#Lent: Brokenhearted Balm

On this Lenten Friday here’s a little balm for the brokenhearted…

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

(Psalm 34:18)

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus reveals Who God is. The Heart of Jesus calls us into a deeper relationship with God. The Heart of Jesus consoles us in our despair and inspires us in our faith. The Heart of Jesus invites us to share in the love of God that renews the face of the earth.” Michael C. Matthews, C.S.C.

“There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says: ‘I am with you until the end of the world.’” Pope Francis

grace, peace & balm

Virginia : )

Photos: Prayer Garden this week @ St. Bede’s, Williamsburg (VA)

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Penguins! Penguins! Penguins!

Virginia invites you to take a levity timeout today with penguins. There’s something to be said for taking laughter breaks during times of stress (as shared here a week or two ago.) Looking at penguins tends to make me smile…

“There is something playful about God. You only have to look at a penguin to realize that God likes to play little jokes on creatures.” Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.

“Look at God looking at you…and smiling.” Anthony de Mello, S.J.

“Laughter bursts out of the small world of our seriousness and greed and self importance and allows the water of life to flow freely to all, relieving the dryness and barrenness of our parched spirits.” Conrad Hyers

“I think the main reason we have so little joy is that we take ourselves too seriously.”  Thomas Merton

grace, peace & penguin joy

Virginia : )

Photos: Taken during visit to Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa

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Let It Be…

On this Solemnity of the Annunciation we honor Mary’s huge step of faith, her “yes” to God when Angel Gabriel met with her. Despite her fears, despite not knowing how things would work out, she said, “yes.”

Let it be so. Let it be as You have said.

As Mary trusted God completely, her yes became Love incarnate within her.

In honor of her response, today here’s a favorite song, “Let it Be,” written by Paul McCartney as sung by luminary Aretha Franklin. (It’s a YouTube video. Email readers you know the drill, link to Roses website for a listen.)

“…And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a Light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be….” 

(Paul McCartney)

grace, peace & let-it-be Light grooves

Virginia : )

Photo: Chapelle Ave Maria, Sirmione (Lake Garda, Italy)

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Hope is a Choice!

As the COVID-19 death toll continues in Italy and now in the U.S., it would be easy to lapse into fits of despair. Even here in what’s known as the “Historic Triangle” of Virginia, we’ve seen an increased number of cases and deaths. As of last night there have been 5 COVID-19 related deaths and 46 coronavirus cases in our Peninsula health district, the majority in James City County where Blogger Virginia lives.

Our county has been classified as an ‘outbreak’ area. Like I shared last week, we are just a small county compared to the big cities and metropolitan areas in our state.

Many places are shut. Yesterday the Governor of Virginia closed all schools through the end of the academic year, plus a long list of other places. Many folks have lost their jobs. We are now in this for a longer haul.

Lots to worry about! But, here’s the thing about worry. Worry tends to weaken our hearts when we need them to be the strongest.

“Worry does not empty today of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Corrie Tan Boom

How do we avoid worry blues? By choosing HOPE (and lots of prayer.) Hope strengthens our hearts to keep doing all we can. Hope seeks to help others (even from a distance of 6 feet, or alone in our homes by phone.)

Hope washes worries away with faith.

Hope prays. Hope stays. Hope saves.

Hope slays despair with God’s presence in our hearts and lives.

“Hope never abandons you; you abandon hope.” George Weinberg

grace, peace & hope

Virginia : )

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

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Birdies Birding Around…

Virginia caught these birdies birding around while on February ferry rides from Jamestown to Surry, VA (and back again.)

These birdies look ready to take off (with morning energy.)

These birdies look a bit tired at the end of the day.

On a windy evening, to stay or go?

Time to face the fierce wind…

grace, peace & birdie inspiration

Virginia : )

“The wings of transformation are born of patience and struggle.” Anonymous

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Forever Grace

As we find ourselves in uncertain times, God’s grace is forever.

“We always overestimate ourselves when we imagine we are completely indispensable and that the world or the Church depends on our frantic activity. Often it will be an act of real humility and honesty to stop what we are doing, to acknowledge our limits, to take time to draw breath…

…Those who read Scripture in a reflective spirit found this experience in Paul, translated into the profession of Christian hope: ‘I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.’ (Romans 8:18)

The center of gravity of existence has shifted as a result of this certainty: now it lies at the morning of life, which means that it takes away the oppressiveness and the pressure of the moment and dissolves the tears of the evening by the power of a grace that lasts forever.”  Pope Benedict XVI (“Seek That Which is Above”)

grace, peace & forever grace

Virginia : )

Photos: Sunset over the James River (from the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry)

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Scattering Joy (vs. Pain)

Here’s a quote for this Lenten Saturday…

“There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

grace, peace & scattering joy

Virginia : )

“Look toward God and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.” Psalm 34:5

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