How Does Jesus See You?

I remember the first time I was asked this question: third grade, by Sister Veronica who kept a 6” ruler handy in her habits side pocket for those without a quick answer.

Short? Pretty? Smart? Funny? Fifty-five years later I cannot recall what answer I gave, but I have kept this question front and center throughout my life. And I have meditated on the answer many times over the years with an assortment of personal adjectives, based on particular moments in life.

As a teenager this simple question would bubble through my subconscious and haunt me when I was tempted to follow the crowd and do something I knew to be wrong. In my twenties and thirties I know there were times Jesus saw me as impatient and quick to anger over what I now realize were insignificant events. Sometimes I was an indifferent wife, friend, sister, daughter. There were periods when I know Christ saw my indifference to His Word, and my anger at what I perceived to be HIS indifference to my needs.

How does Jesus see me…when I am making fun of others to make my friends laugh, myself feel important?

How does Jesus see me …when I cut someone off on the freeway and lay on my horn impatiently?

How does Jesus see me… when the clerk forgets to add an item to my tab and I keep silent, internally shouting ‘oh yeah’?

How does Jesus see me….when I refuse to forgive someone for an injustice?

Does Jesus ever see someone taking a few moments to compliment a stranger looking lonely or sad in the grocery aisle? Or does he see a person so intent on finishing her list she rushed through the aisles without seeing anyone?

Most of us go through our day on autopilot. We have responsibilities to families and work, chores to accomplish before another day starts, places to be. Children need to be to practices, games, school, doctor appointments. Our families are counting on us doing our part, hold up our end of the bargain. We are the drivers in the great ‘family’ plan.

But in the course of doing all that we do, do our actions cause Christ to smile, laugh, be pleased? Or do they cause him to wince, frown, and become disappointed?

Everyone, at some point, puts on a different face. For many, choosing the right clothes, hair style, vehicle, shoes, schools for our children consume our thoughts. But all of these accouterments are just pieces of the face we put on in order for others to like us, look up to us, envy us.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

In other words, Christ sees the image imprinted on our souls.  jesus
He does not care about your home’s square footage, but I am sure he cares whether your doors open to those in need He does not care if we wear designer shoes but, I am sure he is displeased when we fail to see if the feet of others are cold, weary, or in pain. He does not care if your children attend a prestigious school, but He will care if you as a parent don’t teach them about Him.

Take a moment before closing your eyes and honestly assess your accomplishments and interpersonal interactions for that day. Then ask yourself Sr. Veronica’s question: How did Jesus see me today?

For me, this question has made all the difference in my life.

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An American Saint

Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized a saint. St. Kateri exemplified the meaning of being true to one’s faith, being true to Jesus Christ and to His Church on earth.  May we take time today to thank Him for His saving graces, and  ask Him for the power to discern how to better bring His message to a world sorely in need.

All things are possible with Him if we allow him into our lives.  Be like Saint Kateri, and let Him in.

Saint Kateri – pray for us for we are in need of His Graces.  Protect all people from the evil one and let the guiding principle of Christianity – Love one another (John 15:12) – be the guiding principle of this world.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord


“Commit your life to the Lord, and He will help you” is a favorite refrain of mine, one of His many promises to us.   For many though the question is not so much ‘will I commit’, but ‘how can I commit’?

It is difficult in today’s world to commit one’s life to the Lord.  Most have family obligations, work obligations, health issues, children/grandchildren issues.  And lest we forget any of these obligations,  technology bombards our ears and eyes with beeps, blinks, chimes and even shouts out, as is the case with our new home’s fire alarm, “Evacuate, evacuate, alert alert, evacuate!”.

We are actually being Techno-scolded constantly by inanimate objects demanding our attention. And, the noise is deafening!

How many of us become so busy we forget food placed in the microwave and only remember  when the DONE beep continues on and on and on?  Or the refrigerator’s chimes when  the  doors are open too long.  This is very irritating when you are trying to clean the darn thing.  I confess to yelling at my dryer ‘I’m coming’ when the timer goes off, signalling yet another round of spinning, almost to say “fold the clothes NOW”. And who can ignore  the lure of  social media’s notifications?  Seeing a ‘notification’ pop up I am easily coerced into answering questions, replying to comments  and I end up forgetting why I signed on to begin with what recipe I needed.

My answering machine and my cell phone continue to wink at me until I listen to the messages or read the text messages.   The first time I came too close to another car my dashboard lit up,  flashing ‘BRAKE’ accompanied with screeching bells.  Not funny Jeep!

