January — Katie Kerr. December — Maura Martin. November — Katie Cassady. October — Tara Williams. September — Kristen Gittinger. August — Chris Morgan. July — Cathryn Dutton. June — Joel Cassady. May — Elizabeth Lent. Holy Week and April — Sarah Ault. Lent Week 5 — Heather McCormack.
Lent Week 4 — Michael Thomson. Lent Week 3 — Josie Johnson. Lent Week 2 — Christy Titus Thomson. Lent Week 1 — Diane Smith. February — Cassie Price. January — Dan Walsh. December — Shaughnessy Miller. August — John Taylor. August Chris Morgan.
Hope is the desire for something and the confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment. If I learned anything from those we encountered at the border, it would be Hope. How do people travel from country to country? Some of the others in the room had said they had bussed through Mexico; this woman, however, said she did the journey on foot, all the way from El Salvador. I was struck by this. To think that not too long ago she was walking through Mexico to end up here in the U. Factory workers make 80 pesos to pesos a day with only 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch.
They have to put in a year of work before they receive 8 days vacation. I wonder, is that what our government does? There are stories attached to each and every one of them. Just like the hundreds of human beings leaving their homes in search of something better. One of the hotels serving as a hospitality center needed food to give out to the migrants. When we arrived at the hotel, we brought the food inside and saw a line of people in the hallway, standing or sitting against the wall, keeping a close hold on their children.
They had ankle monitors on. I felt like all of them turned to us with the same look, the same eyes- big and hesitant and questioning. But smiling or greeting them would produce an immediate change in their demeanor- light came into their eyes, a flash of a smile, a nod of the head. I felt it go straight to my heart each time. Felipe had big brown eyes, a bright white smile, quick feet, and a shy manner that you felt could be a little swagger-y if you got to know him more. I was constantly struck by many cots were lined up next to each other.
I heard shouts in the air to make sure that families would be able to be together overnight. I kept thinking about how my clients at Lutheran Family Services in Denver felt going through this. The lucky asylum seekers saw this situation. All the beds lined up next to each other made me think of the classically referenced aerial photos of the white tents lined up in refugee camps.
When the sister pulled open a kitchen cupboard door, there were shelves filled with utensils and little things that clutter up a kitchen over time. I just kept thinking about how much poverty there was concentrated in this little corner of the world and how many resources must have gone into all the spoons. I was struck by the fact that in the midst of this poverty, there was something so in abundance.
But also by the fact that there are so many more important things in life rather than stockpiles of things. However, there is no doubt that they have hope. Why else would they even begin this long unknown path? For them to even think of starting this journey there must have been something inside telling them that there is something greater out there; to embark on this long and no doubt torturous path, there was a light of HOPE leading them to a seemingly better life.
Matthew has a lot of experience with full time volunteer programs. Francis Center. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Do you trust in the Lord? Do you question when terrible things happen, or when seemingly everything goes wrong?
Frequently, I find myself lacking trust in God, and while my faith is strong, active, and participatory, I know that God is calling me to trust more in the presence of the Holy Spirit. If you look at the state of our country, the world, or perhaps even reflect on your own life, this is easier said than done.
What would happen, however, if we had faith that could indeed move mountains? Could we speak in tongues as the Apostles did at Pentecost? Would we waiver when challenged by friends or family on societal issues, abuse in the Catholic Church, or why we believe what we do? While I have never spoken in tongues I have had a moment, rather my family has, that upon reflection, the Holy Spirit had certainly been present and guiding us. Confidently, I can proclaim, the Holy Spirit was in that room, that Divine Providence guided us on our journey.
Sharing that story with you speaks witness to the Holy Spirit very present in our world. This past April marked the one year anniversary of the death of my younger brother, Owen. On Thanksgiving Day , Owen was brought to the Emergency Room, and after a few days of tests, it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. Coupled with an immune condition, ITP, that greatly reduced his platelet counts, Owen spent the next several weeks in the hospital. Christmas that year was spent there, yet Owen was still able to lead prayer before our meal together.
Eventually, Owen transitioned home, and his attitude was one of gratitude and trust. Owen knew the Holy Spirit, and he became a witness of the Spirit present today. Fast forward to April and another tumor had grown. On April 19, , I received a call to come home, Owen was on a breathing tube, and while there is no guarantee, they could keep him comfortable until people arrived. Later that day, we went to the hospital and had several hours with my family, and Owen. We prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet, as well as other prayers. We had a moment to say goodbye.
Around 7 p. Comfortable still, Owen continued to breath for a few hours. We continued to pray, hold each closely, and comfort each other as needed. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me. We gathered around his bedside and I continued. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.
