Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


Tribute of Love

31824_1483460607859_5366974_nEleven years ago today, on Divine Mercy Sunday, my father passed away.  It was very touching that his life ended on that special day, because he was a very conflicted man who was much in need of mercy…as we all are.  Through conversations with him later in life, and also through the enlightenment of my own personal journey of faith and forgiveness, I know that he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and I also know that he felt humbled by the love and mercy of  Jesus.  He felt small and knew that he let his God and his family down in many ways…as we all do.

This is a tribute of love to the man that God blessed me with…to be my earthly father.

I love you, Daddy, and miss you so very much.

My father was born to a large family.  He had six brothers and three sisters.   One of those sisters, at a very young age,  burned to death when he was a child.  The family lived in squalor, and none of his, nor his siblings’ needs were met in any way.  They existed in a world devoid of nurturing.  I am talking about physical needs that were not provided…including food, security and  basic shelter.  I am also talking about these children living in a situation where they received no protection at all from the evils perpetrated on them,  no sense of safety and shelter that would help for them to know their self worth, and no emotional needs met at all.

At this time, I am setting aside the issues that I grew up with, and would like to focus on the good that my father did for me and for our family.  When I really think about it, he gave us most of what he never had.  His intention was just that…his desire was to provide his family with everything he and his siblings lacked.

Dad, I now realize the fullness of what you gifted to us…to me and my sisters.

Although you never had the security of a place to call home, you blessed us with a stable home.  It was a small house, however, I never even noticed it was small.  As a child, I took my home for granted, and it gave me a sense of comfort.  That was your intention.

Although, as a child,  you never knew where your next meal was coming from, you blessed us with three meals on the table every day.  I am not sure how you and mom did it financially, but we ate well, and were exposed to many different foods that my friends never even heard of, let alone tried.  I have always had an appreciation and thankfulness for many different foods.  That was your intention.

Although you never had much of a formal  education or exposure to cultural arts, and that always bothered you, you filled our home with the music that you never experienced as a child.  I am talking operas, movie and play soundtracks, and also Shakespeare.  I still have memories of all of us, sitting in the dark, listening to ‘Macbeth.’  I also know almost every song from any play that I have ever seen at a theater, and also all the songs from old Disney movies.  We played all of them over and over.  I love and appreciate music…all kinds.  That was your intention.

Although you never had the luxury of books in your childhood,  you filled our home with bookshelves, that were overflowing with books.  Again, I am not sure how you and mom found the money, but you provided us with a set of encyclopedias, beautifully bound sets of classic children’s tales, The Great Books, and countless others.  I absolutely love to read.  That was your intention.

Although you had to quit school at an early age, you and mom made sacrifices to ensure we all attended Catholic Schools from elementary through high school.  You chose to make our education a priority, and somehow the tuition became available.  I have a love for learning that will continue for my lifetime.  That was your intention.

Although you and mom lived a difficult life, you struggled through it, and remained together until the end of your life.  Neither one of you was perfect, as none of us are, however, you fit together and loved each other unconditionally.  Joe and I have been married for thirty six years, living through the struggles, which brought us closer together.  I am blessed with a wonderful husband, and an amazing relationship with him and my sons, and my sons’ wives.  That was your intention.

Although you never had the comforts and pleasures associated with family and extended family, you blessed us with a childhood filled with aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I appreciate and treasure all of my family…my sons, their wives, and all of the relatives that I am close with and the ones I am reconnecting with.  I realize the importance and blessedness of family.  That was your intention.

Although you never had vacations as a child, and never had the opportunity to experience wonder with your parents, you blessed us with camping trips to many parts of the country…always filling our days with historic visits and also the enjoyment of nature.  I have a love for museums, and also for God’s beautiful creations.  I remember the first time standing over the Horse Shoe Falls at Niagara Falls and feeling like I was in heaven.  Also the sights and sounds of the campgrounds we camped at.  I love to share those simple kinds of pleasures with my family and the people I love.  That was your intention.

