Reflections On The Journey 



Reflections From Faye

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Posted on November 9, 2020 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Did you know that everything, yes EVERYTHING, was created by God?


Now some of you are going to say that human beings have created many things – like automobiles, computers, etc. While technically that’s true, the book of Genesis states that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, so without God nothing we have would exist. It was God who created humans and gave them the ability to think and be creative., and so in my opinion, it was ultimately God who is behind all creation.


And such a creation He made! There are millions of life forms on earth which intertwine in a delicate balance, with just the right combination of sunlight and minerals to allow growth and change. It’s been proven that when one life form is extinguished in an ecosystem, the life balance can shift and cause innumerable other changes.


A recent example is when, several decades ago, government predator control programs had all but eliminated the gray wolf from America’s lower 48 states. Consequently, deer and elk populations increased substantially in Yellowstone National Park. This resulted in overgrazing, particularly of willows and other vegetation important to soil and riverbank structure, leaving the landscape vulnerable to erosion. Without wolves, the entire ecosystem of the park suffered.


But in 1995, everything changed again. When wolves were reintroduced into the park, they not only killed elk, but also changed their prey’s behavior patterns. The herbivores started to avoid areas like valleys and gorges where they could be easily hunted by predators. As a result, those areas began to regenerate, and species such as birds, beavers, mice and bears returned. Plant life once again thrived along the riverbanks and erosion decreased significantly. The stabilization of the riverbanks actually made the rivers and streams change course. With the reintroduction of just a small population of wolves, the landscape of the whole park transformed, and became more like what God had intended the balance to be.


This just goes to show how everything, even predators, is important!


There is a popular song by the artist TobyMac which I really enjoy, titled “Everything.” This song expresses TobyMac’s belief that he sees God in all of creation. I love this thought, and whenever this song airs, I find myself singing along and being uplifted.


Here is the refrain:


I see You in everything, all day

And every beat of my heart keeps reminding me

I see You in every little thing, all day

No matter where I go I know Your love is finding me

I see You in everything

You're all up in everything


In addition to wildlife and plant life, human life is just as important to God’s creation here on earth. He created each and every one of us. And each of us plays some important role in the whole of God’s creation.


I encourage you this week to think about everything that God has created. You may only see a tiny portion of that creation in your own neighborhood, and much of that creation may seem on the surface to be insignificant. But everything is a part of God’s plan, and even the “predators” of the world are necessary for God’s plan. We may not understand exactly how it all works, but God does, and He will ensure His plan works. He will bless us in some way through everything He has created.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020



Posted on November 2, 2020 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

For a good part of my adult life, I have spent time volunteering. While working and raising a family, the extra volunteer work was done only when I could reasonably fit it into my schedule. Once my boys grew older, I did things that helped them, like being a scoutmaster for Boy Scouts and teaching Faith Formation. Once the boys were adults I turned to other things, including serving food at a local shelter, packing food for Feed My Starving Children, and helping at church.


When I retired from my full-time job, I had more free time to pursue some different volunteer activities. Some of them were for fun, like acting in plays. But many of my volunteer tasks benefited others. I discovered the joy of weekly Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament and praying for one of the priests at our church. I became a Eucharistic Minister both at our masses and for the homebound.


Then this spring Covid hit. Many of my volunteer activities temporarily halted, and I had to be a little more creative to find things to do. Our church set up a calling tree to connect with the older members of our parish, so I got to know a few people as a result of this ministry. I also connected with the sewing group at Church and learned how to make face masks. Once I got the hang of it, I eagerly began to scrounge up elastic, nose bridge pieces and interesting fabric to continue this task on my own. I have lost count of how many masks I have made and donated, but I have learned that during the repetitive sewing task I have a wonderful opportunity to say the rosary – for my family and friends, for the sick and for anyone who needs our prayers.


Thankfully I can now return to my church for mass, Adoration and some of my other volunteer activities. I am also able to bring communion to a few of the people I had visited before. It feels good to know I am helping others.


Scripture encourages us to do good works: Hebrews 13:16 says “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” And Philippians 2:4 states “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” We are called to help our fellow men and women – no matter who they are.


What kinds of volunteer activities do you do? I hope you have at least one thing that you do which benefits others. Volunteering brings most people a sense of purpose and joy, and who knows, it may even bring a blessing or two to you!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020



Posted on October 26, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

My topic this week is a challenging one. Most, if not all, of us have at one time or another asked the question “Why does God allow suffering?” I have asked this question many times – especially when I am in the middle of some difficult situation which drains and hurts me emotionally or physically.