I am tired of being Techno-scolded!  I am very good at scolding myself, courtesy of my Catholic schooling years. Before you know it, our homes will be beeping, screeching, blinking warnings at everything we fail to do.  Even my  fitbit scolds me when I have been sitting at the computer too long.

It is way past time to put these annoying techno-scolds to rest. And that is why I am entering Lent with a promise to limit technology, to limit the distractions.

Lent is the season to change that which prevents a closer communion with God.  And for me,  clutter is creating an environment conducive to distractions; the clutter of the mind, the clutter of the spirit, and the clutter of my home.  Limiting technology will help unfinished projects  be completed or revamped.  The granny square blanket begun by my grandmother, who died in 1964?  Still sitting in the plastic bag with the crotchet hook and yarn;   I have moved this particular project from Minnesota, to Ohio, and now into my bedroom in Massachusetts.  Even older is the refinishing of another ancestor’s cedar chest, also moved more times than the granny square blanket.  And aside from the physical clutter, I need to set aside time each day for  prayer, meditation, and quiet.

The only scold I need is a gentle nudge of conscience to remember my Lenten commitment to slow down, unplug, and reconnect with God.

Promises I make to God, to myself, and to others need to be kept.

Why now?  Because it is Lent. Let the stillness begin!

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And So It Is Written…

The Church’s gospel reading for Sunday, January 29th states:

“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

Today is the day after the March for Life in Washington D.C. and I could not but smile when I heard these words tonight at Mass.  God did bless our nation when he allowed those  who consider themselves ‘wise’, those who consider themselves to ‘powerful’ to be completed surprised by those they deemed the ‘deplorables’.

Those who voted to elect President Trump and Vice President Pence, both of whom are Pro-Life and proud of it,  were considered deplorables in the eyes of the wealthy elites and self-described wise men and women of the intelligentsia.

And many of these deplorables were in D.C. marching, joining hands,  to give voice to the voiceless. holding hands across the generations

It is fitting I believe for the gospel reading this weekend to be so.

May God bless our country and may He continue to bless the most innocent among us.

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Differences Create Beauty

tulip-days-with-teagenDifferent flower types in a garden create a visual paradise of chromatography.

Gardeners strive for different textures, scents, colors in creating a sanctuary of calm in their lives. When each chosen flower type blooms in concert with those it is surrounded by the entire garden is enhanced tenfold.

Choosing differences in the non-personal aspects of life are unconsciously acted upon  daily. We need different food for good health, different shoes for different outfits and purposes, different textures and colors when we decorate our home spaces.

God creates a world filled with a cornucopia of differences. And when each is allowed  to bloom, we are all enhanced.

Celebrate the differences among each other; our differences in skills and abilities. When each individual blooms, we all bloom. Do not allow for any empty patch in God’s Garden of Humanity. Each was chosen personally by God.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

      Today is day 7 of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  Celebrate our differences!down-syndrome-awareness-ribbon

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Just Thinking About Tomorrow

Tomorrow” is one of my favorite songs from Annie.   I used to love  turning on the record player in my family’s basement and belting out the song as loud as I could.

Of course this only happened when no one else was home.  Having five siblings I was careful  to limit criticism of my vocal abilities as often as possible.  But this song still is my favorite one to sing when life appears to follow a course not in keeping with my aspirations.

Or as my grandmother used to say, “We make plans and God laughs”.

On another perspective though, I do have good thoughts when ‘thinking about tomorrow’ in America.

We are a nation that celebrates differences, or are trying to.  We embrace new foods, we try new activities, we are open to other’s opinions and try to understand their perspectives.  And it will only become better.

Regardless of our religion, race, culture, gender we eat together,  pray together,  copy one another in dress and slang.  We laugh together,  cry together,  work together,  learn together and we compete together.  This is America.

And when I think about tomorrow in America I know the differences some may still have, the prejudices many may still harbor towards those with different abilities is also changing.


Recently my sister told me about a wonderful organization called Able To Work USA which is dedicated to opening the employment opportunities  to people with Down Syndrome and other developmental issues.  Their goal, as their website states  “aims to create more inclusive workplaces while at the same time recognizing the potential of every individual.”