Although you had an inner turmoil inside, you found solace by just sitting and ‘being’ with God.  You loved nature and spent hours on end just basking in the simple pleasures of the outdoors.  I also find comfort and oneness with God when I am at one with nature…surrounded by His beauty.  That was your intention.

Although you didn’t have many things to be thankful for as a child, or any worldly reason to even believe in a loving God, you chose to bring us up in the Catholic Faith that was passed on to you from your birth.  I am sure, like me, for most of those years you did not understand the gift you were given.  However, the Lord covered you in His mercy, and with the light that He instilled in you and mom, we were lead to the Church…to the Masses every week, and also to the Sacraments that drew us closer to the Lord.  Even when we did not fully understand things.  I finally am learning and being brought into the fullness of that faith, with love and grace that I never even imagined.  That was your intention.

On this day, Daddy, I would like to say that I love you and appreciate all that you blessed me with.  And I pray that you are encompassed with the all consuming love and light of the Blessed Trinity…the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

May you truly rest in the peace and love of the Lord.








A Simple Way to Share God’s Love

As many of you know, my 86 year old mother lives with my husband and me.  (If you would like to read about her and our life together, click here )   Finally, after a seemingly endless  succession of home health care aides, she has a wonderful caregiver named Esther.  It is a joy to come home after work and find my mom relaxed and happy, where before she was tense and anxious.

The difference is, Esther really cares.  It shows through her demeanor and loving spirit, and her ability to listen and connect with my mom.  She was the first caregiver that ever handed my mom a mirror, so she could actually see how she looked after her hair was done.

I know that is a small thing, however, it showed that she saw my mother as a WOMAN, as a person,  and that my mom’s happiness mattered to her.

Many times, I have watched prior caregivers interact with my mom.  Most of the time, there really wasn’t any real engagement, just tasks being done.  While watching one day, something really hit me hard.  The caregiver did not ever  look my mother in the eye.   Not once, even when talking to her.   Ooh…that hurt.  It made me so sad, and even worse,  made me realize that I did the same thing sometimes.

After that day, I really make an effort to fully connect with my mom, and anyone else I may be talking with, by making sure to make eye contact.

Let’ s take a few extra moments to more fully engage with those the Lord places in our path today.  Even if it means to just merely catch the eye of a stranger and say hello with a smile.  Each person in our lives, whether a casual acquaintance, friend, family member or stranger,  has a heart with a story to tell.

When you make sincere eye contact with them, you open a window between their heart and yours. Remember that, as you make your daily encounters!  You may be the one that is sent to help open their heart….be sure to let them know you care, and that they matter.

Maybe, just maybe, they will be reminded of how much God loves them, because they realize somebody loves them.

A very simple way to share God’s love.



Which Path Will You Choose?

This morning as I read my Daily Bible Passage email, my eyes and heart were drawn to a quote by Pope Francis.

“It is not easy to follow Jesus closely, because the path he chooses is the way of the Cross.”

Wow, that is a hard truth to digest.  How many times do we listen to those who preach the “speak into existence” gospel which leads us to believe that if we have enough faith, if we only pray correctly, our lives will be wonderful, and peaceful, because all of our prayers will be ansered exactly as we request?  Some of the preachers  portray  huge smiles, as they live their totally “blessed” lives… letting us see the joy the Lord has instilled in their lives, as if suffering and strive have no place at all in their lives anymore.

So we pray, and “speak our wants and needs into existence”,  faithfully live our lives for Jesus….and then can not explain why financial burdens are not lifted, physical healings do not occur, addictions remain, wars continue, and death touches our families and friends.  We are almost lead to believe that only good things will happen in our lives if we are true believers.

That is when Satan steps in, either through our own thoughts and doubts, or through non-believers who scoff at us and ask “Where is your God now?”.  How would you answer that question?

