Ubi Caritas: (“Where Charity Is”)

“Sometimes to get what you want the most, you have to do what you want the least.” Jodi Picoult


As always I preface my entries with the same old adage. I want to write more; I want to comment and interact with fellow bloggers, but sometimes mustering up the energy to engage is difficult. As I shift from Enya to Audrey Assad playlists which softly play in the backgroun, more than ever I have realized sitting silently with my uncomfortable internal chaos is an emosionally taxing task; however, just as we cannot avoid death, I might as well soak in my feelings instead of avoiding them. What follows is a Gregorian chant which is keeping me going, and prayerfully I return with more to write. As much as I abhor visiting the jumbled jigsaw I reverently refer to as my brain, I find writing therapeutic. Words provide an outlet to reflect and tap into the raging resivour of recent situations, thoughts and complex feelings, so here’s to more to come.

I pray these lyrics accompanied by Audrey’s beautiful voice speak to your soul whereever you may be on this journey called life.



Below are the Latin and English translations:


Lyrics in Latin:

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus. Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul quoque cum beatis videamus, Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus: Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum, Saecula per infinita saeculorum.


In English:

Where charity and love are, God is there. Christ’s love has gathered us into one. Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him. Let us fear, and let us love the living God. And may we love each other with a sincere heart. Where charity and love are, God is there. As we are gathered into one body, Beware, lest we be divided in mind. Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease, And may Christ our God be in our midst. Where charity and love are, God is there. And may we with the saints also, See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God: The joy that is immense and good, Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.


On this all saints day, may we cling to the truth healing can come through hurt, beauty can come from broken things, we grow stronger in the broken places and while on this side of heaven life may appear without purpose, saints are sinners who never stopped trying. Let’s keep on keeping on.

Until next time,



Love Is

I hope this Sunday is a relaxing restorative one for all. I am thankfully in a better mindset than I was when I last wrote. Even though I am having a difficult time accepting a positive aspect of eating disorder recovery, I have vowed somehow this time must be different from the other relapses, because if I do not make a change the cycle will inevitably keep on repeating itself.

For me, weight restoration is the most mentally exhausting part of recovery. On one hand, I hate it. I loathe the feeling of defeat and the associated self-deprecating thoughts and feelings, but then the logical part of my mind knows this is good. This is what my body needs and if I can conquer this fear, then I can tackle the other lies and distortions of anorexia. It’s all fine and dandy to intellectually know these truths and ponder them on paper, but how do I put these realizations into action? How do I move further along this continuum? How do I take a leap further away from the eating disorder? A step into unknown territory in which there is no place for disordered thoughts and being held captive by unrealistic perceptions and entertain the idea of a life in which I let go of unattainable goals.

I am not going to delude myself into thinking if I actively try this time a setback can’t or won’t occur, but unlike previous attempts to truly let go of this vice I am going to do my best to view caring for myself as more than a chore or task; it’s an act of love. Although I am not yet to a point in which I can say I love myself, somedays I do like who I am becoming.

As I was considering this entry, the following verse came to mind: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.


I began to question whether I actually “love” myself. I can easily love and care for others, but as the adage says, you can’t love others until you love yourself.

I often need to remind myself loving oneself is not being selfish. Being patient with ourselves, showing kindness to our bodies by providing the food, exercise and needed sleep it requires, being gracious with our faults and accepting we are not perfect, and caring for our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing are things only we can do for ourselves.

I pray this week in small but noticeable ways we can all care and love ourselves for who we are in the here and now, rather than only projecting into the future which is never promised.

Until next time


Uncovering Depression

“I don’t want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washing over me like a sluggish wave. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s drowning me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead.” – Margaret Atwood


Hi there on this Solemnity of Corpus Christi and Father’s Day,

Maybe what I am about to write about is just yet another one of my quirks which make relating to the living so difficult. I know when I am depressed I am difficult to “deal with.” I am irritable, lifeless, a hopeless cause and just taking up space under bedcovers during the day when the world goes on outside my window.

This weekend has been one such time where depression sucked me into its quicksand, and no matter how hard I tried to fight the thoughts or the crushing wave of intense feelings I lost the battle. I slept, barely got out of bed, only enough to minimally interact with the world and fell far into the shelter of nothingness.

