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Easter Reflection - When Jesus brings us to overwhelming places - 4/22/19

Easter Reflection - When Jesus brings us to overwhelming places - 4/22/19

April 22, 2019

As I was living the sacred days of the Paschal Triduum this year, I have been thinking of how overwhelmed people are feeling these days. It seems as if we have been brought to the edge: as a country, as a Church, and even the burning of Notre Dame has been as a kick in the gut.

Though we prefer to meditate on Jesus as the kind and gentle Shepherd, the merciful Savior, the consoling Master, Jesus actually brought his disciples into a state of “overwhelm” a number of times. Consider the storm on the lake. Jesus told the apostles to go to the other side of the lake. A sudden storm threatened to capsize the boat. Spotting Jesus walking on the water they cried out in fear. Peter, ever the courageous one, demanded to walk across the water to him. Looking down at the waves that swirled at his feet, he began to sink, crying out, “Lord, save me.” Or consider when Jesus was preaching into the evening and the apostles urged him to let the people go into the village to find something to eat. “No. You give them something to eat.” And then he offered them no instructions. “How are we going to do that?” was the immediate response of the befuddled twelve. There are any number of times when Jesus brought his apostles into “overwhelm” mode.

But Holy Thursday was a dramatic shift. With the shouts of joy and praise still in the disciples’ ears and hearts, the mood turned somber as the darkness fell. To the men who still wondered who was first, who was better, and if they were going to get something from an expected victory of Jesus over the Romans, their Lord and Master was now about to teach them truly what his life as Emmanuel was really about....

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Healing Meditation with Mary at the Foot of the Cross - 4/15/19

Healing Meditation with Mary at the Foot of the Cross - 4/15/19

April 15, 2019

I love meditations that bring healing, transformation, and peace. May this In-the-Skin Meditation with Mary at the foot of the Cross will bless your Holy Week.

Look! I Am Making Everything New! - 4/9/19

Look! I Am Making Everything New! - 4/9/19

April 12, 2019

As we approach Holy Week we can't forget that all we celebrate and live in these days is about the newness Christ won for us, a newness we share in when we keep our eyes fixed on him.

Overwhelmed and worried about the future? Ten steps to a more compassionate life - 4/1/19

Overwhelmed and worried about the future? Ten steps to a more compassionate life - 4/1/19

April 1, 2019

Only the courageous can choose compassion. Only the brave can witness within themselves their ego’s demands, consistently breaking open the deeper places of love. I believe in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another, even as I see the fear that makes me tremble, so small of heart. I touch the anguish of the world, knowing it is no different from the love I insist on holding back from the person nearest me.

We can overcome the evils of the world only with the courageous choice by which we, as Jesus, would give our life for our brother beside us, in small decisions that choose compassion over cruelty.

Finding Your Heart Space in a Turbulent World - 3/25/19

Finding Your Heart Space in a Turbulent World - 3/25/19

March 25, 2019

It is in our heart space that we receive after deep contemplative listening. That we unfold within the wisdom from God who makes diamonds of our dust. We have been created to hear the voice of God and His word. In a loud and noisy room, we all know we hear little. And if we are doing the talking in that loud and noisy room, we are so full of ourselves we receive nothing. Instead of unfolding, we clamp down in a hardened empty shell of self-importance.

So how do we return to our heart space so that we can live in the turbulence of our age with our heart attuned to the deepest place within us where wisdom is born, where God makes himself visible through us, and where we welcome both our own true voice and God’s Word, so that we can be God’s Voice the world so longs to hear.

Lenten Secrets for Finding Light in Today’s Darkness - 3/18/19

Lenten Secrets for Finding Light in Today’s Darkness - 3/18/19

March 18, 2019

The night can be a scary time. As kids we might have been afraid of monsters under our bed or of sleeping in our own room. Even now as adults the “dark night”—whether it slips into our life as depression, breaks our heart with unexpected ruptures of relationships and futures, or quietly takes from us what we had most cherished—still holds hands with its sister anxiety. Just as individuals live through darkness, cultures and periods of history also can be overshadowed by fear and chaos and death. Now is one of those times.

The saints lived through times such as these. The courage of the saints might seem “out of reach” to us, but the Church as a good Mother gives us stepping stones each Lent so we can regain our balance and our strength, knowing truly that this world—even as it is—is still in Christ, and without Christ the world has no meaning.

