Morning exchanges


My Bible has remained open for decades and, on occasion, I turn its pages to show passages other than my favorites.  Yet, regardless of which book is open, Isaiah with its dated, handwritten notes in the margins always beckons.


Whether he calls me to reflect on verses of relevance and/or smile at my penciled messages from years long past, Isaiah has an open invitation for me to visit anytime.  I can stand before my Bible, reflect on the scribbled memories, caress the pages to get a feel for Isaiah’s wisdom, read a specific verse, search for something new, or— as I often do— visit mentally from anywhere I happen to be.

No matter how, when, or where, Isaiah’s presence is always strong.

Longtime fave

Isaiah’s been my fave since my college undergraduate days.  A prophet for all time, he consoles and encourages me in my toughest trials and remains constant through thick and thin.  His rock-solid wisdom is way better than Krazy Glue; his inspiration, universal.

Of late, too, Isaiah has been popping up a lot in my thoughts and conversations.  Take this morning, for instance.

Email to Steven

Love is patient, love is kind.  It… does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury… but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

For a brief moment I abandoned you; but with great tenderness, I will take you back.  In an outburst of wrath, for a moment, I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you… so I have sworn not to be angry with you or to rebuke you.  Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you (Isaiah 54:7-10).

Email from Steven

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.  When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown.  When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you.

Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious and because I love you,
I give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life (Isaiah 43:1-2, 4).

Email to Steven

Another of my faves from Isaiah immediately comes to mind: “I leave you treasures in secret places that you may know that it is I who call your name” (45:3).

I found the verse in 1983, as I was getting ready to inscribe the Reader’s Digest Bible I’d bought for Margie’s birthday (7.23).  Suffice it to say that Margie didn’t like her contemporary Bible, but the verse I serendipitously discovered that day was the affirmation I’d awaited since the Sunday morning at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church when my mind created this:

Sitting hopelessly lost among everyone
I heard myself call out to him
and I wished he’d call my name
because I felt I’d see life differently if he did.

Fearing he wouldn’t pay attention
I began to cry and
like a sobbing child being cuddled after being punished
he embraced me
not letting go
because he knew I believed.

And he called my name.

Untitled poem published twice: College Poetry Review and Pegasus
(National Poetry Press, 1977 & 1978, pp. 107 & 13, respectively).

Morning exchanges

Because Isaiah provides comfort, wisdom, and hope, I know many of his verses by heart.  Since our morning exchanges have been a lifelong staple, he’s my cuppa joe.  I can’t think of a better way to start the daily subchapter in my book of life than with Isaiah’s steadfast reminders of the many blessings ahead.

O Lord, you are my God.  I will extol you and praise your name; for you have fulfilled your wonderful plans of old, faithful and true.

The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.  The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth, for the Lord has spoken (Isaiah 25:1, 8).

June 29, 2012

Lord, thank you for having rescued me!  Let me walk in joyful hope that you will take care of me today (the Word among us, p. 50).

July 28, 2012

Father, you have called me by name and anointed me to proclaim your word.  Now I need your guidance.  How do I remain faithful to you?  How do I stand strong?  How do I discern my role in your kingdom?  Lord, I want to be pleasing to you (the Word among us, July/August 2012, p. 55).

February 8, 2013

Lord, be my refuge from fear so that I can walk in peace today.  Shine your light on me, and strengthen me to do what you ask (the Word among us, Jan/Feb 2013, p. 59).

February 9, 2013

Jesus, help me to rely on you in times of strain and stress.  Walk with me through the difficult moments and help me to lean on your strength and grace (the Word among us, p. 60).

November 6, 2013

Jesus, thank you for calling my name and speaking to my heart.  Open my ears to hear you above all the noise in my day (the Word among us, November 2013, p. 27).

November 15, 2013

Father in heaven, thank you for revealing yourself to me through the wonder and beauty of your creation.  Your love for me is endless.  It is as deep as the deepest sea.  Help me to love you back just as fully! (the Word among us, p. 36).

January 26, 2014

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone” (Isaiah 9:1).

June 12, 2014

“The person who does not decide to love forever will find it very difficult to really love for even one day” (St. John Paul II).

June 13, 2014

“The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey, and those who nourish themselves with this honey produce sweet fruit” (St. Anthony of Padua).

June 17, 2014

Love is watchful.  Sleeping, it does not slumber.  Wearied, it is not tired.  Pressed, it is not straitened.  Alarmed, it is not confused; but like a living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle (Thomas à Kempis).

