Reflections On The Journey



Reflections From Faye

view:  full / summary


Posted on March 20, 2023 at 7:45 AM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Choices - 3/20/2023


We all have choices to make every day. We choose what to eat, what to wear, where to go and so on. We make thousands of choices every single day. And most of these choices are minor, and don’t impact others. Who else is truly impacted if you wear purple pants, dye your hair green or eat junk food all day?


The choices that are problematic are the ones which endanger others or negatively impact our own spiritual health.


What do I mean by that?


I believe the problem comes when we disobey those in authority and rules. When we choose to disobey laws established by our government, this can impact our finances or even our ability to live freely, and it can affect our family and friends as well. For example, a person may choose to speed down a freeway faster than the posted limit. This choice disobeys the speed laws and can endanger the lives of others who are also driving on that freeway. When caught, the speeding driver will likely need to pay a fine, and if he or she continues to disobey this law, there is a possibility of jail time.


When we disobey the laws established by God, there also is a negative impact. For example, a person may choose to speak disparaging remarks about another person. If these remarks are untrue, the person is lying, and is disobeying God’s command as well as damaging another person’s reputation. But even if the remarks are true, spreading that message around, especially in a malicious manner, can negatively impact the reputation of the other person. And this is likely disobedient to God’s command as well.


If I were to take a candy bar from a store without paying for it, I am disobeying the seventh commandment, Thou Shalt Not Steal. It may seem like a petty theft and not serious, but it is stealing from the store, and therefore a violation of God’s command.


Or If I were to speak about my husband in a demeaning or negative way when talking to others, that would be a lie (because he is truly a nice guy!) and I would be disobeying the eighth commandment, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness. It’s also possible that I was disobeying the fifth commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill. That may not seem immediately apparent – but think about this: damaging my husband’s reputation is killing his reputation, which in a sense is killing him. I had never even thought about that before until I learned this when studying the Ten Commandments in detail a few years ago.


It can be easy for us to ignore God’s Laws. Perhaps we don’t think that they really apply to us, especially if something seems so minor as stealing a candy bar or calling someone a bad name. But if we don’t understand all the nuances in each of the Commandments, we may not realize that the things we are doing are actually disobeying a part of one of them. Now that I understand the commandments better, it seems foolish to ignore them just because we do not really understand them. The Ten Commandments were given to us for a reason, to help us live loving and caring lives in the way Jesus taught us.


When I am faced with a choice to do A or B, I find it helpful to first consider if doing either A or B would break a law or commandment. If so, I should either do nothing or opt for a choice which does not break the commandments. When I am not sure, I find it helpful to return to the Catechism and read up on the nuances of the commandments.


In addition, there are also some very thorough Confession pamphlets and apps out there (I like the one in the Laudate App) which ask some very probing questions to help me identify where I could break or have broken the commandments.

As we continue our Lenten journey, I pray that you will carefully consider the choices you will be making this week, and choose only those which are loving and good. Choose things that will bless others, not hurt them. In addition, if you have some time, I suggest you read the Catechism, Part 3 Life in Christ, Section 2, The Ten Commandments. You may learn a few things!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Living Water

Posted on March 12, 2023 at 10:30 PM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Living Water - 3/13/2023


Yesterday’s Gospel reading at my church was about the Woman at the Well. You’ve probably all read this story – the version I heard is found in John 4:4-42.


This is a remarkable passage for me. Jesus was at Jacob’s Well in Samaria, and he shocked everyone by speaking to a woman of poor repute. He asked her for water, and spoke about many things, including Living Water. At first the woman did not understand. But gradually she understood that Jesus was there to give her Himself as the Living Water, and that changed her life.


I had the privilege of visiting Jacob’s Well when I was on my pilgrimage to Israel several years ago. We went into a church and down some steps to see it. By itself, the well was unremarkable – probably just like many wells of that time period, but to think that Jesus was there, and I was there. Would I be changed as well by the Living Water?


Today I would like to share a poem I wrote about this experience, from the woman’s point of view.


