Monthly Archives: January 2010

In God’s Eyes

Here is a wonderful little poem that I composed October of 2006.  I had been sitting around in my dorm room, playing a game online with a close friend.  The urge had come over me to start writing.  This is what became of that.  At the time, I felt it had nothing to do with me.  All it was, was a beautiful piece of work

There is a glow on her face

One like never seen before

Shinning shimmering smile

Grows ever more beautiful

This young woman bows

Saying a soft prayer as she goes

A faith that was once lost

Grows every more beautiful

Looking around at a world

Where once she saw only bad

The view from God given to her

Grows ever more beautiful

Once brushing away from the needy

Now she gently kneels before them

Seeing in them the strength that

Grows ever more beautiful

Pain she once felt deep inside

Once hidden and hurt she felt

She now is told that she

Grows ever more beautiful

In Gods eyes



Wow…there are so many storied in that.  Back then, I did not see me in that at all.  My world did not seem so beautiful, but now as I read this again, it takes on a new life.  It now defines me in my discernment of my vocation.

The first part, a smile that spreads across the face.  It is what I now feel when talking about a religious life for me.  The second part, saying a soft prayer, a faith that was lost.  Even though the struggle is there, the faith is more sure that it once was.  The third part, seeing the world as bad, but really there is good too.  The world seems so bad to me, but yet take the time, and there are pleasant surprises.  The fourth part, ignoring the needy, but to what form of needy to I refer?  The needy of the poor, the ones who appear to lack nothing and appear to not care.  Look again at some, they have a faith that is stronger that ours.  Lastly, pain and hurt had filled me, not believing in the beauty within.  Now, I see the beauty through God’s eyes, the wondrous plans that He has for me, His child.  I now must live a life that is worthy in God’s Eyes.

Isn’t it amazing how something we can once brush off as nothing, can in the future be a look into what we did not realize?

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Posted by on January 31, 2010 in Creative Corner


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Four Days, One Misson, It All Starts…

Perhaps this was the first time religious life has popped up in my mind, or the first time I acknowledged it, or maybe it is when I finally voiced what is in my hear.  Oddly enough I do not recall exactly when God started calling to me in a unique way, but this is the earliest specific memory that I have of any conversation of any sort, with myself or with others.

We were hanging out after the day of service.  There had been a sister who was visiting the place we were at and she was hanging out with us for a little before bed.  I remember thinking, I wonder what it would be like to be a sister.  Once she left, and it was just me and couple friends, I did something I hardly did then.  I opened myself up.  To my friends there, I voiced my question out loud, wondering what they thought on it.  The thoughts of this seemed to have stuck through my mind, though I payed little attention to them roaming around.

Now there is this friend of mine, and she had been very interesting in the religious life.  As a leader of the Women of Faith club that I was in, she would  invite the order that she was looking at to come and visit.  It was truly an inspiration!  Now that I think back , maybe this thought had processed before my sophomore year.  I am going to take a gander it was in my mind my freshman year, at least half.  Anyways, back to the topic.  It turns out that this her junior year (she was a year older), would be her last at Saint Mary’s and then the next year she would be entering.  I was in such awe of her call in life.  It made me really smile!

Was that mission trip a gateway to opening the conversation?  How was I inspired my my friend Josie, now called Sr. Rita Marie?  Where does this story go next!?

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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Retreat Experience


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More Than Meets The Eye

Ah yes, the good and the better and the best.  We all see that in from the outside.  Again I have stumbled upon an old poem that shows there are hard times, but yet I find hope in it as well.  It was posted October 4th 2006.  Though the note states that I have found it, so I am taking a gander it was written some time before that.  Lets take a look and explore the mind at that time.

Stuck in static equilibrium

Broken to many pieces

My heart and soul lay lost

With a path so unclear

My ministry thought right

Now I question my faith

Alone I put myself to be

Away from my friends

Watching for a call or e-mail

That hardly ever comes

I sit in contemplating my life

Thinking philosophically

More often confusing me more

My life sits as a mess

Cluttered with things unknown

Part of me not discovered

Unknown to my heart and soul

Lost and broken I will be

Until I stop worrying

About what I can’t find

Now sitting lying to all

Hoping I will make myself

Believe that I am okay

Maybe even possibly think

That someone may care

So, stuck in static equilibrium.  It seems that most my life I have spent life that way.  The fear of being accepted is the root of a lot of the issues that I have ever had.  This was pointed out to me recently by a certain vocation director that makes me smile.  Anyways, being stuck in the middle of the good and the bad.  It sounds as I was in so much pain, yet look again.  I sound like I am searching for that hope, that one place that I could possibly belong in my life.  Searching, for I seemed to not be able to find, whatever that may be; I was lying to make things seem alright.  In there, I claim lying to everyone else, but in reality, lying to myself.