“St. Dominic, Rose of Patience, pray for us!” (Aquinas College, 2014).

July 22, 2014

Lord, we long to see you.  Call us by name and show yourself to us (the Word among us, July/August 2014, p. 41).

July 28, 2014

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

July 30, 2014

Father, you are worth more than anything else in my life.  Open my eyes to the treasure of your work in me so that I can cast off anything of lesser value! (the Word among us, p. 49).

August 25, 2014

Fight continuously in the apparently unimportant things which are to my mind important; fulfill your duty punctually; smile at whomever needs cheering up, even though there is sorrow in your soul; devote the necessary time to prayer, without haggling; go to the help of anyone who looks for you; practice justice and go beyond it with the grace of charity (St. Josemaría Escrivá).

August 26, 2014

“I formed you to open the eyes of the blind and to bring out from the dungeon those who live in darkness” (Isaiah 42:6-7).

October 21, 2014

“Fight against all opinions that are contrary to the truth, but let your weapons be patience, gentleness, and love; for violence, besides injuring your own soul, harms even the best of causes” (St. John of Kanty).

January 15, 2015

“If you always love one another, if you always uphold one another, you will be capable of working wonders!” (St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier).

January 20, 2015

The devil strains every nerve to secure the souls which belong to Christ.  We should not grudge our toil in wrestling them from Satan and giving them back to God (St. Sebastian).

January 24, 2015

“To love our neighbor in charity is to love God in man” (St. Francis de Sales).

January 25, 2015

“Never utter in your neighbors’ absence what you would not say in their presence”
(St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi).

February 7, 2015

“Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone makes light all that is burdensome and equally bears all that is unequal” (Thomas à Kempis).

February 12, 2015

“It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially” (St. Francis de Sales).

March 18, 2015

“Oh, how good a thing and how peaceable it is to be silent of others, nor to believe all that is said, nor easily report what one has heard!” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

June 20, 2015

“The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility.  For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it” (St. Vincent de Paul).

July 2, 2015

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows” (St. Francis of Assisi).

July 5, 2015

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

July 10, 2015

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens” (J.R.R. Tolkien).

July 23, 2015

“A life without love is like a year without summer” (Swedish proverb).

August 4, 2015

Real love wants for truth.  Real love accepts the beloved as they are and where they are.  Real love offers itself, as it is, in return.  Real love has less to do with what we want to be true than with our capacity for acceptance and generosity in the face of what is.  Real love is honest (Brendan Busse, SJ).

August 23, 2015

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.  The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases (St. Rose of Lima).

August 24, 2015

The truth is like a lion.  You don’t have to defend it.  Let it loose; it will defend itself (St. Augustine).

October 9, 2015

“Ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave!” (Pope Francis).

October 13, 2015

It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God.  Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another.  Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else.  Without a central loyalty life is unfinished (Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary).

November 8, 2015

We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers.  The devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest (St. John Vianney).

December 3, 2015

Take care not to frighten away sinners by stern rigor who are trying to lay bare the shocking state of their souls.  Speak to them rather of the great mercy of God.  Sometimes people are helped by your telling them about your own lamentable past (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini).

December 4, 2015

“Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction” (Isaiah 29:24).

December 5, 2015

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name (Psalm 147:3-4).

December 19, 2015

“We should study the interests of others as our own, and be careful to act on all occasions with uprightness and loyalty” (St. Vincent de Paul).

December 21, 2015

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise” (St. Clement).

January 20, 2016

Truth engenders hatred of truth.  As soon as it appears, it is the enemy (Tertullian).

January 28, 2016

Don’t say “that person gets on my nerves.”  Think “that person sanctifies me” (St. Josemaria Escrivá).

April 19, 2016

“If love be true, it must labor; where labor is refused, there is no love” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

May 23, 2016

“Consider seriously how quickly people change and how little trust is to be had in them; and hold fast to God who does not change” (Teresa of Avila).

June 17, 2016

In Christ, even our failures become a source of grace when we accept them in imitation of his humility and courage; even our anxieties become a path to holiness when we ally them with his sufferings.  All that we do and say, if it is done and said in Christ, is done and said well; for true wellness is life in Christ (Clayton C. Barbeau in The Father of the Family).

June 26, 2016

Don’t judge without having heard both sides.  Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence
(St. Josemaría Escrivá).

August 3, 2016

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less” (C.S. Lewis).

