Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Friday, 6 February 2015
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
This duty we have to let go of all the "it" that we can't take with us is hard work. It can take a lifetime and more.When I'm on my deathbed, I doubt I'll be able to look back and say that I have reached a level of perfect detachment from all earthly things. I'll probably still be clutching my pearls, holding a stray grudge for a perceived slight or a real injury, and wrong about more than a few things. Very few of us reach a level of complete detachment, and by and large we get the pleasure of recognising them as Saints. Now don't get me wrong, it is my goal to find myself fully prepared for Heaven (I am one to set the bar high), but I recognise my weakness and inability to accept all the graces God pours out on my broken little heart. So where does that leave me? As a Catholic, I have the supreme comfort of realising God has prepared for me a place where I can finish whatever unfinished work was due to make me ready for the joys of Heaven. Purgatory, which is by the way not just a sort of eternal waiting room, is a place where I will be able to work to the purification of my soul while basking in the hope of Heaven. My hope will always be for my long home, but I rejoice in God's gift of my one day temporary home, that is Purgatory. Purgatory and purge come from the same word. It means to make clean or pure. And for all my friends who love to purge all your extra "stuff", use the same spirit and purge any emotional baggage you have too. Since we can't take material possessions with us anyway, we should get a head start on Purgatory and start letting go of our spiritual hang-ups.
Here's the lucky thing, if your "it" is love, you get to carry every last drop of that. So if there's anything you want to pile up, fill the rooms of your heart up with beautiful memories, love of others, hours of prayer for friends and strangers, and acts of kindness to one and all. The more you fill your heart up with love, the less room there will be for the "stuff" that clutters up your life and your soul. Now that it's a new year, maybe we can take on the challenge to say goodbye to a little more brokenness and welcome in more love.
Friday, 5 December 2014
As Christmas approaches, many of us are trying to find unconventional ways to give gifts that aren't more possessions to clutter our lives. Here are a few of my favourite places to donate:
1. Food related charities. Contact your local food bank and see what they're looking for. Don't just give what you have in your pantry and don't want. Often cash donations are appreciated! Locals check out Feed NS and Hope Cottage!
2. Children's and Battered Women's Shelters. Cash is always good but I know they have specific needs that could be covered. Adsum House, Phoenix House, and Byrony House do incredible work for those in need in our area!
3. Homeless shelters and actual homeless people. This year dear friends packed up Ziploc bags with toiletries, snacks, gloves and gift cards for our local coffee shop.
4. Chalice Canada has an amazing catalogue of one time gifts to serve those in third world countries. You can also sponsor a child for a mere $33 a month.
5. Your local crisis pregnancy center. Our local center, Open Door, is currently raising money to increase their space as they've been serving our community so well they need more space to do it even better!
6. Matercare International is providing women and child based care world wide. Check out their website for more information and consider a one time donation or becoming a monthly donor.
7. I am a member of the Signs for Life team and I know we're looking for more donations to support our Spring campaign. Our website is full of great information and can lead you to other local pro-life services in our area you may want to support year round!
Don't forget your local Church and the charities associated with it! They do lots of quiet work for people in the area as well.
God bless all of you this Advent and then during the Christmas season!
Friday, 28 November 2014
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matt 25:40)
Let me start out this post with a thank you. To our family, friends, good folk at our Church, and all those who are walking through these difficult days with us. Our days begin and our nights end with prayers of thanksgiving for your kindness and generosity. You have been Christ to us and seen Christ in us. You didn't wait until everything fell apart to run to our aid. You came quietly and without show at the first sign of our struggle. You took care of us and helped us stay steady. You have been a light in dark nights of confusion and fear. May God bless all of you!
As some of you know, we've had a tumultuous few months. Without warning my husband's shop closed. I won't go into details, but this was a real blow as he had dreamed of a career and long future with this company. Within 24 hours he had secured a new position, but that only lasted for a short time as his health fell apart in the aftermath. For the last little while he has been without a job, struggling to find peace of mind.
What started as a search for the right job, became a struggle with increasing anxiety and depression. This week he was formally diagnosed with moderate to severe depression and told he has to take time away from his job search. As a man who prides himself on his ability to provide for our large family, these are trying days. I am doing my best to remind him every day that he needs to take care of himself and once he's stronger we'll move forward.
In all of this, he has held on to his faith. Every challenge is met with the mantra "Jesus, I trust in you!". He has been open about his struggles and is doing his best to shine a light on the pain of depression. He is so aware of his blessings and still thanks God for all of them, even if his brain is keeping him from enjoying them. We are working hard getting him all the help he needs.
My husband is proof that no burden is so great that it cannot be placed at the foot of the Cross. While there are still times of intense suffering, all suffering can be made more bearable when we unite ourselves with Christ. The greatest hope comes in knowing that the Cross of Christ leads to victory. My solace is in knowing that we can be like Simon of Cyrene, helping those around us bear the burden of their cross. There is no burden too great when you have the hands of many others lifting you up.
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Our culture is so hostile to life that it clouds the view of intelligent, educated and loving women and men. It teaches them to avoid parenthood at any cost. It teaches that our sexuality is only a tool for our pleasure. It teaches that our inability to scientifically measure personhood in the womb gives us license to strip our children of their humanity. It teaches us that our children are commodities that can be refused or sought after, again, at any cost. Our society, which accuses me of being too "faith-based" in my opinions, has been busy, quietly selling its own narrative and set of values. People have been sold the lie that they have no dignity unless they are independent and in a position of power. They have been taught to believe that their position of power over another being gives them moral impunity. They have been taught that their bodily autonomy trumps the bodily autonomy of the life they participated in creating.
Thursday, 11 September 2014
When we started getting farm fresh vegetables and fruit from our CSA I found myself frequently puzzled by what to do with all the stalks, leaves and general leftovers of certain veggies. Swiss chard leaves are great tossed into a quick stir fry, but I don't have the patience to wait for the stalks to get tender. Celery leaves smell beautiful but I was mystified by them. I didn't even know garlic had scapes or stalks. This dilemma repeats itself ad nauseam with every new box. After months of putting more of these extras in the compost than anywhere else, I started a freezer bag and began tossing things in. Whenever the bag gets full or the mood strikes me I take my humble cast offs and make them into a flavourful and hearty soup! Here's a recipe for today's leftover soup, but you can heavily modify with whatever you have:
1 frozen turkey leg (bought on sale)
1 frozen broccoli stalk
1 bunch Swiss chard stalks
1 garlic stalk
1 bunch celery leaves
4 medium carrots (only fresh veg. All others are frozen)
1/2 cup pot barley (that was lingering in my pantry)
The end of a container of chicken stock (because I had it)
Spice to taste (I used s&p and some curry powder for some kick)
Leave it on medium heat all day. You'll need to strain it to pull out the bones and chop up the veggies. It'll be hot so give yourself some time. It'll taste even better if you let it rest overnight and cook it all day the next day.