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April 20, Owen went home to a merciful, loving, God. The following week we shared the story of his passing. It still gives me chills, not because of great suddenness in losing my young brother, but because of the powerful experience in that hospital room. What prompted my mother to ask if anyone would read Psalm 23? What allowed smooth and immediate travel from Denver, Atlanta, and southern Ohio for his siblings to be present, and equally important, to comfort our parents?
During the celebration, the Priest consecrated bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ at nearly the same time Owen died one year earlier. Lent had ended, Christ had risen! He is now our Advocate, and will be with us always John Though we may not all have such beautiful moments of the Holy Spirit with us, may sharing it with you be witness of the Holy Spirit very much present in the world today.
Circling back to my introductory questions, however, why do I still not trust? God has shown me that He resides in our world, and is with us always. Therefore, I must be witness to this presence. We have daily opportunities to be witness of Christ to others. This encompasses true Christianity, true discipleship. Perhaps if I did this more, if we all did this more, our country, and world, would not be so divided? However, I can only speak to my own actions and words, which means I have to put my full trust in the Lord. With uncertainty, with life transition, and with sorrow, I must look to the Holy Spirit for guidance.
I can also pray to Our Mother to be my advocate. Ultimately, I must trust that God will guide, and lead me, to wherever He wills. Pentecost is a great reminder that God is with us always, the Holy Spirit very much present in our lives. Should I still forget, however, and find myself a lost sheep once again, there is always a Good Shepherd to guide and lead me once more. Never abandoned, the Holy Spirit is always with us.
Frankie, brought to CVV 23 a joyful and reflective spirit.
- Terry Hargrave, Ph. D.: Vita.
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Her plan is to use her many gifts to pursue a degree in counseling. If she is not reading a piece of literature or writing about her heartfelt thoughts, Frankie, is probably preparing her favorite dish-Shakshuka an Israeli egg dish. The timing is wildly appropriate, because so many of the fruits of that year are now being birthed in my life.
While I did experience radical growth much earlier than just this Lenten season, allowing God to integrate the work He did in me last year with my life today has been another journey of its own. Last year, I worked in the Corporate Work Study office at Arrupe Jesuit High School, retraining teens who had been fired from their job placements and assisting with other administrative duties.
So when students needed extra time to work on certain skills before receiving new job placements, I would become discouraged and work harder. In retrospect, I can clearly recognize the pride that coursed through my perspective. I have boundless gratitude for my community, coworkers and everyone Mary Frances and Bill so gracefully surrounded us with. Without them, I never would have had the opportunity to speak with Brother Aaron at Snowmass last spring.
We sat on a bench a little removed from the retreat house, and I shared with him how deeply challenging the year had been for me. Now watch this butterfly. He chatted with me about true service and how those we give our lives to do not belong to us. In powerful tenderness, he helped set me free to love more purely. After that weekend at the monastery, I returned to my students with a transformed perspective. I was simply there to cherish them, be an honest teacher and let God do the rest.
They would have had to deal with far less stress and would have probably felt a whole lot more loved by me. Now, fast-forward to today. I am back home in the town where I grew up, outside Los Angeles. The community I live with is my immediate family. In these upper middle class Southern California suburbs, human needs are harder to discern. True to form, I entered this new year with a bit of an existential crisis.
Where my enneagram 4s at? Joking aside, I struggled to integrate the life-altering lessons I had learned in Denver. I wanted God to use me again. I am sure we all can recognize that the same sinfulness of last year resides in these thoughts. There was my pride, popping up again. I find it especially apropos that I have been led to a nannying job in this season of life, because I am convinced that there are no better teachers of service than children.
While I floundered to apply the lessons of last year to suburban California, this Lent is affording me the space to see that even here, even now, God is yet still purifying my heart for others. What I can say is that the kids whom my time belongs to this year are important to God. I am no longer under the illusion that I am a savior, but I can see that these tiny people deserve someone who has been shaped and renewed by the hearts at Arrupe. I never could have looked these babies in the eyes with such unfettered love if my students last year had not challenged me to start with them.
During Lent, I took time to contemplate the heart of Jesus. As I sat in his presence, I was struck by his relentless desire to serve me in every moment. I am convinced that the Lord is the mutuality of service. Christ-filled form of service is not one-sided in any sense. He is with us, as we are with Him; as we are with others, others are with us. I now see that this relationship is everywhere: in Denver and California, in mountains and beach towns, in cities and suburbs, in broken homes and those that appear to have it all figured out. As we savor this Easter season, I want to encourage my fellow CVVers: do not be afraid to go where you are called.
Where does love incarnate take you? Wherever in the world that is, God wants you there, and it is there that He will meet you again. Everything we do in His love is radical service. Michelle Baumann, CVV First Week of Lent. This quote was the theme of a digital story created by one of my fellow volunteers and has been a mantra for me during my work as a clinical social worker. The youth taught me not every person is given love freely, some have to fight for it.
