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What are you doing for Lent? - 2/22/21

What are you doing for Lent? - 2/22/21

February 22, 2021

Today I invited both Sr Julia Mary and Jeannette de Beauvoir for a conversation about Lent... Lent in a pandemic, doing penance when we feel like we've been doing penance all year, should we make resolutions for Lenten practice or is there something better, what are some secrets for a fruitful and grace-filled Lent. I hope you join us!

Lent 2021: Jesus says “Come” and “Trust”

Lent 2021: Jesus says “Come” and “Trust”

February 15, 2021

Here we are in our second pandemic Lent. Maybe we feel that we have been in Lent all through these twelve virus-riddled months. Maybe we’re dreading a season of greater penance when we’re longing to get loose from restrictions as they are somewhat lifted. Maybe we’re just numb and Lent isn’t registering at all. We’re just too tired to face it. Or perhaps the familiar rituals and practices of Lent offer comfort when we are so in need of something or Someone who understands and can do something. about what’s happening to us.

...

I stood beside the leper in Mark’s Gospel who dared to approach Jesus and tell him confidently: “If you will, you can cure me!” Lepers by regulation, as we saw above, were to remain outside the camp so as not to infect others. This leper, however, risked everything by approaching Jesus who no doubt was surrounded by a crowd of people. In the two lines of the Gospel story it seems like it was an ordinary run-of-the-mill request. Leper shows up and makes his request. To his request, Jesus responds, “I do will it, be cured.” End of story. Can you imagine, though, the drama as people realized a leper was standing “inside the community space” right next to them. The leper was a threat to their health and survival. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the leper. Jesus didn’t run. He didn’t tell him to leave because he was a danger to him. He didn’t even call attention to how he was breaking the regulations. Instead he heard only the request. He saw only the leper’s heart. He was moved only by his most compassionate love that brought him to earth to save and heal a wounded race.

Song of Quiet Trust: A Midlife Meditation - 2/1/21

Song of Quiet Trust: A Midlife Meditation - 2/1/21

February 1, 2021

These past two weeks I have spent from 3 to 5 hours most evenings or early mornings sitting beside a dear sister-friend who was making her last great ascent. That final walk. The ultimate journey. The loving return.

Each breath of hers was precious and on that last night before she died God helped me to realize that in the end, really, that is all we have…our breath…our current breath. We are not promised our next breath. We already have kissed the last breath goodbye. We cannot cling to it, as we cannot hold onto the past.

And even that breath is a gift. A gift of total gratuitously glorious love from a divine Lover who is supporting us in his arms even as we breath.

On that last ascent, it will not matter what we have created or achieved or known or acquired. The fact that I have written a book, or started a company, or sold an astounding number of widgets, or even loved will not be mine as a monument to me..

I will have only this breath that is a gift to me right now at this moment.

Blessed be the Lord who has come to us and set us free - 1/25/21

Blessed be the Lord who has come to us and set us free - 1/25/21

January 25, 2021

The years of midlife. Transitions. Endings. Wanderings. Grieving.

But also new beginnings. Surprises. Unexpected redirection. Unsuspected rewrites to your accepted narrative for the “you” that you’ve grown comfortable with.

This is the first in a series on the middle years in which we are looking at our midlife transitions, our ultimate yesses to our vocations in the light of the women and men who at midlife responded to God's gift and call. Today we're talking about Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist.

How To Bless Your Christmas Tears - 12/28/20

How To Bless Your Christmas Tears - 12/28/20

December 28, 2020

This year’s Christmas season is not laden with the expectations of extended family celebrations, festive Christmas meals, and open doors to visitors come to share the joy of the days of rest and peace that fill the Christmas season.

Pandemic loss and grief weigh upon these Christmas days and bring shadows to our hearts.

Maybe we feel empty. Like the world has stopped. Worry for the future seeps into the celebration of God-with-us who was born among us…. And…where is he for me? Now?

Your heart’s cry, whatever it may be, let it blend with the wail of the Infant King that midnight at his birth.