Being that today is Good Friday, I am reminded of the intense suffering that Jesus endured in our place.  He didn’t just somehow end up on the cross, dying an easy death for our sins.

No, the Way of the Cross that the Father chose for Him was through unimaginable suffering.  He was tortured,  ridiculed, spat upon,  blasphemed, and mocked.  All of this against an innocent man…against our Lord.  At Gethsemane, when He was praying to the Father, he agonized over what was about to transpire.  He understood the Cross that was chosen for Him, in a way that we could never comprehend.   He was afraid.

And yet the prayer that he prayed was:

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

When Jesus is hanging on the Cross, His last words are,

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” 

When I think of Jesus talking and pleading with His Father, I realize that He is not TELLING what He wants.  He asks that the cup be taken away if possible, however, He goes on to add the most important part…not as I will, but as You will.  Later on, that thought is reiterated with the words “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.”

Once we open our hearts and say “yes” to Jesus, and to His saving grace, He enters our souls and we are united with Him.  We are one with Jesus.  Are we willing to be one with His suffering and pain through the crosses we are blessed with?  Yes, I said blessed with.  When we offer our daily crosses to our Lord, those crosses lead us closer to Him and become our biggest blessings.

When I started to read about the lives of the Saints, one thing kept jumping out at me.   The closer the Saints were united with Jesus, the more they offered their sufferings and hardships to Him.  They were willing to trust the Father with their very lives.  They prayed and asked the Lord for their wants and needs, however, always acknowledged that the will of God prevail, not their own.  They were willing to suffer on this earth, and unite that suffering with that of Jesus, committing their lives and spirits into the hands of the Father.

Today, on Good Friday, we must ask ourselves which path we will choose.  Are we willing to accept our lives, with all its hardships, and offer it as a gift to Jesus?  Are we willing to offer our day to day struggles in reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world?

Are we willing to trust completely, no matter what is happening in the physical world?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16


32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.   Mark 14:32-39





Beyonce, We are Praying for You

Wow, what a sad and confused world we live in.

Recently, I came across an article about Beyonce and her defense of the hyper-sexual and disgusting lyrics of some of her songs.  I was going to post the links containing the lyrics, however, after reading some of them, I decided against it.   If you think I am overreacting or off-base, please do some research and check out the lyrics she belts out and the way she exposes her “sexuality” to the world.

Most troubling to me is that many Christians are supporting her twisted and confused views by attending her concerts, purchasing her music, and what’s really the hardest for me to fathom, there are parents who promote her to their young daughters as a role model.  How very sad.

Bill O’Reilly, among others, have slammed Beyonce for promoting sexually suggestive lyrics in her songs,  however she remains unfazed.  She continues to urge women to “take control of  their sexuality.”   She professes Christianity, and feels that there is a double standard for men and women, and she feels women should  “own their sexuality.”

Apparently she feels that giving yourself and your body away instead of, or before someone takes it from you is being in control?  That sounds really scary to me.  It almost sounds like something that might take root in someone’s heart that has been sexually abused.  Maybe a way to hold on to the feeling that you are in control?

I can hear some of you now, asking why I am singling out Beyonce because there are so many entertainers out there that perform the same type of trash or even worse.  Or maybe you believe that I am being judgemental.

Well, I am judging the words and actions, and let me be clear, I do not support the message she is seductively spewing.  Satan is most dangerous when he is disguised in a beautiful and appealing package.  And the reason  why her behavior stands out to me is because of her claims of being Christian.  How many little girls are watching her perform, singing along with  those demeaning lyrics, imitating the struts and grinds, and attempting to dress like her?  How many little girls are internalizing the idea that their sexuality is meant to be dirty and their bodies are there for men (or women) to ogle and lust after?  Or that their happiness will be attained by promiscuous sex as long as they are in control?  As long as they “take control of their sexuality?”