September 2, 2016

A good life makes a man wise according to God and expert in many things.  The more humble a man is in himself and [the] more subject to God, the more wise will he be in all things and the more at peace (Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ).

September 6, 2016

“Real strength is not just a condition of one’s muscle, but a tenderness in one’s spirit” (McCallister Dodds).

November 3, 2016

What souls we can convert by our prayers?  The one who saves a soul from hell saves this soul and his own as well (St. Jean Vianney).

November 8, 2016

Those who tell the truth love you.  Those who tell you what you want to hear love themselves (Mother Angelica).

November 18, 2016

“Humility is the virtue that requires the greatest amount of effort” (St. Rose Philippine Duchesne).

January 11, 2017

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be” (Thomas à Kempis in The Imitation of Christ).

January 12, 2017

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing” (Theodore Roosevelt).

February 15, 2017

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us” (St. Augustine).

March 9, 2017

“A married woman must, when called upon, quit her devotions to God at the altar to find him in her household affairs” (St. Frances of Rome).

March 10, 2017

A man who governs his passions is master of the world.  We must either command them or be enslaved to them.  It is better to be the hammer than the anvil (St. Dominic).

March 28, 2017

Trust is the glue of life.  It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships (Stephen R. Covey).

August 24, 2017

When we feel anguish, when we have a sense that we do not know who we are, a sense of being profoundly lonely, we become afraid.  We can be willing to give up a lot— friendships, communication, even intimacy— so as to protect ourselves from the feeling of being “nobody,” the suffering of loneliness, our anguish.  It is only when we can see this in ourselves that we can discover freedom from our compulsions.  It is only when we begin to recognize the cry of our own hearts that we can respond to the cry of God to be in relationship with us (Jean Vanier in Life’s Great Questions).

August 26, 2017

“No one is suddenly made perfect” (St. Bede the Venerable).

September 10, 2017

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship, that makes unhappy marriages” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

October 23, 2017

“When God pulls down the curtain on the drama of the world’s redemption, he will not ask what part we played, but only how well we played the role assigned to us” (Venerable Fulton J. Sheen in Victory over Vice).

Links of interest…  4 ways to develop empathy…  5 ways to stop playing God & learn to surrender…  6 short & powerful prayers to say for your husband…  8 kinds of love…  10 tips to show a little more love…  #1 lie that men tell & why they tell it…  Being grateful in relationships / truly, happily humble…  Bringing back what is true & good…  Broken together (Casting Crowns song)…  “Burning bush” coffee…  Calling for God’s help in the midst of sin…  Christian marriage a fruit of Christ’s cross…  Confessions of a (hopefully recovering) gossip junkie…  Could solitude ease the pain of loneliness…  Discouragement…  Do you “demonize” the man in your life…  Edith Stein: Four ways to develop empathy…  Eleven habits to feel less alone…  Farmer & fisherman…  Feeding your lonely soul…  Fighting for marriage – St. Teresa of Calcutta’s wisdom on prayer…  Finding God in all things— even coffeethe four keys to everlasting life…  Five reasons to pray for your spouse / steps to a good morning…  Forsaking me, seeking him…  Friedrich Nietzsche quotes…  Gloomy love song…  God is right in the middle of love…  God only knows (song)…  Godliness…  God’s unwitting accomplice…  Happy couples…  Here I am, Lord: one / two / three (YouTube)…  Holding hands with God…  Holiness counters immodesty…  Holy intercessors: Patron saints for relationships…  How dealing with difficult people can make you a better personhaving faith can help you find true love[not] to date small talk can form lasting relationships…  Interior castle: ebook / meditations (book review)…  Is keeping a secret from your spouse ever acceptable…  Isaiah: about / biography (more) / book / for kids (video) / prophet (called – mouthpiece of the people – of Christmas – politicalthen & now – times) / praying during Advent / summary (more – more) / ten things…  Jonah & the call to conversion…  Kahlil Gibran on marriage…  Lasting marriages are possible when you stop chasing happiness…  Lord, I lift your name on high (YouTube)…  Lord, when you came: composer (Cesário Gabaráin, 1979) / lyrics / Pescador de hombres (YouTube)…  Married love & the cross…  Mary, untier of knots: Patroness for marriages…  Meet the patron saint of difficult marriages & separated spouses…  Not-so-secret secret to happiness…  Pep talk from Moses…  Relationships…  Saint for those suffering from broken, unfaithful, & abusive marriages…  See something, say something…  Seven habits of people who love dearly…  Spouses— loving or difficult…  They know more than any 20-year old couple could, but still got married…  Three ways to unleash the spiritual power of your marriage…  Truth is a person…  Unable to forgive my husband— until I gave myself a gift…  Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: about / quotes…  What my love affair with coffee taught me about marriage…  Why our idea of romance is all wrong / we hired a therapist before we tied the knot / you should love with an open heart but keep your eyes wide open…  You can make a lifetime marriage

