And so, I Blog!!

Soooo, everybody is blogging except for Moi? Is this the newest form of writing? Are we headed towards the reality of the movie "Fahrenheit 451 "? What a tragedy that would be!! I have tried Twitter~for about 48 hours ,not for me at all! I do Facebook, but also find it to be truly surfacy and a bit of a waste of my time. I like to write, not twit or mindlessly comment. So, I guess I will. :) Here I will share on the most precious thing in my life, my recovery and my spiritual journey. If my only audience is that of the ether, that will be good enough ... for I write not to be read, but because I am called to write!!! And so, I blog!!
I will begin with the daily readings from the book:

A Grateful Heart ~ 365 ways to give thanks at mealtime edited by MJ Ryan
The Winter Prayers began on the first day of winter ~ so I am begining there. The winter prayers begin with this thought:
A thankful soul is thankful under all circumstances, a complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise. -BAHA'U'LLAH
Please join me in thought-provoking conversaton! Namaste' Cate

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blessing them, each and everyONE

O Great Spirit, whose care reaches to the uttermost
parts of the earth; we humbly beseech thee to behold
and bless those whom we love, now absent from us, and
defend them from all dangers of soul and body.
                         -   Adapted From The Book of Common Prayer

One dance we did during the Dances of Universal Peace retreat was one in which
we recalled all the persons who had ever blessed our lives and called them all
into the circle of our memories  ... as these thousands of people came to mind
and we called out their names, they began filling the air like gentle floating
snowflakes.  It is incredible to really realize how many people have touched my
life over these 50 plus years.  Sometimes I simply pause, and I send them a blessing
in gratitude.  Life is generous, so very generous!!!        Cate

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One more day to serve

One more day to serve.
One more hour to love.
One more minute to praise.
For this day I am grateful.
If I awaken to the morning sun,
I am grateful.
- Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

I was listening to the wisdom of a Sufi master a few days ago,
an he reminded me of something Patt always told me:
"There are only two things happening ever ~ one is either loving
or seeking to be loved."

How much we all seek love and affirmation, 
it seems to be the human condition.

At the end of the day, I try to remember to ask myself:
Did I light up when that person came into the room?
Did I remember to love the truth of each person?
Did I remember to reach out and try to be of service?
Was I seeking love or sharing love this day ...
did I remember to live as if I have an abundant supply to share ...
because, I do, we all do,
as long as we stay close to the source!!

Did I?
Did You?
It makes all the difference ~ Cate

Monday, March 26, 2012

Flowers in the snow

In these dark waters
drawn up from
 my frozen well ...
Glittering of spring.
- Rangai

I love the image of a flower poking through the snow,
or growing through a crack in a sidewalk,
or growing on the side of a rock mountain.

It reminds me of the essence of life ~
always alive and well,
even when covered with stone!!

Sometimes life offers me a painful poke
and invitation to look closer at something I may not want to view.
I think the pain might be there as the flower tries to poke through the crust of snow ...
but, when I say YES to the invitation, 
and am open to receive the gift of awareness that is being offered to me,
it is as if the flower breaks through and begins to grow
freely and beautifully!

I got that poke today, 
and I said YES ...
and I am grateful for that ....
and a little weary ...
and could use a hug!
So, in closing, I share a hug with you!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

I remember

This world is nothing more than
Beauty's chance to show Herself.
And what are we?
Nothing more than Beauty's chance to see Herself.
For if Beauty were not seeking Herself
we would not exist.

Every particle of creation
sings its own song
of what is, and what is not.
The wise hear what is;
The mad hear what is not.
And only a cracked mirror
will show a difference..

All your knowledge
leads you in the wrong direction;
All your worship
only puts you to sleep.
Insipid is this world
which only believes in what is seen;
Here, taste the wine from this Cup
which cannot be seen.

The one who has adorned himself
with the Creator's form
Is the only one fit to guard
the purity
of both worlds.

On account of those who repeat His name,
This Earth has become a paradise,
an honored place
in the order of creation.
God's love is on this Earth,
And the heavens forever bend over to greet Her.
-   Ghalib, Translated by Jonathan Star

Today I have received so many views of ONENESS .... 
such a splendid reminder !!

I listened to SOUL SUNDAY this morning
and heard a quote by Peter Donov
that explained  how we are the spark of God.
Essentially, the great Creator places a spark of itself
into everything it creates ... every person, plant, flower, animal etc. 
contains a spark of the Creator.
So often, it simply remains a spark.
But, it can grow and glow if we
pay attention to it, nurture it,
recognize it within ourselves and others!

This evening I watched a special on Fairfield Iowa ~
where the whole town gathers together in meditation
twice daily ...their belief in meditation is so strong,
and they live that out together!!

Life is truly generous ....     cate

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Spring !!