At The Well


Wearily, I made my way out to the edge of town;

At the site of Jacob’s Well I set my bucket down.


I tied the bucket to the rope and sent it down the well;

It took a while to reach the depth where waters freely swell.


As I hauled the bucket up, I noticed by a tree

A dusty, rugged Jewish man who gently smiled at me.


I turned my tired eyes away and tugged upon the rope.

The water splashed as up it came and I sensed a new hope.


The Jewish man began to speak though I’m Samaritan;

I didn’t know why he would want to talk with me, a woman.


First he asked me for a drink; I pondered what to say;

Then he spoke of a Living Gift to take my thirst away.


The Living Water, he proclaimed, will satisfy your thirst;

Never more to be afraid of pain or loss or worse.


He kept on probing in my soul and turned me inside out;

He told me all about my past and all the sins throughout.


Give me please, that I might drink this Living Water, sir;

I want to know the gracious gift to make my heart so pure.


And suddenly I felt His love breaking through my fears;

I sensed His grace and knew the truth; my eyes filled up with tears.


My heart was bared by this sweet man, He cleansed me from my sin;

The Living Water washed me clean and freed my soul within.


My heart began to burst with joy; I set my bucket down,

I had to share what I now knew to everyone in town.


I shouted up and down the street to everyone who’d hear

Come see the only one I’ve met who knew my every tear!


I led the people back to Him, they sat beneath His feet,

He shared with them as He’d with me the Living Water sweet.


I never will forget the day that I went to the well,

For that was when my saving Lord came in my heart to dwell.


Friends, I pray that this week you will take some time to ponder the blessings you may find in the gift of Living Water that Jesus has for you.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Prayer and Fasting

Posted on March 5, 2023 at 9:30 PM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Prayer and Fasting - 3/6/2023


How is your Lent going? Have you been doing anything special as a sacrifice this year?


I recently read the following passage in the Acts of The Apostles: “On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: ‘Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me to do the work for which I have called them.’ Then, after they had fasted and prayed, they imposed hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3).


The Apostles combined prayer and fasting.


We need God, but sometimes we can lose sight of Him when we engage in other activities. Sad to say, this has happened to me. Prayer is very important to maintain our relationship with God. A good relationship requires conversation! Fasting, too, is an important tool which helps us align our bodies with our spirits. Fasting has been around since the time of the Apostles – and it is something that Catholics are encouraged to do during Lent.


I don’t know about you, but I have trouble fasting – I love my food! Yet fasting need not be just about food – we can fast from anything that gives us comfort. For me, food certainly qualifies as a comfort. But so does periodically enjoying a glass of wine, playing that word game every morning, and spending time reading a good mystery or assembling a jigsaw puzzle. There are many things that I can fast from during Lent.


So as I reread that passage from Acts, I am reminded that prayer accompanies fasting. I am not such a good prayer warrior either – I admit that I sometimes forget to pray for people or things I said I would pray for. So maybe I need to work harder on combining prayer with my fasting… maybe that will help me improve both my prayer and my fasting!


This week I am going to be fasting and praying for a specific intention. At whatever time of day when I would normally indulge in my selected favorite activity, I’m going to fast from it and instead take some time to pray for my intention. I am praying to God for help to ensure that I stick to this plan! My goal is to do this for just one week, but who knows, maybe I will be able to expand this into the remaining days of Lent or make it a habit in my daily life. I would appreciate your prayers to help me stick to this plan.


I encourage you to do a little fasting and praying, too, this week. It need not be on every day of the week like I am trying to do, but I hope you will try it at least once this week. Pick something to pray for, and then pray while you fast. I am praying that you will receive a blessing from your prayer and fasting!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


How Is Your Day?

Posted on February 23, 2023 at 5:20 PM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – How Is Your Day? - 2/27/2023


Have you ever woken up and been a bit afraid to face the day? I have. When I have some particularly challenging things to do or have just suffered some kind of loss, I often would prefer to just roll over and go back to sleep.


Everyone faces challenges during their life. And some days are just going to be more difficult than others.


