I was very pleased to speak to our confirmation candidates on April 8 about practical ways to deepen their faith. Each year I help out with the confirmation retreats — the team gives two each year, scheduled during the Christmas rush. Although it can be difficult to take time away during December, the confirmation retreat is a wonderful reminder of why we love and serve the Lord. I am always so grateful for the time I get to spend with these wonderful kids.
Debbie Ziegler, who promotes our parish activities via social media and email, was kind enough to share with me the article she wrote about the talk. I understand from her that a good discussion ensued with her students after the talk. Thanks Debbie!
At their final class before receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, Sue Bailey; musician, author, member of the Confirmation retreat team and St. Luke’s music ministry; addresses the students, sharing wisdom and experiences with stories, analogies and music. Sue provided excellent and useful advice and resources to help youth on their continuing path of discovery and faith in the Catholic church.
Sue answers the question, “Where Do I Go From Here?” by showing how she was able to recognize, then trust, the call of God; and that in doing so she was led to some unexpected and wonderful new places.
Here is her talk:
The students enjoyed her presentation, which concluded with her song, “Will You Teach Me” and contemplation of the lyrics:
Many people find coloring to be a wonderful way to relax and experience harmony in their lives. Is that you? Join my Email List to subscribe to this blog and receive your free Harmony coloring book (and more).
River of Grace Audio book with soundtrack music available now on Bandcamp. Listen to the preface of the book, and all the songs.
This is my column for this month’s Catholic Free Press. May the Holy Spirit give you strength and consolation as he fills you with God’s love and leads you to new life.
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Towards sanctity: the Spirit’s call from fear to love
Sometimes I think I should have been born a house cat. Indoor cats crave comfort and security above all else and this is my priority too. Have you ever noticed the lengths cats will go to find that perfect spot to sleep? It’s always on the softest pillow, the coziest quilt, the laundry basket full of clothes just drawn from a hot dryer.
That pursuit of comfort drives my actions. I will choose to look frumpy rather than wear clothes that bind me in any way. I opted out of going to a favorite spot to watch the spring bird migration because it was cold and rainy. Making comfort my top priority has turned me into a notorious homebody. I’ve become complacent and rigid.
Just a quickie – I had an extensive interview with Patrick Alog on his Music Showcase program on Archangel Radio and we covered a ton of stuff! He did a great job and I am grateful to be able to share about my books, the role of faith in my life, Louisa May Alcott and reading and writing, losing and gaining back my music, and the power of forgiveness.
From my first CD called Teach Me to Love I present a fun and uplifting song, “Come Holy Spirit!”
Of all the songs recorded for this album, “Come Holy Spirit!” was the most fun. At the time of its recording in 2000, my husband Rich was co-leading the youth choir at our parish of St. Luke the Evangelist. Made up of teenagers (along with Rich, co-leader Sarah Connors and percussionist Joe Jaworski), the youth choir sang at the Sunday night 6:30 mass. Continue reading “Celebration in Song: “Come Holy Spirit!””→
“Teach Me to Love,” recorded in 2000, is one of my favorite songs for several reasons.
It’s about Blessed Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa died right around the same time that Princess Diana died. With Diana dominating the headlines, there was very little attention focused upon what had been a living saint. It was then that I sat down and wrote “Teach Me to Love” so that I could honor this woman small in stature who loomed large in her service to the poor. Continue reading “Celebrate with Song: “Teach Me to Love””→
Do you go to your specially designated study to write?
Do you paint your latest masterpiece in a light-filled studio?
Do you shut the door when you enter your room?
Why do secret hideaway places draw us like magnets?
I wanted a room of my own when I first discovered Louisa May Alcott as a kid. There was an illustration of Louisa in her special room where it was quiet and she could think. When she had finished writing her latest poem or story, she could indulge in her other favorite passion, running, by racing out the door to her room that led outside.
Getting away from the noise
Louisa’s family was noisy; quiet and privacy were hard to come by. Journals were a community affair with the parents writing notes in the margins. Louisa’s father Bronson often encouraged the children to read from their journals during the evening meal. Louisa was criticized by her father for writing too much about herself.
No wonder then that Louisa spent much of her life seeking out rooms of her own.
Finding a separate space
I used to think that a separate space away from everyone was necessary in order to create. A busy household with younger children makes finding quiet time difficult. It’s even more difficult when your home is too small to afford a separate space.
This was when I began to learn that any space could be a room of my own. The physical space was not the key; it was the rituals you established that created that space.
With that kind of mindset, a room of one’s own can be portable.
You might think it’s a waste of time to explore tools and work routines.
It is time well-invested. In the end, it saves time.
It took me hours, days, weeks, even months to figure out what worked for me. I searched diligently for those t00ls, those routines that would catapult me away from the world into my creative “zone” in an instant.