Sr Kathryn Hermes, FSP, author of Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach and Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments

How we know when God is doing something new: A Meditation on St Joseph - 12/21/20

How we know when God is doing something new: A Meditation on St Joseph - 12/21/20

December 21, 2020

As we journey into the new year I’ve been thinking a lot about St Joseph. He is a “star” in the Christmas narrative, leading Mary to Bethlehem for the census. He protected her on that blessed night when the Savior of the world was born in a stable in the midnight dark.  Joseph stands out again as he saves the day, whisking Mary and Jesus off to Egypt and safely out of the clutches of Herod, who attempted to kill the baby.

Perhaps from the perspective of our eternal reward we’ll see how we too were the amazing actors in a moment of history—large or small—upon which the future of others rested.

But as Joseph trudged away from Nazareth I think he wasn’t imagining himself in any saintly celebrity status.

He was leaving his plans, his preparations for the Messiah’s birth, his workshop and place in Nazareth as the village carpenter. He was leaving behind his family, his support, his home, his synagogue. He left everything he had known, built, and shared for so many years of his life: the self he knew, the role he played in the community, his place in the larger family.

He walked into silence, mystery, glory…

The Amazing Way God Stoops Down to Us in Advent - 12/2/20

The Amazing Way God Stoops Down to Us in Advent - 12/2/20

December 2, 2020

This is probably a more difficult Advent than most, a time when we long for the joys of Christmas, even for our own emotional equilibrium. Today we talk about how God stoops to us in our weakness with an amazing love that changes everything.

The Kingdom of Christ - 11/18/20

The Kingdom of Christ - 11/18/20

November 18, 2020

This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King. I've been thinking a lot about the Kingdom of Christ within me, how I surrender to the power of the King, how I turn my life over entirely to the reign of the Kingdom. As we close this year, it is a perfect liturgical Feast to prepare us for Advent and Christmas. Both an end and a beginning.

Throw Yourself upon the Resources of God - 10/14/20

Throw Yourself upon the Resources of God - 10/14/20

October 14, 2020

When we nourish ourselves on the Word of God we gradually are able to see an unexpected, unearned future: new life, a new heart, a new future, a new relationship with God. The word of the Lord became a part of Ezekiel’s being when the prophet was told at his calling, "Eat the Scroll," and it can become a part of our being as well. When we regularly digest God’s word, options become available to us that we couldn’t anticipate.

Seeing in New Ways - 9/30/20

Seeing in New Ways - 9/30/20

September 30, 2020

In the Gospels Jesus often asks seemingly useless questions. He asks a blind man, “Do you want to see?” He asks a leper, “What do you want me to do for you?” He asks a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years and is sitting by the side of the sheep pool, “Do you want to be made well?” What answer was Jesus expecting?

 

If we are suffering with anxiety or depression, or just trying to to survive these last months of 2020, the attempt to just survive can contract our personal universe to a “safe” size. Our thinking patterns can become caught in overcontrolled ruts. We lose flexibility in favor of the fight/flight/freeze mechanism that leads to hypervigilance and shutdown.

Jesus invites us to see in new ways.

See I am making all things new - 9/16/20

See I am making all things new - 9/16/20

September 16, 2020

Today I share a dream that I had so long ago, but which has directed my life ever since. It points in the direction of loss and worship. Right now we are experiencing so much uncertainty and fear and isolation. May this biblical invitation to worship be a blessing for you.

How Jesus Frees Us from Negative Thinking - 8/15/20

How Jesus Frees Us from Negative Thinking - 8/15/20

August 15, 2020

These days of pandemic and lockdown are creating a new pandemic of mental health issues. In this podcast I address some ways in which Jesus helps us free us from the stick, heavy, and negative thinking that is part of the difficult days we are living. We'll talk about why it's hard to get rid of these thoughts, what Jesus knows that we forget and how he helps us get free from these sticky thoughts, ways to intentionally focus on the freeing power of truth, and more.