When I am faced with a challenging day, I often turn to songs for encouragement. One of my favorites is “Miracle Power” by the group We The Kingdom. Their words say: “I may not know what a day may bring, but I know Who brings the day.” Another favorite is the song from the group Cain called “I’m So Blessed.” The words that speak to me are: ”'Cause on my best day, I'm a child of God; On my worst day, I'm a child of God; Every day is a good day; And You're the reason why.”


How can I not feel uplifted and blessed when I hear these kinds of words? I believe the Holy Spirit can send us messages like this, through songs or the words of others, when we need encouragement or are having a rough day. These words are a fantastic reminder that God is always in control of every single day. I need to trust that He will see me through, no matter what may happen.


Are you facing a challenge today? If so, maybe you want to listen to the two songs I mentioned above to get a little lift. Or perhaps there is something else that you turn to to get some comfort and support. Whatever you do, always remember that you are God’s child, and He is the one who brings each day. You can trust that He will help you through your day, whatever you may be facing. Who knows what kind of blessing is in store for you even when you are facing a challenge?


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


More Kindnesses

Posted on February 19, 2023 at 10:15 PM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – More Kindnesses - 2/20/2023


A year ago I introduced you to a special project called “The Magic of Kindness.” It was a year-long effort for people to purposefully do at least one kind thing during each week for a year, and then, if they wish, to share about it on Facebook.


I believe over 60 people officially were a part of this effort. It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by! If you participated with me in this project, thank you. I am happy to report that I succeeded in my effort to do kindnesses each week for the year, and I was probably just as blessed as those recipients of my kindnesses.


It was not hard at all to find ways to be kind to people. Opportunities are everywhere, if you just look. Many of the people who participated in the project did some pretty amazing things for others – it was encouraging to me just to read about them. And I got some fantastic ideas about ways I could be kind.


People who participated in the project visited others, sent cards or flowers, made phone calls, left gifts or money, did repairs, paid for meals, gave rides, held open doors and just said “thank you.” And this was just the tip of the iceberg. Just wonderful!


Although the Magic of Kindness project is now officially over, I plan to continue doing kind things for others. It actually will be a wonderful thing to continue to do during Lent! I hope that you, too, will bless others with kindnesses this week and all throughout Lent. You may be surprised at how doing kind things brightens your day!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Lenten Sacrifice

Posted on February 12, 2023 at 9:05 PM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Lenten Sacrifice - 2/13/2023


Did you know that Lent is just over a week away? February 22nd is Ash Wednesday, and it will be here before you know it. Often, Lent sneaks up on me and I don’t take enough time to prepare myself, but this year I am getting ready for Lent NOW.


Many of us will remember as children that when Lent rolled around we were asked to make a sacrifice for Lent. In my home, it was required that I give up something, and no, I couldn’t give up homework! Reluctantly, I would give up things that I liked, such as chocolate or soda. (I tried to give up liver and onions one year, but my mother wouldn’t allow that…)


When I became an adult and was out on my own, I continued to give up things for Lent because that is what I knew to do. One year I even gave up BOTH chocolate and soda. That was one lonnnng Lent.


But I seldom thought beyond the idea of giving up things as my sacrifice. Therefore, I was surprised some years ago when I heard a speaker describe their sacrifice in Lent to be giving up bad habits and sins, like making negative comments about others. What? You can give up bad habits? Or give up sins? Instead of giving up things? Wow. That got me to thinking. And I started trying that.


And I also learned there are other kinds of sacrifices: we can choose to give something instead of giving up something. A giving sacrifice could be to volunteer at a homeless shelter or prepare meals for others. We could call or visit people who are homebound. In doing these actions we are sacrificing some of our personal time for the benefit of others, an excellent way to sacrifice for Lent.


Another idea would be to choose to do a weekly adoration hour during Lent. This sacrifice of our personal time grants us time to pray for others who need help. We can also just adore God during our hour, which qualifies as a sacrifice of praise! Any of these ideas are excellent ways to sacrifice for Lent.