Some years ago, one of my sons asked me this question during a talk about our faith and Christianity. I paused for several moments, trying to gather my thoughts into a coherent and profound answer, but the most I could come up with is “I don’t know.”


It wasn’t the answer I wished I could have given him, but the discussion did provoke me to think further on this topic. Priests and ministers no doubt have commented many times on this topic, and you can scour the internet and come up with all kinds of perspectives on this haunting question.


I recently listened to Bishop Robert Barron give his Sunday sermon on this very subject. (Sept 20, 2020) His response helped me in a small way to understand why God permits suffering, so I will share the gist of his talk here.


Bishop Barron says first we need to know a little bit about God. God is always infinitely close to us (even when we do not feel Him) and yet he is infinitely higher and more powerful than we are. Isaiah 55:8-9 explains: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”


Bishop Barron then gives this analogy: when he was a boy, he went along with his dad to take his dog in to the vet for some needed shots. As he held his agitated dog during the procedure, the dog looked at him in such a way that seemed to say, “Why are you allowing me to suffer?” And he was unable to explain the situation to the dog, as the dog would not be able to understand him. He could only hope that the dog trusted him.


So too is the difference between us and God. We cannot possibly understand what reasons God may have for allowing us or others to suffer. We must trust that God DOES have our best interests in mind, even when He allows suffering to occur.


Here is an example from my life. Many ago I went through a divorce. It shook me up quite a bit. I was left with a financial debt, the struggle to raise my two small children, and the stigma of being a divorcee. Eventually through prayer, counseling and the support of friends I was able to get my life back on track. During those years I asked God quite often why he allowed me to go through that suffering, yet I did not get an answer.


Some years later, having received an annulment, I ended up meeting and marrying a very good man, and we are enjoying a nice life together. I also have been able to provide support and encouragement for others facing a divorce. Was it God’s plan for me to go through what I did so that later in life things would turn out well? I don’t know for sure, but in my heart, I believe that is true. I do know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not gone through that taxing situation. It turned out to be a blessing for me!


As we are facing suffering, it’s probable we will never know the reason for our suffering. We can complain often about our situation, but we need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways! So we must trust that our suffering is for a purpose far greater than we can see, and possibly God will bless you in some way later. Be open, accept and trust that God’s ways are best.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020



Posted on October 19, 2020 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

A few weeks ago our scripture readings were about the angels, specifically the archangels Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, whose feasts we celebrated on Sept. 29.


According to information I have read, there are nine orders of Spirits, or Angels, because we know by the testimony of Holy Scripture that there are the following: Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. "Angel" is the name of their office, not of their nature. The Holy Spirits of the heaven are always Spirits, but they cannot always be called Angels; they are Angels only when they are announcing something.


Those who announce less important things are called Angels, and those who announce the highest things are called Archangels. And so not just any Angel but the Archangel Gabriel was sent to Mary to announce she was to be the Mother of God; for this ministry, it was fitting to have the highest Angel, since he was to announce the greatest news of all.


The Archangels are also given special names to describe their particular virtue.


Michael means "Who is like to God?" Whenever something is to be done needing great power, Michael is sent forth so that from his action and his name we may understand that no one can do what God can do. The faithful of many churches recite the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel, to call upon Michael to defend us from the enemy (specially the devil).


Gabriel was sent to Mary; he is called "Strength of God" and came to announce the birth of Him who deigned to appear in humility to conquer the powers of the air.


Raphael is interpreted as the "Medicine of God," for when he touched the eyes of Tobias to do the work of healing, he dispelled the "night of his blindness."


We humans can call on the angels to help us – for that is their role in life. It certainly can’t hurt to request help from these powerful heavenly beings. In addition to calling on my personal Guardian Angel, I can call on the Archangels. When I am tempted I can call on Michael to defend me from the temptation. I can call on Raphael when I am feeling ill. And why not ask Gabriel to help me when I need to pass on a difficult message to someone?


Psalm 91:10-12 confirms the power of angels: "No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up,

lest you dash your foot against a stone."


I am so glad that we have angels available to help us! I encourage you to call on the angels and especially the archangels for help in your time of need. A blessing may await you!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Fall Colors

Posted on October 12, 2020 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Here in Minnesota we are blessed with four seasons. However, they are not exactly created equal.... Winter can be harsh, with huge snowfalls and bitterly cold days that seem to drag on forever, unless you happen to be one of those people who like to skate, ski or ice-fish (and I’m not!).


