Frankfurt Germany Christmas Market


Writing class assignment on this postcard

I remember twinklingstars hovering the frigid air and festival lights piercing the dark sky over the cobblestone town square, mingling about with bundled up strangers following the scents of bratwurst, toasted candied almonds, gingerbread cake, marzipan cookies and ‘stollen’ fruitcake.  Then there were all kinds of artisan trinkets, candles, blown glass figurines, even cuckoo clocks to purchase but I only sipped hot Gluhwein to keep me warm.

This postcard reminds me of a painful past living in Germany after my divorce…now this memory is gratefully filed as a necessary evil which launched my current happiness with my Beloved John.



“How long, O Lord?  I cry for help, but you do not listen!  I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene.  Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and clamorous discord.  Then the Lord answered me and said:  Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets so that one can read it readily.  For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment and will not disappoint.  If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.  The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.”

The Book of the Prophet Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4


“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”  –Psalm 95:8



“I was ill and you cared for me.”  Matthew 25:36

The occasions are plentiful – Visiting the sick is Great Love in motion.  According to Saint Augustine, “One must become as if sick oneself in drawing close to the sick.  It entails drawing near to a primary need of the sick person.”  Caring for my ailing Maman was the most important task I accomplished as her daughter.  She once told me I had become her second mother.  For many years now, I have been blessed with visiting the ill.

“Do not be ashamed of the flesh of your brother,” says Pope Francis.  “In the end we will be judged on our ability to draw close to “all flesh.”

Have you dispensed Great Love lately?





To love someone with intentionality more likely will bring about happiness.  I say this especially to couples who may be struggling to stay in relationship.  Don’t give up yet.  Minds and hearts intent on making it through difficult passages in life become more resilient if only they exercise faith in God to give them the necessary graces to overcome their conflicts.  Against all odds, with each cross comes new life.  Intentionality is a gift of Love wrapped in humbleness.


“Guard your time fiercely, be generous with it, but be intentional about it.”–David Duchemin



Artful Writing

October 15 honors Teresa of Avila for reforming prayer and the Carmelite Order during the 16th century.

Teresa encourages us to ascend the heights of prayer while staying rooted in the realities of life.  In her prolific writings she describes the mystical visions and revelations Jesus gave her:

“I saw in his (Saint Michael’s) hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire.  He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me on fire with a great love of God.  The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.”  This led to her motto: “To suffer or to die.”  She founded 17 renewed convents.

Her other two masterpieces are sterling reads – “The way of Perfection” and “The Interior Castle,” studies in mystical theology.  In 1970, Pope Paul VI declared her the first woman Doctor of the Church for these treatises which witness her sacrificial life.

No doubt a year ago today, Teresa protected my life during a bad accident, so grateful to be living my life as a lay Carmelite.


“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you.  All things are passing away:  God never changes.  Patience obtains all things.  Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices.”


Teresa of Avila, Patron of headaches and heart attack sufferers, pray for us; help us to master the Prayer of Quiet.



Pastel Painting by Lavone Sterling


There’s no getting around it – life pushes on to aging.  This quote from Magnificat offers relief:

“If you are young, look forward to God’s fidelity to you throughout your life; if you are older, look back on God’s fidelity to you through all that is past.  Whatever your age, know that God’s love is the foundation upon which all our hope stands firm.”

I say ‘be sterling’ no matter your age.  Follow these 3 pillars of humanity:

Be admirable to ask permission

Be splendid to give thanks

Be praiseworthy in forgiving

Be Sterling – you will be remembered with grateful affection.