At the shelter, love is a warm place to stay on a snowy night, a bus ticket to a job interview, or a person listening with an open heart and mind. Their frustrations with the staff or community were simply expressions of feeling unloved. All they wanted was a place to be loved after receiving so little love. Currently, I am a social worker at an Early Intervention agency. Early Intervention works with families and children ages birth to three who have or are at risk for developmental delay.
Every day, I see how parents and children show love in different ways. To a child who is taught that being loved means getting whatever you want, a tantrum is simply feeling unloved by a caregiver. A mother force-feeding her underweight child is desperately trying to make her child medically healthy. Seemingly ill-intentioned actions can be a sign of love when explored more deeply.
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The biggest challenge I face in my work is not recognizing expressions of love, but working with families on loving and caring for their child without imposing my own values or preconceived notions of love. Even if I disagree with the parenting practices, I must work with the parent to find a way to best support the child, ensuring both the child and parent feel loved. When I am unsure how to move forward or question the practices of a parent, I remind myself to simply find the love.
Chris Morgan, CVV Second Week of Lent.
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With less of you there is more of God and his rule. How often do you find yourself at the end of your rope? In the lives we live, we often find ourselves in positions where we have control over a number of the variables. It gives us a sense of stability and security. Take your pick of the things in your life that you think you can control: where you sleep, what you eat, where you work, how you spend your time, where you spend some of if not most of your money, where you worship, etc.
At a foundation level, stability and security are not bad. As we hear from the creation accounts in Genesis, it was God who brought order out of chaos. In the Psalms, God is revered for bringing regular rains to water the crops. That brought stability to their lives. Note that these are examples of God in control. This theme of control has been coming up more and more lately, and I know there is something for me to learn here. You are blessed because you are presented this great and awful opportunity. In the midst of your world feeling so out of control, you can be shaken from the stability and security you provide yourself, in what might be the only way to remember where we truly find stability and security.
Those moments are dark and hard to see the way out. I pray they happen as rarely as possible, but when they do, remember the first Beatitude. Blessed are the poor in spirit! Lent can be a season to recognize parts of our lives that get in the way of loving God and others. I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what came up for you while reading this.
Maybe some objections or some convictions. Bring them to prayer and ask what God wants you to do with them. When we surrender our sense of being in control of our lives or anything else , we have the opportunity for something more beautiful to happen. We have the space and the posture to co-create with God and be partners in realizing the Kingdom of God; in our community, in our family, in our work. My year in CVV challenged me and changed me in many positive ways.
I had countless experiences that continue to shape who I am as a young adult. I had moved to a different part of the country, where I was taken out of my comfort zone, to begin working with the marginalized and growing in community. Though it was difficult at times, the whole year was an immense blessing and opportunity to walk with people through the joys and sufferings of life. Words do little justice to express how much I value and learned from my journey with CVV.
Living in New York City now, it can be easy to get caught up in a self-centered culture. We all have places to go and tasks to accomplish. Yet, people find time to look out for their fellow New Yorker. It is inspiring when people look outside of themselves to help another. I often see someone sacrifice a seat on a crowded subway for the woman with a small child or someone offer leftovers to the person who is sitting alone on the sidewalk in the cold. Through these shared experiences, we together make up this imperfect, beautiful city.
My current patients typically do not have the same types of needs as the clients at Stout Street. I do, however, still encounter them at vulnerable times, such as before surgery or during illnesses. I have the privilege of being with, listening to, and offering advice during these instances. I am humbled to be entrusted with their concerns and feelings. A unique aspect of my nursing position is working frequently with people who are immigrating to the United States. The office performs medical exams that are required during the green card application process.
Each person has his or her own unique background and circumstances that brought them to the country. I am often reminded of our border trip with CVV to El Paso, where met many people and listened to their experiences with immigration. I strive to help these patients feel cared for and listened to during a part of the often long application process.
My CVV experience taught me to see love and charity in all situations, from living in community while serving people experiencing homelessness in Denver to building a life in New York City. I continue to experience the charisms of CVV at home, at work, and with family and friends. We can participate in the Body of Christ within all life circumstances.
Sarah Mayer, CVV Fourth Week of Lent. When I was reflecting on what to write for my Lenten reflection I could not help but think back to the reflection I wrote for the CVV newsletter. At the time, seven years ago, I felt quite torn up about the mandatory CVV mid-year move. My community was not without faults but to me the faults were few and far between. I tied this community to the physical location of Pearl Street and figured that everything would change if we moved.