WP page…  Steven’s looking-glass

WP posts…  Gift of love…  Gifts…  God’s master plan…  Growing pains…  In good time…  Letter to Santa…  Little gifts…  Making meaning…  Prayerful ways…  Seven dwelling places …  Soulful…  St. Monica…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila

St. Monica


A few days ago, I received a letter with a couple of prayer cards from Father Robert at Franciscan Mission Associates.

Tried but true

St. Jude looks more striking than ever in rich earthen tones, I thought.

And St. Monica?  What a weathered look!  Yet she’s beautiful despite her sadness.

I read St. Monica’s prayer card and set it aside, but her expression stayed with me.

I know that look firsthand.

Model of patience

In today’s Daily Inspiration, Father Joseph Fogarty, OP focused on St. Monica, too.

St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was a model of patience.  She bore with her husband, Patricius, who had a violent temper, and with her son, Augustine, who lived for [fifteen] years with a woman companion.

Monica managed to live happily with Patricius, despite his defects.  He was baptized in 370.  Her son, Augustine, was baptized in 387.  She patiently prayed both toward full communion with the community of believers.

StMonica-a        StMonica-b        SML-red-rose

Unconditional love

One of my favorite readings came to mind.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It… does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury… but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

St. Monica

Ever faithful to God and her family, St. Monica bore her crosses with patience.  In this respect, she reminds me of St. Helena, who also overcame great adversity.

Resilient, courageous, both women are role models to emulate in good times and bad.

St. Monica’s feast day is August 27; St. Helena’s, August 18.


Model of motherly love…  O glorious St. Monica, greatly admired among mothers, I feel particularly [drawn] to you who gave such an example of motherly love.

Who could understand better than you the anxieties and fears of a mother worrying about the eternal salvation of her children?  You endured all, since… St. Augustine is the fruit of your womb and… the fruit of your tears.  For this reason I am greatly convinced that… with the sanctity of your life and the perseverance of your prayers, you are not only [a great model] of Christian [motherhood, but also] a singular protector.  Obtain for me the grace to imitate your graces faithfully.

May my children avoid those errors and failures you disapproved of… in your son.  And, if it should happen that they, too, should fall, grant me the grace to obtain (this request…) with my prayers… as perfect a conversion as you were able to obtain for your son.  Amen.

Novena…  Dear Saint Monica, you were once the mournful mother of a prodigal son.  Your faithfulness to prayer brought you and your son so close to God that you are now with him in eternity.  By your intercession and God’s grace, your son St. Augustine became a great and venerable saint of the Church. Please take my request to God with the same fervor and persistence with which you prayed for your own son.  (Mention your intentions here.)

With your needs, worries and anxieties, you threw yourself on the mercy and providence of God.  Through sorrow and pain, you constantly devoted yourself to God.  Pray for me that I might join you in such a deep faith in God’s goodness and mercy.  Above all, dear Saint Monica, pray for me that I may, like your son, turn from my sin and become a great saint for the glory of God.  Amen.

Patience and trust…  Saint Monica, prayerful wife and mother, many sorrows anguished your heart during your lifetime yet you never gave in to desperation or lost hope.  With enduring tenacity and unwavering faith you prayed ardently for the conversion of your troubled husband and for your beloved son Augustine.  God answered your tearful prayers, so I ask that I may be granted the same enduring patience and trust in the Lord.  Saint Monica, pray that God may listen to the sorrows of my heart and bless me with the grace to embrace his will for my life.  All to the glory of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Patron of parents…  St. Monica, patron of Christian mothers, we entrust to your protection the children whose names you can read in our hearts.  Pray for them that they may be granted strength to combat weakness, victory over temptations, guidance to resolve their doubts, and success in all their undertakings.

May they enjoy health of mind and body, see beauty and worth in all created things, and serve the Lord with firm faith, joyful hope, and enduring love.  Amen.