I was watching Rosie as she celebrated her 50th birthday this year.  She said that there has been a change in what is considered the first day of Spring!  It is now the 20th instead of the 21st ~ whichever it is, I am a little  bit late, but my wishes are heartfelt all the same!  Happy Happy Spring!!!

Our prayer book begins with the following thought for the new season ....

Angeles Arrien writes, " The capacity to acknowledge
others is directly equated with our ability to extend
gratitude.  Cross culturally there are four ways we
acknowledge one another: Acknowledgement of
skills, Character qualities, appearance, and the impact
that others make on us.  The great healers of the
world are gifted in their capacity to use the four
acknowledgments in equal proportions.  A daily
practice of gratitude would be extending those four
acknowledgments to ourselves and to our loved ones,
towards our friends and our colleagues."  Let us take a few
moments right now to make those acknowledgments
to at least one person.

And so, we begin this lovely season with an invitation to express gratitude!  

Thank you, thank you, Thank you to all my dear wonderful unique family and friends ... I am so truly blessed!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

...and live

Lord make me an instrument of Your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine  Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive,
IT is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to
eternal life.
     - Saint Francis of Assisi
At the end of our life, our questions are very simple:  Did I
live fully?  Did I love well?
                   - Jack Kornfield

Could it really be this simple?
There is a song that I hear on occasion that always points me in the right direction ...
and it springs forth when I really need it.
It is on my mind tonight ... guess I must need it,
and I want to share it with you!!  

Enjoy .... the link below


Monday, March 19, 2012

The laughter and the tears

To those of us whose lives have been hidden from
society, from those we love, from ourselves, we join in
     To those of us who have resisted isolation and stood
up to fear, we give heartfelt affirmation.
     In honor of those of us who have courageously,
joyfully, burst into the fullness of our identities, we
offer gratitude and blessing.
                             -Molly Fumia
Give me a sense of humor,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some pleasure out of life
And pass it on to other folk.
               - anonymous

The readings today speak of some vital elements of living life on life’s terms with authenticity.
It is so important to join in solidarity with others rather than living  a divided life, and to stand together in courage and faith rather than folding into fear and isolation.Those of us who travel the road to happy destiny shoulder to shoulder certainly know the truth of this.  Most of us have experienced times in the journey where we  have stumbled, and it is those journeying beside us who have held us up until we are back on our feet.  And so, the journey continues ....
A sense of  humor ... life can so often be share with laughter and/or with tears.  Our fellowship has an amazing capacity to share life giving laughter that is heart felt and contagious!   Life can be shared through a sense of humor.

  I am just returning from a wonderful quiet week of retreat in a hermitage in a wooded area on the grounds of a Franciscan Motherhouse. Now, the rule book says that visitors are “discouraged”, it does not say they are not allowed. Soooo, during the day I received the gift of two visiting friends and we shared our spiritual journeys through tales and tears ... and then our number grew to six and we shared spiritual journeys through gales of laughter so hearty it led to tears.
  The laughter and the tears, they blessed us, each and everyONE!!!
The Spiritual Journey is the most intimate  of all journeys.  How blessed are we
 who are able to share and receive these wonders with others; 
the ineffable laughter and the tears.

In Joy ~  Cate

Sunday, March 18, 2012

May all be well

May people be well, may they be well,
Male, female, male, female,
Goats, cattle, boys and girls;
May they multiply themselves
Bad luck go away from us ..
                        -An elder of the Kithuri Clan,
                          The Meru of Kenya
Ah, the simple clean wisdom of those persons who live closer to the earth
than we do. I remember reading many books about pioneers and wagon trains
and settlers of the early days of our country. They were so necessarily reliant
upon the earth and its many changing moods and seasons.  This simple
prayer of the Kithuri elder pretty much covered it all, so simple and pure.... 
all about survival of the community.
The prayer to Kai carries the wisdom of balance.  So often the darkness
is perceived in such negative terms, yet, without the darkness we can not
see the light....all has its place in the whole, and all calls for respect. 
I want to be closer to the earth, there is so much wisdom there, so much
centering! As I retreat this week, I walk on the earth and I sit on my
hermit-porch watching and listening as the breeze flows through the lacy
branches of the trees.  And, I breathe, and breathe, and every breath
brings me closer to awareness of unity with the One, with ALL!      