The Voices Within Us - 3/11/19

The Voices Within Us - 3/11/19

March 14, 2019

Do you ever wonder how to hear God's voice? It is a voice that is so beautiful, leading us to holiness, truth, and peace. Learn how to sort out the various voices we hear around us and within us in order to be guided at last by the voice of the One who loves us forever.

Taking Our Spiritual Temperature - 3/4/19

Taking Our Spiritual Temperature - 3/4/19

March 14, 2019

Lent is a time when we traditionally take our "spiritual temperature" to refocus our lives on discipleship and holiness. But in these days there are many other reasons why we might want to take our spiritual temperature. There are symptoms we may struggle with because of the scandal in the Church or problems in our country: symptoms like anger, a general malaise, uncertainty about the future, fear. Join Jeannette and I as we talk about ways we can find true inner peace in these difficult times.

Hello, my name is Sr Kathryn Hermes and I’m inviting you to my free Private Facebook Group. This group is for those who feel the call toward being a part of a community with others who want a more heart-centered and spiritual life, but would like support on the way. The goal is to walk together on a contemplative and healing path to refind the joy that is the gift of God to us.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/srkathrynhermes/

If You Can’t Fix It, Give It! - 2/25/19

If You Can’t Fix It, Give It! - 2/25/19

March 14, 2019

Life has a way of gradually leading us deeper and deeper to the point of life—the “height” of the mountain—love. All other reasons for living need to fall away.

The unstoppable circumstances-beyond-our-control are perfectly fit to addressing our deepest sin, our greatest fear, our strongest selfish ambition. The only way to deal with them is to realize we can’t and to simply allow them to do their work in us, a scalpel held in the hands of the Divine Surgeon.

Hello, my name is Sr Kathryn Hermes and I’m inviting you to my free Private Facebook Group. This group is for those who feel the call toward being a part of a community with others who want a more heart-centered and spiritual life, but would like support on the way. The goal is to walk together on a contemplative and healing path to refind the joy that is the gift of God to us.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/srkathrynhermes/

Choosing the simple way of the smile - 2/13/19

Choosing the simple way of the smile - 2/13/19

March 14, 2019

It takes so little to bring joy to another...

4 Habits for Calming the Tempests of your Spirit - 2/6/19

4 Habits for Calming the Tempests of your Spirit - 2/6/19

March 14, 2019

Ever-happening transition and the need to keep up with the changing expectations around us, as well as the not-so-peaceful world we live in can create tempests in our spirit. I call it verbal pollution when I feel harmed by the disrespectful words and attitudes and reactions of people in both the social conversation and in my own personal space. Sometimes I myself don't respect and truly love others into profoundly gifted relational bonds through unending kindness myself. So here are four habits that might help to calm the storms that rage within no matter what their source. Let me know if you find them helpful.

Three Ways to Avoid Being a Workaholic - 1/28/19

Three Ways to Avoid Being a Workaholic - 1/28/19

March 14, 2019

I have many inner struggles around the work I do. Some of the things I have been asked to do in mission required long hours. Sometimes I have gotten angry about the amount of work expected of me; other times I know I could give more but am holding back. On the one hand, I feel like I need to always be available; on the other hand, I can use work as an escape. I look at others working more, working less, and in both cases I feel guilty. I want what I do to flow from who I am, and the integration — when it happens — feels wonderful! How complicated is the human heart!

Reflecting on my own experience, over the past months I have identified three guides that help me in unraveling the motivations of my heart; to connect my "doing" with my "being" so that my work flows not from workaholism but from something deeper.

Reclaim Regret: Interview with Sr Germana Santos, FSP - 1/22/19

Reclaim Regret: Interview with Sr Germana Santos, FSP - 1/22/19

March 14, 2019

Sr Germana and I have known each other for many years, and I'm really grateful for her sharing her expertise as a spiritual guide and counselor with us.

A 3-step tool to turn stress into grace - 1/15/19

A 3-step tool to turn stress into grace - 1/15/19

March 14, 2019

We all face surprises, pressures and difficult situations. The good news is that by making a few small changes to the way we work through them, we can shift from angry assumptions to intentional love.

In this podcast I offer a three-step tool I use when I'm angry or frustrated may be helpful.

Reclaim Regret: Healing Comes as God Walks With Us - 1/5/19

Reclaim Regret: Healing Comes as God Walks With Us - 1/5/19

March 14, 2019

This is our last conversation, Jeannette and I, on the book Reclaim Regret... I'm sharing some of my experiences and dreams which were part of my healing and I pray will be part of yours. It has been a blessing to share these conversations with you.