How could I be so ridiculous!  Now looking back, I find it interesting, but I can read old poems and see into the world of a person even I was not sure I knew.  Look at what we come through.  Community is a word that pops into my head.  Why seclude yourself?  Christ did not lock Himself in a room and perform miracles on His own person.  He preached, He shared, He Died in the sight of many, and He rose to be seen by many.  We are meant to share, no matter how painful it may be.  Think about it, back then, everyone knew everything about anything.  As time goes on, and you see more of what I have to share, this common topic of importance of community will pop up again.  It is so vital.  This community I gained from school was a priceless one, is a priceless one to hold and keep.  Stay tuned for more!

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Posted by on January 29, 2010 in Creative Corner


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Words For Thought

I was traveling through some old journals, and came across this post of mine.  The post date was February 1st, 2006.  I look at it now, and it relates so much to what I have been thinking about.  Four years time difference, and it could be read as having been written only today.  Take a glance, reflect, and see what you think about.  I find it thought-provoking.  🙂

Sometimes life calls for you to take one step back and let out a sigh.  Say a prayer and think about all you have and how much more than that you have to give.  Don’t be afraid to step out of a comfort zone and let go.  Let go of all the negative thoughts.  Let go of your talents and use them, not hiding them in a box in the back of a closet buried under your fears.  Think about it, you were given certain abilities, skills, and much more that can be used to help out others in so many different ways.  Don’t hide you talents and all you have, what is the point of that?  Look around you, take in your surroundings.  Are you using all of what you have in front of you, working with what you are given?  Take those things, make something, and mold a life worth something, as everyone is capable of doing.  Where are you going in your life, is it bringing you towards something worth smiling about?  If it is not bringing you where you can stand to be alive each day, maybe you need to go somewhere else.  Take another sigh, your life is worth so much.  You may see people going to help disaster victims, or going to third world countries to help those in poverty, but that may not your way.  Don’t be disappointed in that, there are many other ways you can serve the world and maybe just the people in your community.  Go ahead, take another sigh, and return to reality.  See all your life ahead of you and do with it as you will while making sure to keep in mind who gave it to you and who out there needs your help.  Last of all, be your true self, no one else is qualified.


Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Creative Corner


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A Special Retreat

When I left to go make my TEC retreat as a TECite, I had no idea what to expect.  For those who don’t know, TEC stands for Together (or Teens) Encountering Christ.  It is a three day retreat focused on the Paschal Mystery.  When the bus pulled up and we got out, we were all greeted by people in bright colored shirts.  On top of that, there were two team members that were rollerskating around the main room dressed in full panda suits.   A couple of us looked at each other, and almost ran the other direction, but something about it was so exciting!  Not the point, yet very fun information.

The first day of a TEC retreat is called Die Day.  As depressing as it may sound, it is so very powerful.  Let Go and Let God is the common phrase we start to hear, followed by Don’t Anticipate, Participate!  We went through reconciliation, which was so good.

The second day is Rise Day.  At this particular TEC, we were woken up with banging pots and pans.  Pretty much can guarantee you that I was definitely startled.  It was such a good day.  We had mass, a special dinner, and an awesome ceremony.  I loved it.

The third day is Go Day.  Basic idea is going into the word and sharing the love of Christ.  By this point, we all know each other better and it is really good to just hang out.

All through the weekend, there were various talks that were given by team members.  The random surprises throughout the weekend were great too!  There was a community that I felt there that has stuck with me for a very long time.  Out of all the TECs that occurred in my four years at Saint Mary’s, I only missed one because of a band concert.  I truely believe that this retreat that I made and then worked numerous times, was the source of the growing passion within me.

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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Retreat Experience


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I have to pick a major, really?

Environmental biology, what in the world was running through my head!?  Did I not recall that in high school my favorite science was pyhsics, followed by chemistry, and lastly was biology?  Nevermind that, my first semester I was in Botony and Zoology, botzo as we would call it.  My grade in botzo started good, and then kind of took a dive.  When the failign grade was all I was getting, I took that into consideration that maybe this was not my calling.  Withdrawn from the class, I began to search out my next attempt at life.

As I went in and out of that book of majors and the requirements for each of them, about nothing stood out to me.  Mind you, that is not much of an exaggeration.  I thought about that pyhsics I loved, but what in the world am I going to do with that.  Music was a fine idea, until I realized I am terrified of performing in from of people…alone.  I worked at a camp, what about teaching?  Oh yeah, boxed in spaces plus pent up camp energy, no way.  Now theatre, what a way to be creative!  Wait, acting…desgining…managing…remember that fear of performing, scratch that.  I love helping people out, human services would be great except one thing; there are too many things I am dealing with, how can I be sane for others?  Business, no; marketing, no; chemistry, no; sports stuff, no; there was nothing I thought I could fesibly do, and get decent grades.