God’s Promise: “I am acting” - 7/29/20

God’s Promise: “I am acting” - 7/29/20

July 29, 2020

Jeannette and I talk today about an experience at prayer and selection of my journal:

I am acting:
within what breaks, I am vast Abyss
within the falling, I am depthless Depth
in the emptying, I am the Silence

Stop
Shed your mind’s unconscious gossip and still your Heart
Touch your forehead to the earth
   …My carpet
       a floral carpet Crimson Red
       on which you bumble and tumble

in My Glory.

___

“Who could have thought my shrivel’d heart
Could have recover’d greennesse?
George Herbert, The Flower

How not to become an “injustice collector” - 7/28/20

How not to become an “injustice collector” - 7/28/20

July 28, 2020

I’m almost 57. Fifty seven years of people, situations, issues, reaction, desires, disappointment, dreams, loves….This year on my birthday, I’m making the resolution to “not look back.”

To not look back at disappointment.

To not look back at rejection.

To not look back at loss.

Of course, looking back is important to do at times. I actually began to rediscover parts of my life during the imposed solitude of the pandemic that I hadn’t taken the time to integrate precisely because I hadn’t looked back. I needed to take the time to “connect the psychological-emotional-spiritual dots” between what I had experienced and lived through and what I was still carrying today in my heart and mind.

Making the connections is important. By making connections we can surrender to God what he has helped us recognize. We can let it go. We can understand it more deeply, even recognize where we may have been mistaken in our perception of what happened....

How good it is to be marooned on “unsure ground” - 7/14/20

How good it is to be marooned on “unsure ground” - 7/14/20

July 14, 2020

The seismic shifts that are underway in every aspect of our culture these days are nothing compared to the seismic shifts God is calling me to personally, perhaps calling all of us too if there is to be any resolution that will promote the human advancement of us all.

We can no longer face anything the same way we did five months ago. It seems like such a breath of time, and yet a centuries-wide chasm has been broken open by the processes and changes that are fracturing and reshaping the world as we have known it.

We collectively stare into a widening canyon of uncertainty as life spins into unexpected directions. Uncertainty: where will all this end? What will happen to me? Will I be able to keep what I have? Am I somehow also responsible for this? Am I all that God has put me on this earth to be and to do?

Yet a window of possibility is emerging…
The possibility that we might feel with courage…
That we might decide with love…
That we might listen with neutrality…
That we might be willing to lose something that another might have,
to die that another might live…

I want conversion, not a new normal - 6/25/20

I want conversion, not a new normal - 6/25/20

June 25, 2020

Hi there. I’m Sr Kathryn Hermes and thank you for joining me as we explore the Love that is the heart of the world and the work of the Heart that helps us become this Love and to discover it in the world so that all the world becomes to us like the miraculous burning bush. We have been invisibly stamped with the signature, the seal of the God who bends over us with such tenderness.

2020 has been a year so far that has called me to c-o-n-v-e-r-s-i-o-n. COVID-19 which has swept across the world, months of isolation, loss of so much ministry that had been built up by so many of my sisters, the breaking open of the tragic wound of racism and the violence that has filled our streets....

Nothing is as we expected.

Everything has been a surprise.

This moment alone is the entry into the still-point of presence

God’s presence

Royalty free music from https://www.fesliyanstudios.com

 

 

the present

the heart-presence where wisdom lies.

The Quiet Eye of the Heart - Reflection after the death of Mr George Floyd - 6/15/20

The Quiet Eye of the Heart - Reflection after the death of Mr George Floyd - 6/15/20

June 15, 2020

Hi there. I’m Sr Kathryn Hermes and thank you for joining me as we explore the Love that is the heart of the world and the work of the Heart that helps us become this Love and to discover it in the world so that all the world becomes to us like the miraculous burning bush. We have been invisibly stamped with the signature, the seal of the God who bends over us with such tenderness.

In these days I have felt helplessness, disbelief, horror that one human being could do to another what we all witnessed in the last 9 minutes of Mr George Floyd’s life. Dismay that one person could do this to his brother, yes to his brother and mine, for we all, as sons and daughters of one Creator are brothers and sisters to each other, members of one another. How can we allow this to happen to our brothers and our sisters who have struggled for centuries under the intolerable burden of racism. I go back to that Gaze, the Gaze of Jesus that moment when he said to keep the quiet eye of my heart focused on him.