Beyonce, you can’t fool me.  No matter what you look like on the outside, no matter how talented you are and all the money you have acquired through your “entertaining”, you are miserable and suffering inside.  Your heart is still searching…you still have a hole in your heart and a spirit that is hungry for more.

That hole that is deep inside you will never be filled with your fame.  It will never be filled by men and/or women lusting after you.  It will never be filled by the masses who say yes to everything you say and do.

Real friends…the people who truly love you are the only ones who will tell you the truth.

I love you and would like to share a truth with you that took me a lifetime to finally figure out.

Your worth does not come from your sexuality.  It is not “your role” or “your place” to look good for the world.  Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Let me repeat…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  That is what you are meant to be.  You are loved by God in such a beautiful way, you can never even comprehend.  Why are you looking elsewhere for that love?

Your happiness and joy will not come from being on display for other’s pleasure, which is what you are doing.  Admit it.

Your true happiness will only come from the submitting of your whole self to Jesus…body, mind and soul…not from “taking control of your sexuality.”  Ask Jesus to take control of your sexuality…along with every other aspect of your life, including motherhood and your marriage.

You will find, as I did, that Jesus will empower you with love and wisdom, and you will be a vessel of enlightenment and true freedom to women, instead of continuing to encourage their belief that sex and promiscuity is the answer.

May God bless you Beyonce, and all the girls and women who look up to you for guidance.  There are many of us praying for you.


Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.   1 Corinthians 6:15-20




Simple Acts of Kindness

Lately the word “gratitude” keeps popping up in my head.    I am so grateful for my life, and for the people God has placed in my little world.  Recently, I am becoming more and more aware of how the people in my life have contributed to the place I am right now…the person I am becoming.

Today I would like to share some acts of kindness that especially touched my heart throughout the years.  Because listing all that my parents, husband and sons have done for me would be a neverending list, I am choosing not to include them today.  I thank God for them every day.

These are a few of those special acts of kindness and love that truly touched my heart:

Childhood friends gave me a little red and white rhinestone pendant on a gold chain when I had my tonsils removed.  Not only do I still have it, I still wear it! And I think of them each time I do.

My sister, Patti, read my favorite stories to me over and over again.  Thanks sis!  My heart still fills up when I remember those times.

When I was in “Blue Birds” (Camp Fire Girls) I would walk to my friend’s house after school.  We had time before the meetings, so her mother would serve us a little meal at a child sized table.  I loved that!  After we were done with our meal, I was encouraged to pick out a Nancy Drew book from her bookcase.  Each week I would return the one I read, and would choose another.  Yes, I have ALWAYS loved to read, and I cherish the memory of  those visits.

My sister, Veronica, made me dresses with matching scarves when I was young.  Loved them!  She also did something extra special for me when I was invited to my first formal dance in High School.  She took me shopping, and helped me pick out a long dress, shoes, lingerie, purse and jewelry…and she paid for it out of the earnings of her part time job.  Thanks, Verni.  I will always remember how much you gave from your heart.

My friend’s sister took the time to teach me how to bake an apple pie from sctratch.  And I still use the same recipe!

An anonymous gift basket once showed up on our porch.  It was filled with cookies, fruit and different foods, and came at a time when we really needed it.  We never knew who sent it…although I have my guesses!

One Christmas our family was going through financial difficulties.  We could not buy any gifts at all that year.  Out of the blue, my brother in law and his wife showed up at our door with wonderful gifts for our two sons.  That was truly a joyfilled Christmas!

The first Christmas in our new home, my husband, our sons, and I were decorating the tree.  One of our neighbors dropped off a fancy plate of homebaked cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood.  That was truly heartwarming!

On my first day back to work after my father passed away, one of my co-workers walked up to me, and handed me a large bouquet of flowers from his garden; no one else from work had yet mentioned my father, and Sam was not a close friend of mine.  When he handed me the flowers, it felt like he knew my heart.  I will never forget the look in his eyes as they met mine.