Spring is a better season for me. It’s a renewal and awakening, when dormant trees and plants bud out and fresh scents fill the air. Summer is though, in my opinion, the best season – when the weather is warm, flowers are in bloom and I can spend long, enjoyable hours outside.


Then there is Fall, which isn’t too bad. The passing of September signals that the cold Winter is on its way, but warm days alternate with cool ones. Some days you need to dress in layers to accommodate the changing temps as the day progresses! And there is so much beauty in the fall. Leaves change color and create a technicolor dream coat covering the landscape.


Crisp leaves rustle under my feet during my walks, and birds fly overhead, some migrating toward their winter homes. I marvel at the sunlight glinting off the myriad of colors everywhere: fading greens melting into bright yellows, and blazing oranges meshing with eye-popping reds, a veritable painter’s palette.


It seems to me that this year we have seen more vibrant colors than in other recent falls. On our forays into various state parks this fall we have seen some amazing views of the changing of the seasons, and even in our own neighborhood we have several lovely landscapes.


I am choosing to cherish the lovely days we have left of fall, focusing on the current beauty and not worrying about what will lie ahead in the coming months. I am capturing lots of photos, even though many of them will not be seen by eyes other than my own. The beauty captured in these last days of October will remain locked in my memory, ready to be recalled on some other dreary day.


If you have the opportunity to see fall colors where you live, I encourage you to do so - take a walk or go for a drive soon to see the beauty God has painted for us before it fades away. And if you can, take a few photos so you may be blessed later on a day when you may need the pick-me-up of viewing God’s majestic creation. Enjoy the beauty of the Fall Colors!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


100 Years

Posted on October 6, 2020 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

One hundred years is a very long time. Within the past century, we have seen several wars, depressions, the advent of computers and the internet, aviation and space exploration and so much more. Life changed from a mostly rural agronomic economy to one of big business and technology.


Many of the changes our world has seen have been good. People can live longer due to medical surgeries and treatments. We can keep in touch with friends and relatives all over the world instantaneously.


But even though our world is connected technologically, we’ve become disconnected personally. People hunch over their phones, texting a person who is sitting just across the room. They spend mindless time scrolling, oblivious to the people around them. I have been guilty of that.


This past week we celebrated the one hundredth birthday of my mother-in-law. A few family members gathered in her home to celebrate mass and share a meal. And we’ll be having a larger gathering of extended family and friends this week at the church hall – socially distanced, of course. Although she has slowed down considerably over the past several years and physically needs help, Mom still can crack jokes, beat me in cards and does not hesitate to share her opinion in conversations.


Mom does not have a computer or a smartphone. The only way to communicate with her is to send something in the mail, visit face to face or do an “old-fashioned” phone call. And she loves it – visiting with family and friends is the best part of her days.


When I am with her, I must make a conscious effort to put away my devices and focus on her. The current news can wait, the games can be played later. My husband and I don’t know how much more time we will have with her, so we talk on the phone and visit whenever we can. Mom may not be up on the latest technology, but she has wisdom gained from 100 years of living. And that is special.


Do you know an older person who may not have much contact with others? Perhaps you could reach out this week and spend some time with them. If you can’t meet in person due to Covid restrictions, a phone call is just as good. People love to interact personally, and who knows how much longer they will be around? Bless someone today with a visit or phone call – and you might find yourself blessed as well!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


All Will Be Well

Posted on September 28, 2020 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you ever have one of those very frustrating days? You know, the kind of day when little seems to go right and you tumble into bed exhausted and feel like nothing got accomplished?


Yeah, me too.


It’s on days like this that I can easily lose my temper and say something I shouldn’t say, make mistakes, or possibly make something worse than it already was. And it’s on days like this that I need to step back from the problems and figure out how to calm down.


Lucky for me, I have a few ways to help me become calm. The hard part is remembering that I have them and then using them!


What usually works for me is to start out by taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. Then I must recall that I am a mere human, subject to making mistakes, and I cannot expect perfection from myself. Finally, I have to surrender my problem to God.


In all probability, whatever I was working on will not matter at all in the grand scheme of things. I play a miniscule role in humanity – and while my good efforts can make a difference, my mistakes probably won’t.