Petition…  Dear St. Monica, once the sorrowing mother of a wayward son, be pleased to present our petitions to the Lord God of heaven and earth.  Look down upon our anxieties and needs, and intercede for us as you did so fervently for Augustine.

We have full confidence that your prayers will gain a favorable hearing in heaven.  Mother of a sinner turned saint, obtain for us patience, perseverance, and total trust in God’s perfect timing.  In his appointed hour, in his merciful way, may God respond to [our] prayers.  (State your petition.)  Amen.



FMA-R43-13a      FMA-R43-13b      FMA-R43-13c      FMA-R43-13d

FMA-R44-15a      FMA-R44-15b      FMA-R44-15c      FMA-R44-15d

Contact information

Prayers to St. Monica are from Favorite Patron Saints (The Leaflet Missal Company, n. d., pp. 18-19); the leaflets, from Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

August 31, 2011

Another of my favorite readings, which goes hand in hand with love and forgiveness, is good for all time, too.

Love-aFor a brief moment I abandoned you; but with great tenderness, I will take you back.  In an outburst of wrath, for a moment, I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you… so I have sworn not to be angry with you or to rebuke you.  Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you (Isaiah 54:7-10).

November 4, 2012

“Lord, show me the treasures you have placed in all the people around me— especially those I find hardest to love!” (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 23).

April 3, 2013

Lord, lift the veil that keeps me from seeing how precious people are in your eyes.  Help me to see your love for every person, and give me the compassion and the courage to extend your love to them (the Word among us, April 2013, p.23).

April 4, 2013

Jesus, touch my heart and shape my mind with your word!  Teach me, Lord, so I can stand firm in your truth no matter what happens (the Word among us, p. 24).

May 21, 2013

Lord, give me your eyes that I may see my neighbors as you see them.  Give me your heart that I may love them with your love (the Word among us, May 2013, p. 40).

June 6, 2013

“Jesus, help me to reach out to those who are searching for you” (the Word among us, June 2013, p. 26).

June 18, 2013

Father, help me to remember that my enemies are your friends.  I bring their needs before you now (the Word among us, p. 38).

July 20, 2013

Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have to qualify for your mercy.  Let this awareness help me to love you more— and to love others as you have loved me (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 39).

August 12, 2013

Jesus, thank you for you patience with me.  Help me to be patient with other people.  Teach me to focus on loving them instead of correcting them.  I trust you to work out the details (the Word among us, p. 62).

August 14, 2013

“Jesus, help me to exercise the power to forgive and to reconcile; to set free and to pronounce blessings on myself, my family, my friends, and even my enemies” (the Word among us, p. 64).

August 21, 2013

“Father, help me be just as generous as you are with all who are joining you in the vineyard” (the Word among us, p. 71).

August 23, 2013

“Lord, teach me to love all of the people you put around me with all my heart” (the Word among us, p. 73).

October 20, 2013

Lord, guide my footsteps and strengthen me for the challenges that I will face in your name.  Thank you for loving me so much that you give me the honor to do your will on earth (the Word among us, October 2013, p. 40).

October 31, 2013

Jesus, thank you for loving me even when I turned away from you.  Bring everyone— even those who seem far away from you— into your embrace (the Word among us, p. 51).

November 3, 2013

Lord, fill me with your love.  Help me look at the people around me the way you look at me (the Word among us, November 2013, p. 24).

November 9, 2013

Lord, help me recognize all the goodness and knowledge that you have already given me.  Help me use these gifts to grow into the person that you want me to become (the Word among us, p. 29).

November 29, 2013

The modern poet Danny Siegel translates a rebbe’s proverb that tells us…

If you will always assume [that] the person sitting next to you is the messiah waiting for some human kindness, you will soon learn to weigh your words and watch your hands.  And if he so chooses not to reveal himself in your time, it will not matter (Dosick, 1995, p. 50).

December 29, 2013

“Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pt. 4:8).

So put on love!  Love knows it’s not perfect yet, so it makes allowances for other people’s mistakes and forgives their wrongs.  Love knows its understanding is limited, so it looks upon other people with respect and tries to learn from them.  Love knows the world is full of hurtful words and deeds, so it tries to make the home a haven of kindness and gentleness.  Love realizes that growth takes time, so it practices patience.  Love gratefully welcomes and treasures every family member, looking for the good in them, however deeply it may be buried (the Word among us, Advent 2013, p. 47).

April 20, 2014

Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra!  The resurrection of the Lord is our hope! (St. Augustine).

