On this Memorial Day let us remember all of those people, past and present, who have given us the greatest sacrifice; their life, so that we may have freedom and security.

Chris Tomlin's song,  "I Will Rise", inspires me today as I imagine the words of the song as the words of those gone before us. I hope this song inspires you too.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btjj5ieSYoY]

Let us pray the words of the psalmist: (psalm 130 of the Catholic Bible)

1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
2Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
3If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
5I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
6My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
7O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.

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Read more: Rest Stop ... Memorial Day: Never forget

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"Let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."  1 John 4: 7; 12

Today, in the United States, we celebrate and remember our mothers on this their special day!  What is it about mothers which causes us to feel such a fondness for them?  For me, in my life's journey and reflection, there is no truer description of a mother other than the word "love".  Love, felt in its deepest sense, is expressed by a person (mom) just because we exist.  The love of a mother has nothing to do with who I am or what I give in return.  No, the love of a mother, whether she bore you or not, is freely given simply because you exist.  In this unconditional love is where we find motherhood as a reflection of the Divine, of God.  Total and complete love, not requiring anything else.

Several years ago, Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten".  I would like to share it now as…

Read more: Rest Stop (Mother's Day) ... love

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planet Earth from space (credit: unknown)

Today is the annual celebration of Earth Day! It is a day for us to recall the natural gifts we have been given which nourish and sustain us. Whenever I see a picture of our planet, like the one here, I am astounded to realize that we are but travelers through a vast universe! I know that sounds cheesy, but think about it; we are on a ball which is moving quickly on a path it has travelled for millions of years. We are truly passengers on a vessel, and this vessel has all the equipment necessary for our survival. We need to properly care for the earth so that we, and future generations, may not only survive but also be able to enjoy the beauty of nature all around us.

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, wrote this "Canticle of the Creatures". I urge all of us to spend some time meditating on what we can do to sustain our planet.

"All praise be yours, My Lord, through all that you have made. And first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day....

How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars; In the heavens you have made them, bright and precious and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air....

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water, So useful, lowly, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten up the night....

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother, Who feeds us...and produces various fruits With colored flowers and herbs....

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks, And serve him with great humility."

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If you're ready to explore life coaching, we would be honored to help. You can read more here about our life coaching practice or call the office directly at 301-850-2177. 

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Read more: Rest Stop (Friday) ... Earth Day

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Today, for Christians around the world, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Spiritually, Holy Week has always been a special time for me as this week is a high point of much emotion in the life of Jesus, His early followers, and for me.  In my personal spiritual journey I try to understand what it was like living in the time of Jesus. I read historical books as well as the Bible in my attempt to more deeply understand and feel the emotions of the people of the time. In my effort for a deeper and closer relationship with God, I immerse myself into the Bible stories, trying to feel what they felt; experience what they experienced. This week, Holy Week, is a recollection of not just an ancient story, but a retelling of real events which happened to real people who lived real emotions, real feelings, and real experiences.

Our challenge this week is to enter into the emotions of the apostles and the bystanders as they experienced the events leading up to the betrayal, arrest, death and later resurrection of Jesus. The emotions of this week begin today, with the…

Read more: Rest Stop (Palm Sunday) ... the start to an emotional week

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Today, Christians around the world will receive ashes on their forehead as a reminder that we came from dust and will once again return to dust. Therefore, "Ash Wednesday" is a time to pause, reflect on our lives, and make plans to remove from our lives those aspects of ourselves which do not lead us closer to our God.

The practice of pruning our lives of those areas which are not healthy or which take us away from our inner-peace, produces a sense of humility as we realize that we are not perfect, but that we have the ability to learn from our imperfections. Letting go allows us to be true to ourselves, and open to the guidance of others.

There are people who exemplify humility, and for me, the ideal example comes from Saint Francis of Assisi. He was a wealthy son of a powerful merchant father, who, after gaining personal insight, gave up everything to live in poverty and to serve the poor in the spirit of Jesus. It wasn't simply the giving up of everything that made Francis humble; it was his attitude and way of living.  In the book "The Way of St. Francis: the Challenge of Franciscan…

Read more: Rest Stop (Ash Wednesday) ... letting go

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