It’s difficult to explain why I felt this way, but maybe you may have some ideas how I can prevent another episode. It all started with a beautifully real intense book I read which displayed vulnerability, humanity at its worst and the outcomes of pain. The author is not amazing for what she overcame, but rather for putting words to her experiences. She deftly put words to my feelings of hunger, feelings of wanting to disappear but to be noticed all at the same time. I certainly will be blogging my thoughts in a future entry, but oh my!! Words are powerful. We as humans are powerful beyond our realizations. Our words, our expressions, our actions and reactions can unknowingly impact another for good or ill. Please, whatever you do, everyday offer someone a smile, a kind word, give a friend a hug, an authentic encouraging word because sadly humanity can be so overwhelmingly savage and cruel.

This is what pulled me into the vortex of depression. Feeling the author’s pain, comprehending the superficiality of our culture and as these feelings and thoughts crashed over me like a tidal wave, I could not bear to fight feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. I don’t know how tomorrow will go, but I will put on my mask of “I am not depressed” and keep on keeping on and will “fake it till I make it.”

Until next time,


As We Change we grow

The following quote is taken from a Facebook friend’s post:

“Sometimes, you and someone else were only meant to share a moment of time with each other. Sometimes friendships and relationships are not built to last forever, they are built to teach you a lesson. Maybe you both needed to learn something from each other that no one else in the world could teach you at that time. Maybe you both were perfect for getting each other through a terrible storm together. In life, you will fall out with people that you never thought you would. Get betrayed by people you trusted with all your heart. And get used by people you would do anything for. But life also has a beautiful side to it. You will get loved by someone you never thought you would have. Form new friendships with people that will establish more meaningful and stronger relationships. And overcome things you never thought you would get over. We all have chapters that end with people at some point in life. But take pride in knowing that the very best part of your book is still being written.”


Hi blog world,

As usual it has been some time since I took time to write and read your posts, but lately I have felt the nudge back to reflective writing, so here is a brief entry about what I have been thinking.

Often my heart feels burdened, emotionally tired and worn, however, there is this change I feel taking place. It’s a gradual realization I cannot control the outcome of relationships or situations. It’s the acceptance each day is a blessing with its unique challenges, choices and triumphs, and I can only embrace each day as a precious gift. This deeper understanding comes from years of self-imposed physical and mental torture, way too much time dedicated to pushing friends away because I always felt less than, undeserving of love or just plain unworthy.

I have somehow arrived at a place of liking who I am for the most part, along with an awareness in life comes the lesson of learning to let go of my specific plans, the comfortability to show my vulnerabilities, the past, to let go so I can change, and changing to become a more well-rounded spiritually-centered person.

Attempting to attain perfection, whether it be in my personal or professional life will only lead to this repeated feeling of inadequacy, and these unachievable goals reinforce my natural human shortcomings. I am beyond blessed by God’s gift of my relationships with friends, coworkers and family members who are helping me realize my worth, who are cheering me on as I use my words for good rather than my self-destructive actions whose purpose is to only slowly silence my voice.

Thank you for sharing your life lessons, wisdom, and most importantly pouring your trust and love into this cocooned caterpillar who prayerfully someday bud into a butterfly.

Until next time,


A Mother’s Day Reflection

What follows are words I cannot take credit for but beautifully summarize this day.

“The following aren’t my words but I couldn’t say anything more perfect than what was already written;

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you.
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you.
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst.
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day.
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths.
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you.
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you.
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you.
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.”

Until next time,


Wise Words to Live By

Hi there,

No matter our earthly voocation, may we always be mindful of these profound words to live by with holiness and heaven as our ultamant vocation.

1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout the journey.

2. So why is a car’s WINDSHIELD so large and the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If they’re going well, enjoy them… they will not last forever. If they’re going wrong, don’t worry… they can’t last long either.

5. Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, friend, it’s just a bend, not the end!”

7. When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He `replied, “Yes, losing your vision!”

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES… it takes away today’s PEACE. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly, and Leave the rest to God.

— Author Unknown

Returning to the Road

Returning to the Road

“When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself “All is lost. I have to start all over again.” This is not true. What you have gained you have gained….When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.” Henri J.M. Nouwen