Be the Christmas you celebrate - 12/17/18

Be the Christmas you celebrate - 12/17/18

March 14, 2019

"See how they love one another!" From the origin of Christianity, people were so attracted by the joy they saw in the followers of Jesus that they eventually felt they no longer could tenably hold to their viewpoints and prior beliefs. This joy and this love then spills over into legal and social action, ministries of justice, and service to the most vulnerable.

Pope Benedict XVI stated in his book Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures: "Our greatest need in the present historical moment is people who make God credible in this world by means of the enlightened faith they live. ... We need men who keep their eyes fixed on God, learning from him what true humanity means ... so their hearts can open the hearts of others"

So here are some suggestions for this Christmas and holiday season.

Advent is a time for online watchfulness - 12/10/18

Advent is a time for online watchfulness - 12/10/18

March 14, 2019

The end of the liturgical year, the anything-but-quiet waiting weeks of Advent filled with the tug between the contemplative and commercial, the awesome birth of Christ in hearts anew on Christmas night, the first day of the brand new year and the World Day of Peace. . . . There has always been something almost magical about the turn of the year. Children with their excited hope for what Christmas morn will bring and cloistered nuns with their contemplative immersion in the mystery of all Christmas is — and everyone in between — are swept up by something fresh and exciting and innocent in these weeks.

I've been thinking about how much we need this gift particularly at this time, this year. Our hearts have been so beaten and tainted by the mainstreaming of aggressive and violent language. It has infiltrated our hearts and minds through social and news media on our computers and television screens. Then like an unwanted blot of dark ink it has soaked into our conversations and relationships and thoughts and desires and dreams....

How can I keep a deep spiritual sensitivity of mind and heart so that I live as a citizen of heaven while yet on this Earth? (Philippians 3:20) The ancient practice of cleansing our thoughts holds a key. This is how I've started practicing this watchfulness in these end-of-year weeks.

Can God Be Trusted? - 12/6/18

Can God Be Trusted? - 12/6/18

March 14, 2019

Big questions. Is God reliable? Is life reliable? It makes me think of when I was 21 and had a stroke. How can God be trusted when something goes wrong in life: an illness, a failure, a betrayal.  How do we recover from these situations? Does God really love us?

How to Live with Greater Love - 11/18/18

How to Live with Greater Love - 11/18/18

March 14, 2019

God created the human heart to be like a large box vast enough to hold God himself. When we hate ourselves for what we’ve done or who we think we are, our hearts become smaller and smaller until our spirits have no more room to breathe. Sometimes we don’t think we can bring our shame into the open before God. Perhaps you believe that God won’t forgive you. You hide from God just as you hide from others when you are afraid to reveal your true self. At the root of this unhealthy behavior is the reality that you have rejected yourself. Do you love yourself in all your vulnerability and imperfection? When we refuse to allow ourselves to be held by God in the midst of our struggles, we deprive ourselves of God’s tenderness toward us.

To see who we really are is to see ourselves as God sees us. We need to expose ourselves to the messages, the Voice, the Words of God to know ourselves and others in truth.

God Loves the Wildflowers, the Mystery of Repentance - 11/11/18

God Loves the Wildflowers, the Mystery of Repentance - 11/11/18

March 14, 2019

When I lead people through the journey you have been experiencing in this book, I often find that at a certain moment—a sacred moment—something wells up deep within a soul: repentance. Your regrets may be a mixture of things you have done, sins you have committed and things that have happened to you. But all of us have done things we look back on with regret. In this journey of life, we experience regret around things we could have done differently, ways we have hurt others, words or actions we can never take back, and relationships that have ended. As you explore your regrets, do not feel surprised if you begin to feel the bubbling waters of a cleansing sorrow that are as different from burning shame as day is from night. This sorrow is pure gift, but we can ask God for this spiritual sensitivity.

Repentance is a step into the mystery of our salvation. It does not always feel good but it ultimately leads us to wholeness and healing. Our human nature is frail and we know from experience that we are dust, weak, and prone to sinful passions and desires, even when we know better. But God himself took up our struggle as his own. Christ came, as Healer and Savior, to heal the sickness of our human nature. ­­When Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb, he received from her his human nature. God became incarnate. In Christ the Word, his human nature was united to the divine nature in the unity of the second Person of the Trinity. Because he is divine, Jesus exalts our human nature and transforms it. Jesus became man, journeyed to Calvary, and rose from the dead so that we might become partakers of his divinity through faith and baptism (see 2 Peter 1:4). By dying on the cross, Jesus took our sins upon himself and by his resurrection he clothes us anew in the garments of his glory.