Since I already do one adoration hour each week, I am choosing this Lent to do a second adoration hour, a giving of more of my time for God. As I am pretty busy with many volunteer activities already, this will be a sacrifice on my part, but one that I think will benefit me spiritually as well as benefit those for whom I will pray.


I encourage you to also choose some sacrifice of giving instead of (or in addition to!) giving up this year for Lent. I believe your sacrifice will a great blessing to others, and I also suspect you will be blessed by your sacrifice, too.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Be Bold

Posted on February 6, 2023 at 9:20 AM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Be Bold - 2/6/2023


Do you act boldly and with courage regarding your faith?


As an inherent introvert, I tend to not speak up about things unless I am sure I know the answer. It always seemed to take me awhile to get comfortable with something, but once I am comfortable, I have no problem speaking up.


When it comes to my faith, though, sometimes I am hesitant to speak up for what I believe. Perhaps it’s that introverted nature of mine, but so often I pass up opportunities to express my beliefs more out of fear of negative reactions of others.


I have been reading the Book of the Acts of the Apostles recently, and Chapters 4 and 5 talk about how bold the disciples were regarding proclaiming Jesus to the people around them. They spoke up freely, teaching anyone who would listen to them. They gladly accepted being thrown into jail for what they taught, and even rejoiced – “The apostles for their part left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill treatment for the sake of the Name.” (Acts 5:41)


When I read those verses I had to pause. I am a Christian, and so I am also a disciple of Jesus. All disciples are called to proclaim Jesus to others. But how well do I do that?


In church I’m fine. It’s a safe environment and the people there are all Christians too. So there I have no problem sharing my story and my beliefs with others.


And within this blog it is also easy for me to share my faith. I don’t have to face anyone directly, and chances are, people who disagree with me don’t even read my blog! I’m probably talking to a very receptive audience.


But out in the world? When I look at those who go out and boldly share their faith with the homeless, prisoners, or other groups who may react hostilely, I shrink back. I seem to lack the boldness necessary to speak in these situations.


The passages from the Acts that I was reading follow sequentially on the heels of Pentecost – that fiery event when the Holy Spirit came down on those in the Upper Room. The people in that room were emboldened by the Spirit – all of a sudden they had the courage to proclaim their faith to others.


Now I was confirmed as a young girl, and in Confirmation I supposedly received the Holy Spirit. So, I wonder why I don’t feel that bold like the Apostles?


Then I remember that the Holy Spirit gives all kinds of Gifts to us. And we don’t all get the same gifts. Not everyone is called to be preachers or doctors or teachers. Not all of us are gifted with the ability to sing or write. But all of us ARE called to proclaim God, using our specific gifts that are unique to us. Some people are given the wherewithal to proclaim God publicly. Others are given gifts to proclaim God through their actions. There are many kinds of gifts that help us to proclaim Jesus.


Do you recall that famous aphorism traditionally ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi? They say he said: “Always preach the Gospel…. by words if necessary.” With my gifts I can proclaim God in many ways, not just in speech! I boldly proclaim what Jesus and the Apostles demonstrated in the Gospel by my acts of kindness toward others. In writing my blog, poetry and prose, I proclaim my faith to my readers. I proclaim God in song, as I lead liturgies and offer sung comfort at funeral masses. I may not be called to proclaim God in the same way as the Apostles, but I can boldly proclaim Him using the gifts that I do have.


What gifts do you have that you can boldly use to share your faith with others? Take a few moments this week to think about what you can do, and then do it! Be bold this week and proclaim to others the gifts you have received – because in doing so you will bless others with your gifts.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on January 30, 2023 at 8:10 AM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Pulled - 1/30/2023


Have you ever been pulled between two things? I have been many times. I have been pulled between deciding to go to one favored restaurant versus another favored one. Sometimes I’m pulled toward an extra helping of that delicious casserole or to have a cookie for dessert instead of declining those in favor of my waistline. I also have been pulled between doing all the things on my to-do list versus finishing that puzzle.


The choices I listed above are probably minor in the big scheme of things, and they really only affect me (except maybe when I put off doing the things I need to do in favor of that not-so-important jigsaw puzzle...)