Kai, Be with us.
Violence, destruction, receive our homage.
Help us bring darkness into the light,
To lift out the pain, the anger,
Where it can be seen for what it is -
The balance-wheel for our vulnerable, aching love.
Within the act of creation,Crude power that forges a balance
Between hate and love.
Help us to be the always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who knows that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.
Bear the roots in mind,
You, the dark one, Kali,
Awesome power.
           - May Sartan

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning
   and to help to relieve the grief of one
   person in the afternoon.
I vow to live simply and sanely, content with just a
   few possessions.
and to keep my body healthy.
I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety
    in order to be light and free.
                         -Thich Nhat  Hanh

I have appreciated the pure wisdom and Spirit that shines through the words of Thich Nhat Hanh
for many years.  He has a simple and direct way of  opening me to see things through a different
I look at his list of morning vows and realize how different this is from my own ... my vows tend to linger more towards specific things to be done, or others to be avoided ... all in a more Santa Claus good-bad list sort of manner. It seems there are so many things to be accomplished, and so many things to let go of .... it is those items that fill my list prayers as  look toward each day. 
But, look at this simple list of his ... bringing joy to one person, relieving the grief of another....
living simply and sanely; light and free.  Those are such genuine gifts to take into every day,
bringing my presence in this world to a place of growing service!!
This kind of spiritual focus can help to refine my Spirit and grow me towards a path of enlightenment, and place where I can be all those I encounter.
I believe I have found a new morning prayer!
Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that
can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to
follow.  You are here for no other purpose than to realize
your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.
Foster peace in your own life and apply the Art
of peace to all you encounter.
                                           - Morihei  Ueshiba

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peace to all you encounter

Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that
can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to
follow.  You are here for no other purpose than to realize
your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.
Foster peace in your own life and apply the Art
of peace to all you encounter.
                                           - Morihei  Ueshiba

Hmmmm...apply the art of peace to all you encounter ... pretty easy for those who are easy to deal with and fun to encounter.  It is a much bigger challenge within those encounters where my buttons keep getting pushed or someone repeatedly throws me under the bus!  What a great practice this is to utilize during these days of lent!!  Imagine how this world could be if we ALL adopted this practice during these weeks of lent .... I think we would discover world peace.
Let there be peace on earth ...... cate

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The food of your life

For each of us food is the source of sustenance, the
basis of life; and when we offer this gift to one another,
we are not only nourishing each other’s bodies, we are
feeding one another’s spirit. So  receive – and give -  the
food of your life as the powerful gift it is.
           -Daphne Rose Kingma

During the celebration of 100 years of our congregation in the USA when I was a member of the SSCM's, our motto for the year was "We are Bread".  Bread represents the sharing of life in so many situations ... breaking bread together, the loaves and the fishes, communion;sharing our truest nourishment, our greatest gift ~ the healing power of love.  When that is the bread that is shared, the truly nourished soul becomes visible here on earth....and the eternal now moment becomes visible to the naked eye as the breeze travels through a beam of the moon.

Today I am open to receive and to give .... the true bread of life!        Cate

Friday, March 9, 2012

The rainbow within

As a child
     I was told and believed
                 that was a treasure
                     buried beneath every rainbow.
I believed it so much that
       I have been unsuccessfully
            chasing rainbows
                   most of my life.
I wonder why
     no one ever told me
         that the rainbow
     and the treasure
          were both
               within me.
             - Gerald  G. Jampolsky, M.D.

This reminds me of the story about the fish looking everywhere for the sea ...
looking and looking and looking everywhere for what was already all around her,
she just didn't recognize it.  Or, like Dorothy who journeys all through OZ looking for what she too already had within. 

I wonder why we don't teach our children that God is within each and everyONE ... that they do not need to journey the world to find what they already have!  Imagine how people might learn to treasure and love themselves and take good care of themselves if they grew up knowing that the treasure they were seeking was already closer than their very breath.  And, imagine too how differently they might treat others!!

The AABB reminds us of this wonderful truth when it says (p.55):

We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. 

When I forget this,
it helps so much to simply pause and take a deep breath ....
and another ...
until I connect with truth once more!!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

The future will unfold

Live in the present,
Do all the things that need to be done.
Do all the good you can each day.
The future will unfold.
                - peace pilgrim

One little day at a time ...
one little step at a time ....
just do the next right thing!

We hear this all the time, don't we?
And, it is so simple, and it works!  
Mother Theresa started her congregation by reaching
out to one dying man in the streets ...
'The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step'

For this one day,
I can be right here right now,
do the good that I can,
and trust that the future will unfold before me!

There is great serenity and peace in trusting
the ONE who has ALL POWER!

...counting my blessings .... cate

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life on Life's Terms

Who knows what form the forward momentum of life
will take in the time ahead or what use it will make of
our anguished searching?  The most any one of us can
seem to do is to fashion something – an object or
ourselves – and drop it into the confusion, make an
offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.
                           - Ernest Becker

Another song comes to mind today ~ click the above link to enjoy :)

As Program People, we know all about life on life's terms ... it just happens!  And we get to choose how we will respond.  Will we stuff it, drink it. run from it, deny it, embrace it, learn from it, grow from it, be grateful  for it?  Sometimes the seeming difficulty has been the bridge to a wonderful gift in my life...I just can not see it at the time ... but of course, my name does not begin with "G".  :)
A rock bottom can be the beginning of a new life.
A heartfelt prayer can be a bridge to a deeper spiritual awareness.
A disaster can be an invitation to share or receive service.

