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Weekly Pause & Ponder

Accepting your life means being present in it, moment by moment. Changing your life begins with accepting your life as it is. When you do that, you are in a position to change. You know where you are, in addition to where you want to go.

The Heart of the Soul by Gary Sukar and Linda Francis, p.279


Way Beyond the Gift of Her Chromosomes

I was told by my mom that as a child I would sometimes ask, “Do you love me?” Mom admittedly shared that on occasion her reply was, “Off and on.”

I have no reason, whatsoever, to doubt my mom’s love of me. Since her death in November 2011, I continue to experience mom’s presence. I don’t think this is unique to me but similar to the experience of others following the death of their own moms.

My mom, often comes to mind, and I feel her presence when I discover new recipes, fashion trends or books with wonderful stories and I find myself thinking, “You’d like what I found.”

Perhaps, more frequently, her presence is evident in my life through her continued influence on my way of thinking and my manner of being. I inherited so much more of who I am from her than my chromosomes.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to offer a gracious thank you for the influence of our mothers or those other special someone’s who ‘mothered’ us and continue to shape who we are.

Nancy Wales, CSJ


You up. You here. You beautiful.

Crossing into Detroit MI recently, I found my eyes welling up with tears as I awaited my turn through US Customs. I was alone and missing my dear sister who always sat beside me.  She had died last summer in her 95th year. Going to Detroit to “window shop,” was one of her very favorite things and our time together, my favorite thing. Thoughts multiplied tears, to deepen my loss and soon I was face to face with a young female immigration officer. Taking my passport she asked, “How are you today?” which was a startling, unexpected question.  Pausing a moment and feeling a need for truth in my soul I said, “I’m very sad”. “Why are you sad she asked”? “Because we just sold my sister’s house” I replied, then quickly felt like that was hardly reason to be crying, so I added, “she died”. “Where are you going now” she asked. “Lunch with a friend” I said, and thanked her for inquiring about my sadness.

Driving off I was amazed at that encounter, because she took time to ask more about my sadness, in a job where rapid inquiry is the routine. Enveloped by spirit and gratitude I said a prayer for that kind young woman and that graced moment in time.

Minutes later my first stop was at Sears, a store I do not frequent, but I know they are closing stores, and people are losing their jobs. I was Iooking around the jewelry counter when a young Afro American saleslady, Thelma, upon seeing me asks, “How are you today?”  Not wanting to say “sad” again, I squeak out, “Not so good at all”. Looking at me she says, “You up”. “You here”. “You beautiful”. I am overwhelmed, amazed at two heart felt experiences in such a short span of time. I ask myself, “Is my sister embodied in those women? Is this like Mary after the Resurrection, meeting Jesus in the Garden and not recognizing him?” 

While living the grief and mourning there are the strangers that show up to enable the downtrodden to move through the peaks and valleys of life. While my sister Betty was not with me as I would have liked, I believe she was there in a transformed way, in oneness with the Risen Christ. These two stellar encounters were profoundly spiritual experiences now etched in my heart forever.

After lingering a while longer, I returned to Thelma, affirmed her for being the wonderful employee/person that I experienced her to be and thanked her for her kindness to me. Giving her a tangible expression of gratitude, I pulled from my purse a small piece of my art with words by the Maori people in New Zealand, “I am the river and the river is me”. It was all so fitting. I could identify with the oneness of the river and earth, my brokenness and the energy of her healing words.

Now as I continue my personal transformation through grief and loss, I will continue to give my art cards to people who gift me along the way. I will speak to them about the Maori people, their oneness and protection of the earth and our need to bring healing to our outer earth as well as our inner earth, because, all are one.

Patricia St. Louis csj




Weekly Pause & Ponder

Think of yourself like this: There’s a universal intelligence subsisting throughout nature inherent in any one of its manifestations. You are one of those manifestations. You are a piece of this universal intelligence – a slice of God, if you will. Be good to God, since all that God created was good….  You are God manifested, and that’s reason enough to treat yourself kindly.

The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. P.44


Weekly Pause & Ponder

The reality we name as “God” mightier and more vast than 400 billion galaxies, permeates my existence as a human person. Certainly God is infinite and unknowable, but we look into our own hearts and lives, and there is this same God bursting to life in us. Why do we keep looking elsewhere to find God? Why do we stay locked into a spirituality that looks for God in the heavens in preference to a spirituality that focuses on the God within and among us, urging and prompting us to claim our sacred identity—and to live it? Here is the arena of conversion and the heart of Jesus’ message to all of us who have ears to hear.

Tomorrow’s Catholic: Understand God and Jesus in a New Millennium
By Michael Morwood, MSC, p. 99.


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.