There are a myriad of other solutions. It can happen and it will..perhaps exponentially faster if we lean into GOD.

If God leads we will NOT want to party on or be so holed up in our house that we don't look for safe ways to help others. We will stop keeping the focus on ourselves to the point where it hinders us to do things that help others as HE inspires us and at worst paralyzes us.

How does panic help us devise solutions in the future to get back to work, keep those vulnerable safe and allow them time to get some fresh air without us putting them and each other in harm's way?

We can do sooo much but, how much more can we do with God's help? He is already trying to help and sometimes we are so caught up in panic and charts that we can't just stop and see what He is trying to do. He has the answers so why not ask, and then let Him lead as we get to work.

This crisis will pass but we will create another if we can't put God first. 

It is both ironic and a blessing that this is happening during Lent. Jesus was in the wilderness alone praying for 40 days. We are following him more closely now than most of us ever have.

For once we can stop, pray and surrender all our fears, anxiety, anger, denial or our unique combination of ways that we process this unique challenge. He wants to help you. Will you let Him? Do you have faith? God is good always and if we choose Him, we are choosing good.

That also means suffering. It is part of our redemption. But even in this aspect..surrendering to suffering instead of fighting it ironically means we suffer less.

So I will end with sharing some little miracles that happened this week.  On Monday I had a furuncle or boil removed. I had a lot of subconscious anxiety in the morning. I worked out because I knew I may not be able to for a bit after the procedure. 

This most routine of incisions involves a surgeon. That combined with this unique moment in time (with CV and the shelter in place) and I knew that all the anxieties and pre-occupations most have with this challenging time would make it so that challenge was mine alone to handle with God and precious few others for support. All of this I pushed aside as I prayed and focused where I needed to focus: on God and then on the medical professionals and how I could make this a holy moment. 

In the doctor's office the injections to numb the area around the mass burned and hurt. The cutting and removing the gunk came next. After the procedure, I saw the blood on the dressing and realized yeah its routine but still a procedure.

After it was done I was relieved and felt happy. I thought let me stop by a local church and maybe if the door is open I can pray. So after the 30-40 minute procedure I drove there. The door was open!

I walked inside and much to my amazement they were giving communion. All masses are suspended, and this was being videotaped apparently. I walked right in and received Jesus for the first time in a week. What an amazing blessing. What serendipity! I could not have dared to ask for this grace nor timed it more perfectly. Grace happened.

I cried a bit on the drive home as I looked to the heavens and thanked God. His love is steadfast and true. 

Some people reached out with calls, as did I, and the sense of connection and concern was more magnified.. even with a much smaller circle.

Later in my week amidst my humanity of being responsible and taking care of myself, I had many days of obstacles. I initially failed to turn to God. When I finally did..I was able to more calmly get past the obstacle. 

The blessing's kept coming. My agent sent me a voice over audition..not my specialty but a safe way to continue with that aspect of my call. 

And then the biggest blessing of all, because of YOU sheltering in place not only did I learn that hospitals in the peninsula and SF are NOT experiencing a surge, but by this action YOU allowed that same local church to gain permission from the SMC health oficial to allow communion today this Sunday. This church was allowed because they had ample space outside to keep 6 ft apart and because we are NOT in a dire situation.

Thank YOU for doing your part.

Rain was expected this morning. So as I often say..I don't tempt God so I came with rain gear. It never rained at the 9:30am distribution, a blessing to not stand in the rain.

There were volunteers making sure the 6ft rule was observed and giving hand sanitizer right before receiving communion in your hand. The priest was wearing gloves AND serving the communion with cute little tongs.

And how can I forget..confession. The  6ft spacing and the window was open in the room. I was able to confess. This was the first time I had ever felt so sorry for my sins. It was a confession from the heart. Many of my confessions have been from my head. That was what CV allowed me to do. 

Our collective suffering can be transformed by God. Jesus showed us the power of love through HIS suffering to create not only Peace but something Salvific. Because Love is Salvific, God can do the same with us now and when this finally passes. Will you join Him and let Him?

Lent will be over soon...holy week awaits.  The Resurrection will come! We all will pass one day and we all will be resurrected one day. The question is will you be ready and can you now... Rise from the Dead.