All posts by Carolin

Meditation on Good Friday

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 22:43 (NIV)

I was sitting in my usual meditation place, ready to practice Centering prayer, when my daughter Sophia came in and said, “I’m leaving.” The words, “Bye, have fun!” were on my lips when I caught myself and stopped at “Bye…” Sophia was going to a memorial service for her 17-year old-friend and last year’s prom date, Pat. Pat died in a car accident on March 22, 2014. He was hit by a car while crossing a street in St. Pete Beach. His friends who had been waiting for him at a restaurant saw his body lying in the street. They all had rented a room together in St. Pete Beach to celebrate the beginning of their last high school spring break.

How do you say good-bye to your daughter when she is going to a memorial service of a friend she sat next to in sixth period at school, who won’t be sitting there on Monday? How do you talk to your 17-year-old about the death of her friend? How do you bring God into this event? Where is God in the death of a 17-year-old boy about to leave for college?

While Sophia was at the memorial service, I sat in silence and prayed and held all of the grieving kids and especially Pat’s parents up to God’s care… That was the only way I knew how to practice the presence of God at that moment and how to feel connected to a God who I know is loving. I don’t like God’s timing and I don’t understand why a 17-year-old boy who has always been kind and considerate to everybody had to die. I don’t understand it but I know by faith that God is in all of life and God is also with us in death. 
Sophia wrote a Facebook entry for her friend Pat as all of his friends did. It said,“Thank you for being the most amazing prom date and friend. Rest in paradise, Pat we all love and miss you.” 

This blog is about practicing the presence of God in all of life and the Holy in the ordinary events of life. Is death an ordinary event in life? Logically, I can say yes, death is a part of life!

Can I see the death of a 17-year-old as Holy and practice the presence of God in it? Definitely not! I am not one of those people who could say to the parents that their son was “called to be back home with God” or that it was “his time to go home” or that “God is taking care of him.” I still question God and ask “WHY? Why God, why does a 17-year-old boy have to die?”

My friend Runelle’s daughter Margaret was murdered by Ted Bundy in 1978. Runelle is the most loving and kind woman you will ever meet. When I first met Runelle and she told me about her daughter’s death, I could not believe my ears when she said that God has blessed her with feeling no hatred toward the murderer of her daughter. I asked Runelle to share a sentence or two for this blog entry and she wrote, “Jack [her husband] and I realized that there was no acceptable alternative than to go on with our lives. God’s grace, many prayers offered for us, and counseling gave us the strength to carry on; God was with us every moment.” 

God was with us every moment, wrote a woman who lost her daughter to the cruelest murder I can imagine. 

Runelle, I admire you and I look to you with awe, learning how to accept and experience the presence of God in all of life. You are truly living what Kent Nerburn wrote in his beautiful book, Ordinary Sacred:

“We are not called only to proclaim God but to be the presence of God, reflected.”

Kent Nerburn – “Ordinary Sacred


My friend Ann’s son, Frederick John Cox, died at the age of 27 in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. His favorite quote was, “Do what you love; love what you do!” Though Freddy’s life was taken at a tragically young age, he spent his years truly living! He celebrated each day and turned adversity into opportunity for growth.

I was blessed to be part of Ann’s grieving and healing journey. I am humbled by her courage and determination to turn this excruciating loss into good for other children with her non profit organization, Bettaplace.

Ann wrote, “At age 21, Freddy dropped a friend off at home after a night out at a party. His friend went into the house and committed suicide with a gunshot to the head. This is an excerpt from an essay that Freddy wrote afterwards:

‘Learn from your experiences; good or bad. But why does it take such drastic measures to create a lesson in life for some people? So it all comes down to WHY?  But to strive to answer that question will only lead to dead ends. To stop asking why and accept and believe will be the only step that will move you forward on your journey in life. Don’t look at that day. It is important to remember the good things, and not to dwell on that day.’