July 23, 2014

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

August 9, 2014

When night comes and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God’s hands, and offer it up to him.  In this way we will be able to rest in him, actually to rest, and to begin the new day like a new life (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross / Edith Stein; translation, 1987).

August 28, 2014

“Let us understand that God is a physician and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation” (St. Augustine).

November 19, 2014

I beg you, join with me in love.  Run with me in faith.  Let us yearn for our heavenly home. Let us sigh for it.  Let us realize that we are strangers here below (St. Augustine).

November 26, 2014

“To know whom to avoid is a great means of saving our souls” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

December 20, 2014

“Endeavor to be patient in bearing the defects and infirmities of others of whatever kind, for you also have many things which others must bear with” (Thomas à Kempis).

January 16, 2015

“As our body cannot live without nourishment, so our soul cannot spiritually be kept alive without prayer” (St. Augustine)

February 25, 2015

I will not live an instant that I do not live in love.  Whomever loves does all things without suffering or, suffering, loves his suffering (St. Augustine).

March 13, 2015

“All our striving in this life consists in healing the eye of the heart in order to see God”
(St. Augustine).

August 27, 2015

If you desire to be truly Christian wives and mothers, fix your gaze on
St. Monica.  Read her life and you will there see the care she bestowed on her Augustine and find much to console you (St. Francis de Sales).

March 7, 2016

“Let us pray for peace, and let us bring it about starting in our own homes” (Pope Francis).

January 5, 2017

Though God hates sin more than any other thing, he loves us poor miserable sinners.  He ardently desires the welfare of our souls as if his own happiness dependent on it (St. John Neumann).

March 9, 2017

Pope Francis reminds us that prayer is the best way to overcome blind spots in our attitudes toward others.  He doesn’t say it will be easy. But neither does he let us off the hook.  If we search our hearts, we know that we’ve all been guilty of that desire to hold someone accountable long after we think we’ve forgiven him or her (Diane M. Houdek in The Hope of Lent).

June 19, 2018

In Christ, even our failures become a source of grace when we accept them in imitation of his humility and courage; even our anxieties become a path to holiness when we ally them with his sufferings.  All that we do and say, if it is done and said in Christ, is done and said well, for true wellness is life in Christ (Clayton C. Barbeau in The Father of the Family).

August 2, 2018

In forgiving and pardoning my neighbor, I I make the conscious decision not to “fuss” over and live in the past.  I never really forget what you did to me, but I deliberately choose not to keep picking the scab, not to become entangled in the grudge.  I choose to free you from the past by electing not to dwell, mention, or remind others of what you did.  To use another image, the portal to the past remains in my heart but I make the choice to close the door, lock it, and throw the key away (Albert Haase, OFM in Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi).

April 21, 2021

“To receive the grace of God you must go to the desert and stay awhile” (Blessed Charles de Foucauld).


Lost Mine Trail – Big Bend National Park, TX

Links of interest…  5 ways to make a meaningful apology…  Augustine of Hippo: apostolic letter (JPII) / author / bishop & doctor / book on prayer /  confessions (more) / doctor of grace (more) / for all seasons / memorial (Aug 28) / on the Beatitudes / prayers / prodigal son / raised to new life / seeking God / son of tears / thinking faith / why study his works…  Edith Stein essays: book / spirituality of the Christian woman…  Five saints who didn’t get along with their families…  Franciscan: Mission Associates / prayer book / prayers / sisters…  Gossip: Eight tips from St. Francis de Sales…  How do we get better at being patient…  Living Judaism (Dosick)…  Mary, our Lady of Consolation (more)…  St. Monica: about (more) / all in God’s timebook review (book) / chaplet / feast (more) / heroic faith & patience / life / memorial (more) / model of Christian motherhood / mother (of Augustine of Hippo – more – more) / navigating difficult family dynamicsparents’ helper / patron saint (more – more) / perseverance in hopein prayerin service / prayers (litany – novena – readings)…  God turns sinners into saints…  Pallottines: devotions / prayer network (join) / shrine…  Power of patience & persevering prayer…  Ten lessons on wayward children…  Things kids tell psychologists but are too afraid to tell their parents…  Thirst for heaven…  What to do with your mind when worries won’t let you sleep…  the Word among us

WP page…  Steven’s looking-glass

WP posts…  At long last…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Forever grateful…  Gifts…  Lady of sorrows…  Making meaning…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…   Morning exchanges…  One prayer…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Soulful