The problem comes when I am pulled by something more critical in my life, especially when it comes to my faith or other people.


A few weeks ago I was pulled toward getting a free meal at lunch instead of attending daily mass prior to my scheduled adoration hour. I’m sad to say that I chose the meal. And why? I certainly didn’t need the extra calories that meal provided, and I lost the opportunity to spend that extra half hour with God. That certainly did not help my faith life. But I chose the “freebie” and the satisfying of my hunger over an opportunity to improve my faith.


So often lately I have found myself focused more on “me” than on others or God. When faced with two choices, I somehow tend to gravitate toward the one that serves me rather than the one which serves others or God. Feeding my body certainly isn’t a bad thing, but oh, how much better it would have been for me to feed my soul instead. And taking the time to call a lonely neighbor would be so much more beneficial than getting a few more chapters read in my book.


I am happy to report that last week I did forgo the lunch and instead attended mass before my adoration hour. My extra time at church was very productive! When I pay attention to what is pulling me, and why, I can make better choices.


Have you been pulled lately? If so, maybe it’s time to review the choices that pull you and really think about what you are choosing. And maybe this week, you can make one better choice for God or others instead of a choice for yourself. A blessing may await you!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on January 23, 2023 at 9:20 AM Comments comments ()

Blog 349


Monday Meditation – Sunsets - 1/23/2023


I love watching the sky in the evening and noting the descent of the sun. Sunsets can be so beautiful, especially when I am near water! Whenever I can, I sit for a while and enjoy the view. And when the sunset seems especially spectacular, I pull out my phone and start snapping photos to capture the moment, even though I know that my pictures will not come anywhere close to the majesty I see in person.


Sunsets whisper to us to look closer and relish the rest and peace in the approaching evening. If I put in a little effort to really look, I will see the beauty and the uniqueness of a sunset that will never again be known and experienced in the same way. The clouds will never align just as they are right now with the sun on the horizon in just that spot with a tint of this exact mix of color. The waning heat radiating from the sun on my face at this precise moment is here as a unique gift unlike any other should I care to welcome, engage and experience it.


God has created immense beauty around us that is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Whatever has brought me to this particular place, I can be grateful for my life and the enriched beauty of the oft unnoticed sun going down each day.


This week I encourage you to watch a sunset or two, if possible. Drink in the beauty of its hues and watch the shifts in the clouds and rays as the sun sinks past the horizon. Savor this precious blessing that God has prepared – just for you, at just this moment.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on January 16, 2023 at 11:05 AM Comments comments ()

Monday Meditation – Visits - 1/16/2023


Do you enjoy visiting with friends and family? I do. I appreciate when people call me up to chat and update me about what is going on in their lives. I also enjoy popping in with neighbors or meeting a friend for lunch. Texting is ok, too, when phone calls cannot happen, but there is something much better about direct person-to-person contact.


I’m sure you recall at the beginning of the covid pandemic when suddenly face-to-face contact became much less possible. I was thankful I was able to stay in touch with people by phone, but physical visits had to be put off. That meant I could not bring communion to people for a long time. Once restrictions were lifted, I was so happy that I could visit people again, even if I had to wear a mask.


Mostly now I am able to visit people without wearing a mask. Only for those people whose health is at risk do I wear a mask, and if I have a cold I will wear a mask when I go out.


It’s kind of sad that we need to have all these precautions.


Something that also saddens me is when I am out at a restaurant and there are people at a nearby table who are not talking to each other. Instead, they are each looking at something on their phones. I do understand the need to answer an important phone call, or maybe even to look something up as part of a discussion (I’ve done both!) but to spend your entire meal not talking to the person you are with? That is distressing.


This week I am fortunate to be visiting a dear friend who lives in Arizona. We are enjoying our time together, doing things with each other in person instead of just talking via video chat. I cherish these opportunities to visit face-to-face.


This week I encourage you to have a face-to-face visit with someone you haven’t seen for a while. Maybe the visit can only be via video chat, but if possible, physically visit that person. I think you will find a blessing in being able to look into their eyes and communicate directly with them!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023