Sometimes we just have to let go and remember Who is in charge. I have just begun reading “All Will Be Well,” a book from the series “30 Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher.” This particular volume is based on the classic spirituality of Julian of Norwich. Although I haven’t gotten very far into the book yet, the famous quote attributed to Julian, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well,” is one that helps me when I am facing frustration. My church also has a song with those same lyrics which provides me with comfort and calm.


Like almost every other saintly person, Julian wrestled with many things including sin. Yet her mystical visions helped her to see that although sin is a constant threat, somehow in the mystery of God, “all will be well.” She trusted that Christ has all things in hand and will bring good out of all things.


Yes, it’s hard to let go - I have not always been successful at this. And it’s challenging to face continued problems and trust that God will take care of them, and perhaps there is even a reason that these things happened. It’s so hard to be patient, to let God work in His time! I need to constantly remind myself that all will indeed be well in the end if I trust God, and that does help.


If you are struggling with a sticky problem or a rough day (or several), I encourage you to take that deep breath and see if you can let go of even a tiny piece of the problem. Turn it over to God and trust that He will handle it in His time. For with God, all indeed shall be well.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Knock, Knock

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

What do you think of when you see the words “Knock, Knock” or hear them spoken? My first thought is about those silly jokes we told as youngsters – you know the ones – “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Hoo.” “Hoo, who?” “You sound a little owly today…!” (groan)


While we may laugh at those little jokes, “Knock, knock” in the real world is different. Years ago we had a safer world, and when someone knocked at your door or rang your doorbell you would answer it. Today’s world is different, and we are often wary. If you are expecting a visitor or a package, or you can see through the glass that it is your neighbor, you will probably open the door. But if it’s a stranger out there, we may ignore the knock or even run and hide.


Sometimes I don’t even hear the knock. I have had packages delivered and I don’t even realize it until later. My husband gets frustrated with me about my not hearing his knock – he may need to repeat himself to get my attention. My problem stems partially from my hearing loss, but more so from the fact that I can get so engrossed in whatever I am doing that I just don’t hear the knock.


Over many hundreds of years, various artists have depicted Jesus standing outside a door, knocking. Have you seen any of these? (Google it!) This image is meant to portray Jesus knocking on the doors of our hearts. In every painting that I have seen, if you look closely, you will see there is no handle on the outside of the door. Why? Jesus cannot enter into our hearts unless we open the door!


This got me thinking. How often has Jesus been at my door knocking? How often have I been so involved in worldly things that I failed to hear Jesus knocking on the door of my heart, and thus failed to let Him in? Far too many, I’m sure.


I need to listen more. I need to pay attention to the gentle persistence of Jesus trying to get my attention, and I must open up that door. For even if I open the door just a crack, He can start to send in His grace and mercy. And when I open it wider, oh what blessings I can receive!


I challenge you today to listen for the knock, knock of Jesus at the door of your heart. The knock may be loud or it may be quiet. Open that door and let Him in. A blessing awaits you!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Rest and Refuge

Posted on September 14, 2020 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I don’t know of anyone who likes to get sick. I know I don’t. And yet it happens periodically. Every year I get some kind of cold which brings me down for a few days. I may have to cancel some activities because I don’t feel the best, but I recover and things are fine.


This year was no exception. Last week I felt a slight sore throat one day, and of course my mind turned upside down and ran overtime wondering if this was the onset of Covid. I cancelled my dental appointment and stayed home.


But there is an upside to not feeling the best. On that day I forced myself to rest and take care of myself, something I often forget to do. I worked a bit on my to-do list, caught up on some financial stuff and deleted old emails. But mostly I just rested in my home refuge, our basement family room. I curled up with a hot beverage and a good book, and I even took a few naps, another thing that I seldom do. And I enjoyed watched the birds come to the feeders.


Thankfully by the end of the day I felt much better, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to my “normal” life.


But my day of rest reminded me that resting is so very important. We need breaks from our “normal” lives, to rejuvenate our bodies as well as our minds. God wants us to rest, too. He himself rested on the seventh day of creation, and He instructed his people to rest on the Sabbath.


And we need a safe place, a refuge, where we can go to find that rest. At home, that place is my basement. Away from home, I find refuge in nature and in the Chapel at my church. But ultimately I need a spiritual place of refuge and rest, and for me, that place is Jesus. The beauty of having Jesus as my refuge is that I can access him anywhere, at any time. All I need to do is pray, and His peace comes to me.