Good day,
As the birds quietly sing outside my window while I drink my second cup of coffee and Audrey Assad plays softly in the background, so many thoughts and emotions have been going through my mind after starting a transformational read. I hope I can somehow capture them and rope them into some semblance of coherency.
Last Sunday I went to my first in-person recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in a Cathedral which was such a beautiful experience, and adoration was a needed quiet time to talk with Jesus about my hopes, fears and desires. Afterwards was Mass which in the cathedral is always such a moving time for me. The music, incense, the voices of the choir and the Eucharist, the central part of the Mass, are just a few of the aspects which were exactly the spiritual rejuvenation my weary soul needed.
With this entry, my tentative goal is to write about my faith journey in a bit of a different way than I have in past posts. I love those mountaintop moments with God and my Catholic faith. Those times when I feel as if this is home and I am in awe to think at one time I willingly walked away from this beautiful gift which was planted as a seed when I was a child, however as an adult I did not nurture it into maturity.
The fact I came to this realization on Divine Mercy Sunday certainly was not due to my intellect, rather I believe it was a gentle whispering reminder from God that His mercy is new every day and free to all. It’s free to even me who at times is demanding, bitchy, ignorant, introverted, caring, a walking contradiction, socially distant and awkward at times, weak, resilient, depressed, cynical, jaded, joyous and sadly a self-induced perfectionist which has wormed its tendencies into a 20-year battle with anorexia.
Now here is where my love of my faith gets difficult and a bit complicated. I have never been one to like being placed in social boxes, because as a person with a visible disability, I always felt as a child I was labeled whether by professionals or my peers. The ascribed notations in my IEP were often I was to quiet, did not interact with classmates enough, I had “special needs”, some unknown learning disability and the list goes on. When I grew out of the formulized K through 12 system, I vowed to myself I would not allow myself to be placed in those nice little tidy square boxes with their bold identifying labels that I did not always feel fit my personality or aptitude.
Initially college was a time of slight individualization, however my faith at that time was mostly a predetermined rule book of do’s and do not’s, and if I crossed the line I would take the express elevator to hell because my catechesis did not include the wisdom behind the why. Even though my faith journey has been an adventure, and I would never change where I am for anything, what follows is where I sometimes become frustrated with social mores.
My faith has morphed into my moral compass, it’s a fluid relationship and healthy respect for God and His wisdom passed down through the Catholic Church. However, at times I feel as if because I am a practicing Catholic I am expected to fit into specific neat little boxes which I do not like. Politically I am a moderate, and on certain issues I could even say I can be conservative with a dose of liberalism mixed in for diversity. In my 33 years, I have learned life is not cut and dry, this or that or as simple as right and wrong. At times my Catholic faith and profession as a social worker nicely coincide, but then times do exist when the two fiercely clash and oppose one another. These two facets inform and influence my daily life, so I cannot have one without the other. My past, my status as a sister, Mother, daughter, friend, my love for books, writing, music and learning all somehow seemingly intersect to form who I am. I am working to find some balance between being myself but not compromising myself, but also as a person who craves respect, acceptance, stability, support, control, friendship, love and happiness, I know certain concessions must be made no matter how we think or feel. For instance, I can play the role of the good Catholic, but when I am comfortable with people if I can deduce it’s socially accepted, I admit I have a potty mouth which isn’t the most virtuous feature, but it is what it is and it’s a work in progress, but that is where I am right now. I am trying to figure out where do I fit in this world with its pushing and pulls toward one or the other?
My friend recently recommend I read Bad Feminism by Roxane Gay, and so far, I absolutely love the book because I can relate to so much she says as a minority and a woman who have felt marginalized by society.
I know for a fact as someone who is not considered able-bodied by the standards of our society, I often find myself setting up my own expectations whether they be realistic or irrational. I believe I can compete with my sighted or otherwise able-bodied peers and coworkers, but always in the back of my head I am always wondering if I am even where I am today based on my own merit? Could it have been out of pity I was hired for my job, or offered whatever general thing. It at times is a difficult balance because I long to be treated equally but let’s say it how it is, equality does not always exist. Related to disability rights we are forced to operate under separate but equal at times, but I am not at all denying the bounds and leaps we continue to make on a regular basis.
When will I be able to accept what I have personally, professionally, where I am spiritually without feeling the need to measure up, to keep up based on some scripted guidelines?
If you have made it this far, I thank you for being part of the community where I find peace and solace. Whether it’s being with my authentic friends near or far, the blog world, sitting in soothing silence during adoration, the comfort of escaping into a well-worn book or losing myself in the lyrics of a song which has changed the landscape of my life are why I embrace all these blessings from God.
I am not a super duper uber Catholic, rather I am a flawed sinner and has shortfalls that impede my progress, but this earthly life is not a popularity competition, and in the end God knows our vices, innermost thoughts and the desires of our hearts, so no matter where we are on the road toward our goals, dreams or the ultimate prize of heaven, may we always keep on moving forward, and if we meander, backtrack or need to stop and rest a bit, as we were reminded today in the account of the road to Emmaus Jesus is always walking beside us and when we resume our journey we have come a bit further than we were before, so all is never lost.
Until next time, one step at a time