Every one  born with Trisomy 21 is different and unique, each have traveled a different road to become the person they were born to be…just like everyone else in America. Able To Work USA  is opening the doors of established businesses, letting individuals with different abilities enter the same bus and sit in the same rows as everyone else . These  individuals  want to work, are able to work, and can provide businesses with untold dedication and love for their jobs.  And they are excelling!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  Educate yourself on the opportunities to celebrate and embrace the differences in all people.  If you own a business access the information available on  and hire someone with a different ability.  You will be surprised at the caliber of their character, knowledge, and skills.

“Civilization is the encouragement of differences.” Mahatma Gandhi.  And it will only get better the more we include those with different abilities.

Just think about tomorrow!

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Down Syndrome Awareness Month  


This is Teagen Grace                  wp-1475509668135.jpg

She is two years old

She loves farm animals.

She has blue eyes and blonde hair.

She listens to stories, loves to dance, and laughs with her entire body.

She plays with her toys and splashes in baths.

She runs around the corners of her home, chasing her brother and sister.

She eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and loves her ice cream.

She has down syndrome.

She is just like all of us.

Please support your local down syndrome society by signing up for your chapters buddy walk.  

The work they do is amazing.

National Down Syndrome Society

Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island, Inc.

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Finding the ‘Kind’ in Mankind

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you hear something that causes you to pause; or, in my case made me stop and think, “Seriously? They even USE that word today”.  This happened to me when I heard the word Mankind in a daily reading.

Upon deeper reflection I wondered if they even teach the word ‘mankind’ to elementary students. And then, if they DO teach this word, would they even know what it means? Many words end up by the roadside because they are not relevant.  This particular word could very well go the way of VCR, disposable film, bubblers, floppy disk, britches, hootenanny, icebox, and then my favorite, the ‘yuppie’.

When there is no longer a need for the word, the word quietly fades away.

When the word is no longer relevant to people’s lives it loses its very definition.

And,  when you break apart MANKIND, are the two parts mutually inclusive, or exclusive?

During a sermon this past month, St. Luke catechized:

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.”  (Luke 16:10)

Hearing this, I almost wished I were in a Baptist Church where I could have stood up quickly and shouted out ‘Amen Father! Alleluia”.

St. Luke was giving ‘mankind’ direction on how to live the kind of life which brings out the best in all, but today it seems as if the very word is an oxymoron. How can the word ‘man’ be united with the word ‘kind’? There are so many instances in the media where ‘man’ is anything but ‘kind’. The way society interacts is anything but ‘kind’. The ability of a person to anonymously be ‘unkind’ has grown exponentially in our interactions with others on social media sites.

As parents it is our duty to teach our children to be ‘kind’. It is a simple word, but action is needed to exemplify the word, to do honor to the word. So it is with some irony I came across  an idea  to help others in need on the social media site Pinterest.  Many are creating Blessing Bags. post on Pinterest.

Photo courtesy of Used with permission. All rights reserved.

We are keeping a “Blessing bag” in our car in case we find someone in need. You can make these up with items from the Dollar Tree such as gloves, thermal socks, beef sticks, crackers, candy bars, toothpaste, toothbrush, wipes, deodorant, snacks and other items that may help someone who is homeless or in a bad way

What a simple ‘kind’ idea.

When they see someone in need they roll down their window and give them this bag. Anything can go into the bag, but what truly made me see the ‘kindness’ of others was seeing how many people are doing this. One person was using gift certificates for McDonald, Burger Kings.  Another was using certificates to Walmart for a shampoo and cut. Some made bags just for women, some just for kids, and others created bags for seniors.

So many people excited to be ‘kind’ to those in need!

Showing how to be kind in small interactions with others is  key to our children learning how to being kind in larger interactions.  We begin teaching the small acts of kindness, and our children will have the tools to be as St. Luke states ‘trustworthy with the large’.  Something this small teaches them to look for Christ in others and allows them to discover the goodness in everyone.

Random acts of kindness done by ‘mankind’ for others, without a thought of anything in return.

‘Mankind’ it seems is not an oxymoron.

Almost makes me want to throw a hootenanny to celebrate.

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Shared Article from AOL: Pope Francis proclaims Teresa of Calcutta a saint

How blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the Earth. How blessed are we to have lived while a saint walked among us. 

Blessed Saint Mother Teresa, pray for us for we are in need of your prayers. 

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Blessed Labor Day

On this Labor Day let us  remember everything we have, comes from God’s Hands.  He has entrusted us with specific gifts to be used for the good of the world.  May we remember to share them with each other every day.

seeing Gods Hands in Everything..jpg

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