We all need refuge – so today I want to give you another poem, titled “My Refuge.” May you be blessed with a place of refuge in your life.



My Refuge


Where is my refuge, O Lord of grace?

Where will I find it? Where is that place?


Where is the calmness I seek for my soul;

The feeling of being perfected and whole?


When I need refuge, security, love;

I only need to look high up above.


Just close my eyes and then open my heart;

Let my Lord’s deep love in grace do its part.


The gift of sweet refuge is easy to see;

Refuge is anywhere that I might be.


Refuge is found in my family so dear;

Sisters in Jesus, all lending an ear.


Refuge is found is a special retreat;

Lingering, pondering our faith so sweet.


It is in nature, hearing the sounds;

Seeing the beauty; creation abounds.


Refuge is found when I just sit and muse

On Scriptural verses that form the Good News.


Refuge is tasting the sweet Bread of Life;

Nourishing, lifting me far from my strife.


God is my refuge, my fortress and shield;

He will sustain me and make my heart yield.


He will grasp hold of my spirit and soul;

God is my refuge in whom I am whole.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Try, Try Again

Posted on September 7, 2020 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, I did it again. I made a mistake, and I hurt someone. I apologized later, once I realized how what I had said hurt the other person, but the guilt hit anyway. I was tempted to tell myself that I was a failure. Had I listened, I might have dragged myself down further. But fortunately, I didn’t listen. Instead, I tried again.


We all have days like that, don’t we? We do so much stuff and become tired, and our guard slips and something comes out you didn’t mean to say. We fail – all the time! And then we must ask for forgiveness. Yet the cycle repeats itself the next day or the next week.


It’s hard when I find myself in the confessional repeating the same sins. Oh yes, I do try to improve, but I still fail. And it’s hard to admit, especially to another live human being. The good news is that human is acting in the place of God.


And so, yet once again, I slowly come to God’s feet as a humble, sinful person. But every time He unfailingly forgives me! It doesn’t matter how often I make the same mistake, if I come to Him in sorrow, and promise to do better, God gently holds my hand and tells me I am forgiven. God is so happy that I am repenting! He also gives me some extra grace to help me in the future. And when I step out of that room, I am lighter and I really do try again to improve myself.


Have you been making a few mistakes here and there like I have? Do not berate yourself. Go instead to the One who loves you more than you can ever know. Whenever you ask His forgiveness, He will grant it. And when you ask for that forgiveness, ask too for grace to try again to become a better person. He will grant that too. And one day perhaps you will see some blessings come out of your trying.


Today I have a poetry gift for you. Enjoy!


Butterfly of Love


God’s love is sometimes like a beautiful butterfly,

flitting above and around us in the garden of our world,

often seemingly just beyond our grasp.

Lovingly we gaze after Love, wanting to touch it,

to hold it, to snatch it for ourselves.

We are jealous when Love appears to pass us by

and settles on another flower in our garden.

We become bitter at their good fortune.


When the rains fall into our garden, Love may vanish for a time,

and we can grow cold and lonely.

So when Love reappears, we chase it,

desperately flinging nets woven from our insecurities and fears,

hoping to snare Love for ourselves.

But Love does not want to be caught.


We also try to trap Love by placing good deeds of honey strategically at our feet,

praying that Love will notice them and come to us with affirmations.

But Love is not fooled – Love understands our true motives.

So we drench ourselves in a new fragrant scent

that promises to mask our stinkweed odor and attract Love.

But the stench of our sins cannot be hidden from Love.


In final desperation, we adorn our petals with radiant hues of every sort,

attempting to cover up the fading glory of our youth.

But Love sees through our costumes and knows what lies beneath.

We shed tears of dismay, tempted to give up

when Love does not seem to circle around us.

We may believe that we are unworthy of Love.


But we cannot force Love to come to us.

Love comes when we allow ourselves to be the special flower

we were created to be.

We do not need to rely on false colors or fragrances to mask our inner selves.

Love cannot be trapped by our works or netted by our actions.

Love comes as a precious gift from God;

a gift that requires nothing from us in return except our acceptance.


We must raise our stems and lift our petals high, standing tall in our garden,

accepting ourselves as a beautiful flower created uniquely by God.

Then the butterfly of Love will alight upon us,

pollinating us with every grace and mercy that God can grant.

When we are ready, Love will settle on us – and then we will be whole.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020