Viktor Frankl says
 “What is to give light must endure burning.”

It is all a part of our journey ... 

thanks for traveling shoulder to shoulder with me today!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Day Coming

Earth, ourselves,
breathe and awaken,
all things moving,
new day coming,
life renewing.
              - Pawnee Prayer

Most of us have been working really really hard
at work lately.  By the end of the week, 
many people mention how exhausted they are!

The older I get, the more I appreciate the
restorative power of sleep.
I used to hate wasting time sleeping,
but now I am amazed at how a good sleep
can renew me completely!

Like the earth seems to sleep beneath
the snows of winter,
the activity of day comfortably
slows beneath the dark  of night
and my Spirit is renewed.

Older ... wiser ... grateful ...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ward off Disease and Weakness

Ward off from us, disease and weakness.
By day and night, lovers of sweetness, guard us.
                           - Rig-Veda

I chuckled when I read these words for today ~ when we are currently surrounded
by people who are sneezing and coughing and just generally miserable!
It reminds me of a sermon I heard many years ago. The priest reminded us
that there are germs out there, and that is just the way it is.  We can do
lots of things to protect us from catching them, but sometimes they get
through anyway.  And, that's ok, that does not mean we have not done
our wellness work well enough to keep them away....cause, they are gonna
be there!  The good news is, if we do our good wellness work regularly,
the little germs won't take us down so long and so hard ~ we will bounce back.

He likened that to the Spiritual Journey. If we do our daily work, and stay close
to God and continue to grow spiritually,  stuff can happen that can tempt us or 
lead us astray .. but our daily spiritual work and connection will prove strong
and solid ... and will help to pull us back to solid ground.

I ask myself, what am I surrounding myself with?  Is it faith?  Wholeness? 
People who live the Spiritual Principles?  Honesty?  Truth?
Does my daily life nurture my recovery and spiritual growth and connection?
With whom am I shoulder to shoulder on this journey on the road to happy Destiny?

I'm glad it is you ... thanks for BEing here!!! Cate

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Come as YOU ARE

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving -
    it doesn’t matter,
ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you broken your vows a
hundred times.
Come, come again, come.
                     - Rumi

When I took my first vows as a nun,
the entrance hymn was called
"Come as you Are".
It was a song given to me by an Augustinian novice from Australia
named Jared.  We had become good friends before he left the novitiate
and returned to his home country.
The song was an Australian Christian song with a bit of a  soft country beat ...
and expressed so much what I really believe ...
that we can all come to God,
in all ways,
no matter what!
The heart of God is ALWAYS open!!

This is a newer, rockier song ...
but the thought is the same.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

It is ALL good!!

The dictionary defines night in terms of day and day in
terms of night. Can we find a way to talk about light
and dark without talking about good and bad?  To love
both day and night?  Can we hold the beauty of both
in the same breath?
                                                                            - Ruth Gendler

We are so funny, aren't we?  We so often define beauty by comparing it to seeming lack of beauty, good by compare to the seemingly bad and right compared to somebody's notion of wrong ... how narrow it is to define everything in accordance to its perceived opposite.

So, how about remembering that it is all good ...
and all beautiful ...
and all right.

I was challenged once to try to make it through one day without a judgement ...
wow, that is such a challenge ...
i grew up thinking about things in terms of comparison!

I am slowly letting go of that kind of thinking,
learning to embrace ALL,
just as it is!

It is a new way of thinking and seeing ...
for which I am challenged,
and grateful!!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Do what you do In-Joy

Tonight we ask that we each find what we love to do
in life so that, in the words of Joseph Campbell, “our
life experiences on the purely physical plane will have
resonances within our innermost being and reality, so
that we feel the rapture of being alive.

When I was a young nun and was assigned my appointments (chores) we were told to do everything we do with love...including those chores!  I remember spending an entire Saturday afternoon and evening hand cleaning each and every blade on the old blinds in the back dark library.  Hours and hours I spent, quietly eliminating dust that was sun baked in place on each blade.  I entered this task remembering to do it with love....and actually enjoyed doing it with my whole heart!!

I try to remember this today when I am doing something that I find less than favorable.  
When I first heard this I found it to be a bit idealistic.  
Yet, on that day it certainly worked!!

Life brings me all sorts of opportunities, some seemingly more pleasant than others.  
But even today, when I remember to do what I do with my whole heart, 
I am in-joy!

And I am grateful ....Cate