Hold on, I am forgeting something aren’t I?  There was that theology minor I was goign to do, out of pure interest only.  I did not get much out of my youth group growing up and all I wanted to do was find out what was behind this faith I believed in.  I thought for a while, maybe my failing botzo was God smacking me over the head with a few huge large F‘s so that I would change my path.  It hurt, sure, but maybe something had to be done.

It took many more looks through the book of majors before I decided that maybe, just maybe this was the major for me.  Not to mention how easy the switch would be.  My at the time advisor was the head of the Theology department, so all the signatures for switching around declaring my major were found in one office.  Second semester sophmore year, my degree goal was set.  I was to be a Pastoral and Youth Ministry Major, a PYM for my college career, but why?  Well…the decision was made easier when I made this very special retreat November 2005, first semester freshman year.  My eyes were opened further and I gained a new love.

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Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


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What College Should I Attend!?

Let me tell you how they waited and asked and poked and prodded, it went on and on!  St. Bens, no wait…Saint Mary’s, but hold on, what about this and what about that…one second, then there is, oh dear.  One day in math class, a friend of mine just gave up on listening to me ramble about this and that having everything to do with what college to attend.

“Ashley,” she exclaimed, “listen to yourself already, you know where you are going!”  “I do?” I responded quite puzzled.  “Yes, you spend most the time talking about Saint Mary’s University, you are going there.  Now stop talking about it!”

Of course, some variation of that conversation might be more true.  My friend was right, I needed to listen to myself just a little more and there in me was the answer.  If only the world had such wisdom, but i digress slightly.  Saint Mary’s it was and in went my confirmation that yes, I was going to be attending my undergraduate with them.  Oh was I excited, as long as I could be back for that confirmation that was happening at the end of freshman year, all was sealed and set.  Off to school I went to study that Environmental Biology, work in the state/national parks systems, be outside, and oh it was to be grand!  Wait a moment, environmental biology, right?  There must be a mistake in that logic somewhere…


Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Those Dreadful High School Years

Yes, dreadful is the word I chose.  Maybe not all of it was dreadful, but think about it.  Who ever really wants to relive the years spent in high school after having lived through greater and better things.  Granted, there were a few things that I would say had to be exciting.  There was the thrill of competition in sports, passing notes in class (come on, who didnt?), hanging out in the music wing right up until dinner, interesting school lunches (tray art was fun…), and let us not forget the ever so long hot days of marching band!  Even with all those amazing things, I found myself to be the outsider, the observer, the one who did not want trouble admist all the friends.  My safe places were going camp and my time spent at church, aside from mass.  Volunteering at church did not stop once I was confirmed in tenth grade, but rather it continued on.  I became the main catechist for Religious Education classes, I sang in the church choir (despite the interesting sounds that came out of my mouth), and help out on Sunday nights with the youth group.  It was never made clear to me why I did these things, but I did them anyways.

What really made my faith appear to be more important than I thought was the day when a close friend of my asked me to be her confirmation sponsor.  We had been joking around some about how it would be kind of cool if I was her sponsor, but I never thought I would actually be good to fill the spot.  Could a really good friend really be a sponsor?  As we talked more about the struggles of picking someone, and figuring out who she trusted, less and less people became options.  (I hope I get this story at least party right!)  My friend walked up to me in school one day and said she had talked the whole thing out with her parents and they thought it would be a good idea and would I sponsor her in confirmation.  Well, of course I said yes!  It was my senior year in school, and I had been thinking long and hard about my faith, trying to figure out the importance it had to me.  The journey we continued together was so valuable to both of us.  It showed me again what I had professed myself not long ago.  What a great way to end my years at high school.  What struck me though, was that moving onto college would be much different than I thought.  Let me tell you…if took me a long time to choose where to go.  People waited and waited for me to finally decide…

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Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Uncategorized


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The Beginnings

It always interested me.  Who was this Jesus person that made my family go to mass each Sunday?  We got dressed in nice clothes and rushed out the door to make it on time.  I was drawn, though I did not completely see why, to figuring out what made this faith so important to so many people.  Thus in seventh grade, I followed in the footsteps of my dad and started to help teach religious education classes at my parish.  The kids, though annoying at times, held this simple faith that I wanted to help nourish.  Sure, my struggles were still with me, but there was something special in that at seventh grade, I was was willing to give a night to teaching young minds.   I continued as an assistant to a fellow parishioner through the tenth grade.  Thus the beginnings were and have been and are a part of my life.

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Posted by on January 25, 2010 in Uncategorized


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