 

Quotes from the podcast:

Sometimes I just want to bury my face in my hands as a kneel before Jesus. Quiet. Rest. Serenity. Wisdom. Love. I need it all to bring a shattered heart back into one. Particularly in times of civil unrest, periodically shielding my heart from the opinions and actions of others gives me a chance to breathe. To breathe in the Spirit. To gaze at the world with the eyes of Christ.

It is the Gaze by which Jesus makes me his sister, his friend, his beloved. We communicate our hearts and our heart’s love or hate through our eyes. In the Gaze of Jesus I see the eyes of every single person in this country who at this time is trying to grapple with this. When I raise my eyes of Jesus in the Eucharist, I see their faces incorporated in his risen Body.

Somewhere deep inside me there is that flowing river of love that can hold in itself every brother and sister no matter how broken...

Look into yourself and see God within you.
Fasten your eyes on your heart and God, rising out of your heart, will shine on your soul.

 

Royalty free music from https://www.fesliyanstudios.com

 

 ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.

Surviving Depression - A Marian Devotional (Mary at the Cross) - 5/27/20

Surviving Depression - A Marian Devotional (Mary at the Cross) - 5/27/20

May 27, 2020

We are continuing a series of six Podcasts looking at Light and Darkness - Courage and Faith - Healing and Hope through a Marian Lens. Each episode features an event in Mary's life and a particular image we have chosen to prayerfully reflect on together. This Podcast Series accompanies the launching of the Third Edition of my book: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach. In today's episode we explore how Jesus is in the darkness with us and ideas for praying in the darkness. We learn in our Marian lens into the moment when Jesus was taken down from the cross.

This is today's image:

1280px-1__Ugolino_di_Nerio__The_Deposition_1324-25__London_NG.jpg

Image Credit: Ugolino di Nerio [Public domain]  1280-1330
Image is in the public domain.

 

Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach (Third Edition) available at www.paulinestore.org

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.

Coronavirus: The important shift is what happens within - 5/13/20

Coronavirus: The important shift is what happens within - 5/13/20

May 13, 2020

The anxiety that has bubbled just below the surface capsizing my frightened heart through all the experiences I’ve had during the lockdown has brought me in touch with anxiety issues that are nothing new. They have been woven through my life and have affected me spiritually and emotionally. This may be happening to you. Perhaps you are touching more keenly the wounds of  PTSD, OCD, scrupulosity, midlife losses as sands are shifting. Emotional struggles. Grief. Depression. Fear.

I’m reminded of what I was once told by a wise mentor: What is important is not the situation itself, but how we are with these situations that are calling us to doubt, question, and fear ourselves and sometimes life itself.

The realities that we live through can bring on headaches, sleeplessness, dissociation, emotional distress. Sometimes these can last for weeks, months, years. At times we are aware of how all this is wearing on us physically, psychologically, and spiritually. At other times it remains a secret even from ourselves.

Mindful practices, awareness exercises, contemplative presence can help us come home to who we are, as we are, in whatever space we are in....

Surviving Depression - A Marian Devotional (Wedding at Cana) - 4/29/20

Surviving Depression - A Marian Devotional (Wedding at Cana) - 4/29/20

April 29, 2020

We are continuing a series of six Podcasts looking at Light and Darkness - Courage and Faith - Healing and Hope through a Marian Lens. Each episode features an event in Mary's life and a particular image we have chosen to prayerfully reflect on together. This Podcast Series accompanies the launching of the Third Edition of my book: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach. In today's episode we explore how to make joy even in our darker moments and the valleys of life as well as how to build joy with others. We are leaning into the Marian lens of the wedding at Cana.

This is today's image:

Bartolome_Esteban_Murillo_Public_Domain_Barber_Institute_of_Fine_Arts.jpg

 

Image Credit: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain]  1617-1682  The Marriage Feast of Cana
Image is in the public domain.

 

Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach (Third Edition) available at www.paulinestore.org

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counseling, the HeartWork community is a place where you learn to explore, love, open and nourish your heart, your deep heart where God is dwelling within you.

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