I was going through a very painful and emotional time, after my dad passed away, and was staying with a close friend while visiting family in my hometown.  All of a sudden, I just burst into tears…the kind that come from deep within.  I ran upstairs to be alone.  My friend gave me a few minutes, and then brought up a tray with a beautiful tea set on it.  She poured my tea, and without saying a word, turned around and let me have alone time.  Her instinct for what I needed at that time was intensely comforting.

My younger sister, Lisa, has a very sweet heart.  Although she was experiencing hard times financially, she took the time to pick out special little gifts for my mother and me, and sent us a gift box.  We felt her love as we opened each little gift and read the beautiful letter she included.  Thanks Lisa, for sharing your heart!

One of my friends gave me a copy of a book that would change my life.  “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly.  She said she saw it at a Church while on vacation…and something told her to pick it up for me.  Thank you, Marie, for listening to that voice!

I am so thankful for all the love that God has showered on my life.  Many of my greatest blessings were received through  simple acts of kindness through family or friends, sometimes even from strangers.  Don’t be afraid to follow the whispers of your heart.  When there is a chance to reach out to someone…go ahead and do it!

One thing I am sure of.  We are all here to love eachother, and to share the love of Jesus.  One act of kindness at a time…sharing love one heart at a time.

And  I am also sure that our Lord will bless and multiply our efforts.


















Hollywood Sins

This morning I was humbled in a big way.

For some reason while drying my hair, I started thinking of Farrah Fawcett, and the suffering she experienced at the end of her life.  Because of her cancer treatments, she lost the  beautiful hair that was always her trademark.  It took cancer to reveal to her that her true beauty was not her face, body or hair.  It was the beauty of her heart…a beauty that is instilled and treasured by God.  My heart filled with love and sadness for her, and I said a prayer for her soul.

That led me to think about Hollywood, and all it entails.  How often do I think and spew about the evils of Hollywood?  How often do I shake my head in disgust at the lifestyles and lack of faith that seems to permeate Hollywood lives?

God spoke to me very gently, but pointedly, this morning.  He started out by asking me how I would like it if my most embarassing or sinful moments were plastered all over the internet.  He asked me what could I learn from the rise and fall of the “stars” in Hollywood.

Up to this point, my heart has been telling me to just ignore what is happening in their “Hollywood” world…that they have nothing to teach me, I don’t want anything they have and don’t care to know anything that they know.  Because it is evident they don’t  have any real answers “judging” by their lifestyles.

But God told me something very different this morning.  He let me know that Hollywood has much to teach me.

You see, all of these wounded people are his children.  He loves them unconditionally.  He knows why they are angry, bitter, confused, arrogant.  He knows why they are empty, and filled with the sad lie that their worth is wrapped up in their fortunes, bodies and physical beauty.  He knows the reasons for their loneliness and despair.  And he is waiting for them, as he waits for all of us, to open their hearts to his mercy and love.

So where does that leave me?  It  leaves me very humbled.  For right in front of my eyes, every day, I am made aware of these suffering hearts.  All of the people that live on magazine covers and reside on the screen for our entertainment, are REAL PEOPLE with REAL FEELINGS, and have the same real need for God’s love and mercy that I do.

There are countless lives being paraded in front of us continuously.  The immorality, promiscuity, greed, pride, addictions, broken marriages and family issues smack us in the face and remain in our line of vision and awareness all the time.  The Lord opened my eyes to the reality of my judgements against them.

And he also made me aware of  how much all of these people…these souls…can teach me.  Through living their lives in public view, they reveal exactly what they need help with.  Their struggles and weaknesses are evident.

What I can learn from their lives is my need to offer unconditional love, and the gift I can give them is my prayers.

From now on, with the Lord’s help, when I am made aware of the “sins” or weaknesses of others…instead of judging, I will make the choice to love them as Jesus does, and to pray for them.

And to hope that all who know me and see my sins and weaknesses, will do the same for me.


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.   1 Peter 4:8

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  James 5:16