I struggled to realize that the brick and mortar surroundings did not define my community. When asked about how I would live with intentionality, I must confess, I googled the word intentional. Of course, I knew what the word meant but what did it mean in the context of community? I learned staying up late talking about life with Erin or Alison would make waking up for the 6am shift at St. Francis Center harder but not impossible. The therapeutic challenges of working with aging families. Antwerp, Belgium. Caring, connecting, and contributing: Embracing the power of the powerless. Cleveland, OH.
The essential humility of marriage. Forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness in a violent society. Love and trust: Transgenerational healing of pain. Between generations: Working with aging families. March, Phronesis and the marriage relationship. The stages of forgiveness. Five days to a new marriage. Forgiveness and therapeutic work with clients. Restoration therapy. Hamburg, Germany. Making marriage work. Workshop presented at the Annual National Family Conference. Sydney, Australia. Forgiveness and therapeutic work with traumatized clients.
Workshop presented at the Klinik Simsi. Bad Endorf, Germany. Workshop presented at the Klinik St. Prien, Germany. Forgiveness for real. Workshop presented at the Annual Smart Marriages Conference. Reprogramming your relationship. Restoration therapy and the work of forgiveness. Heidelberg, Germany. Invited workshop at the Mental Health Conference. Passau, Germany. Transforming trauma to change. Workshop presented at the Medizinisch-Psychosomatische Klinik Roseneck. Prien am Chimsee, Germany. Forgiveness and contextual therapy. Workshop presented at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede.
Ede, Netherlands. Boomers on the edge and aging parents. Nashville, TN. Forgiveness and healing. Caregiving in the new century. Workshop presented at the training institute, Leren over Leven, Antwerp, Belgium. Contextual therapy and the therapeutic work of forgiveness.
Loving your parents through the job of caregiving. Contextual therapy and guiding the power of give and take. Workshop presented at the regional congress sponsored by Leren over Leven, Antwerp, Belgium. The new contextual approach. Contextual clinical supervision. Workshop presented to the Klinik St. Irmingard Staff and Guests, Prien, Germany. Families and forgiveness: Healing wounds in the family.
Workshop presented at the Seminary sponsored by Colombo, Bozen, Italy. Caregiving in the 21 st century. Caring for marriages while caring for aging parents. Invisible loyalties: New directions in contextual therapy.
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On forgiveness and forgiving. Contextual therapy with aging families. Contextual therapy and compassion fatigue. Invited workshop presented at the St. Immingard Klinik, Prien Cheimsee, Germany. Personality disorders. Couples therapy: Interventions. Families and forgiveness: Therapy and ethics in healing relationships. Humility, us-ness and change. Working with damaged caregiving families. The essentials of contextual therapy. Therapeutic issues and money. Forgiveness and healing family relationships. On forgiveness and healing.
Jeffrey Zeig, Chair. Grief work and the aging family. Families and forgiveness: Healing wounds in the intergenerational family. Grief work and aging families. Forgiveness around the time of death. Meeting the challenges of aging families. Essential processes in marital therapy. Essential processes in the work of forgiveness and reconciliation. Stresses across the family life cycle. Grieving well: Dealing with grief and loss. Common sense marriage: Trust is the key.
Rewinding the past to fast forward solutions. Finishing well: Therapy with aging families. Courage to grieve. New directions in family grief and loss. Forgiveness in the aging intergenerational family. Healing emotional wounds in the intergenerational family. Therapeutic uses of forgiveness in community. Families and forgiveness.
Healing wounds in the intergenerational family. Families and forgiveness: Healing intergenerational wounds. Families and forgiveness: Healing in the intergenerational family. Five ways to help aging families finish well. Innovative techniques in working with aging families. Contextual assessment of aging families. The bridge back home: Family therapy with older people. Anderson, T. Helping older people finish well: A comprehensive family therapy model.
Invited colloquy at the B. Marital therapy and change. Azusa, CA. Mastering the work of intergenerational processes in families. Hattiesburg, MS. Working forgiveness and couple therapy. Contextual therapy and forgiveness. The essential humility of marriage: Marriage education. The power of forgiveness in the intergenerational family. Learning to change with humility and compassion. Taking off the old and putting on the new.
Reprogramming couple relationships. Clinical strategies for bringing caregiving together. Family functioning and the importance of love and trust. Therapy with older adults in the family context. Emotional wellness in the aging family. Aging and spirituality. Reparation in the intergenerational family. Applications of contextual family therapy. Sexuality and spirituality: Different sides of the same coin.
Family therapy with the elderly in the last stage of life. Using virtues to change your marriage. Renewing your relationship. Money, sex and kids. Understanding pain and forgiveness. Consecrating your marriage by renewing your mind. Reprogramming your relationship for the old to the new. Austin, TX. Reprograming your marital relationship. Orange, CA. Invited Workshop presented to First Presbyterian Church.
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