When Fred died on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center on 9-11, I used his own words to save me from myself. I never looked at any images of 9-11 or at Ground Zero. When Ground Zero was completely cleared one year later, I went to New York to see where my son, whose first breath I witnessed, breathed his last breath. I created a foundation in his honor, and published the childhood story I told him as a boy, as a children’s book, with illustrations and songs. As Fred pointed out, I learned so many lessons…and I learned new ways to get closer to God, as I travel the road of grief and forgiveness. As for losing my son…I have no words. But today my best prayer is, ‘Dear God, show me what you want me to do, because I really want to do it. Amen.'” I love you Ann and I am grateful for the presence of God, reflected in you.

Today, I am meditating on what Mary might have felt on this Friday so many years ago when she watched her son die on the cross, and I am praying for all mothers who have lost their sons and daughters… 

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise. Rest in paradise, Pat, Freddy and Margaret, we love and miss you.”

Praying Pause – Awakening

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.—Psalm 118:24 

The moment we wake up and become conscious of the world, our hearts are still open to God and Love. If we jump into our day without dedicating this pivotal moment to God and Love, something life-giving will be lost.

Especially during this time and always, we need to learn to live above the circumstances of our lives because they are constantly changing. We have to be grounded in something Higher than ourselves! 

∼ Become aware of yourself… of your breathing and your body… Feel your body…

∼ How are you feeling right now…?

∼ Smile and say inwardly or aloud, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it,” or any other prayer that is meaningful to you…

∼ Breathe deeply into the coming day, and know that life can only be lived one moment at a time…

~Awaken to the mystery of God and Love each moment of your day…

~You are alive… now become fully alive to this day and this moment…

Love to you all my friends! My prayer for us is that we might become fully alive to the mystery of life and the Higher Power that guides us all…

This is the day!!!🤗

Praying Pause – Who do You want to be?

Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery it is.
In the boredom and pain of it
no less than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way
to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis
all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.
—Frederick Buechner

~ Breathe deeply…feel the air coming into your body… and going out of your body …

~ Breathe deeply into this moment … the only moment you are truly alive … the past is gone … the future not here yet… breathe…

~ Breathe into the pain and joy of your life… and into the excitement and boredom…

~ Breathe into your future self and ask yourself who you want to be at the end of this challenging time…

~ Breathe into the truth that how we choose to live during this global challenge is going to mold us into who we will be for the rest of our lives… 

~ Who do you want to be…?

Praying Pause – Solitude & Silence

It is in deep solitude and silence that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brother and sister.—Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

~ Allow your breathing to guide you into this peaceful moment… 

~ During this challenging time and always we are asked to live our ordinary lives in extraordinary ways with gentleness and humility…

~ How can you live this day in an extraordinary way…? 

~ How can you love your loved ones with gentleness today…? 

~ How can you love yourself with gentleness today..? 

~ Please take a moment and breathe…

~ How…?

Smiling Pause

Smiling Pause 

Peace begins with a smile. —Mother Teresa

~Breathing deeply, smile…😃

~Looking in the mirror, smile …🤓

~Working on the computer, smile…😍

~Reading this Facebook post, smile…😛

Smiling and smiles create happiness. When we smile, we relax hundreds of muscles in our face. Even if we fake a smile, it starts a biochemical reaction and our brain releases happiness-generating chemicals into our system.

Smile dear friends, smile… I smiled a lot, writing this post 😊

Praying Pause – Be Kind

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.—Henry James (1843-1916)

~ Be kind to yourself and relax into the moment… 

~ Breathing deeply, relax your jaw, your shoulders and your stomach… Breathing deeply will calm your body and mind…

~ Be kind to yourself today and do something that will bring you joy… What will bring you joy today? 

~ Be kind to someone you love and bring them joy today…

I always feel joy posting these posts! And I feel joyful when I read your comments 🙏🏻

Be well and have a safe day with deeply joyful moments 🙏🏻💕🙏🏻

Praying Pause

Do you have eyes but fail to see? —Mark 8:18 

The way we see the world shapes our lives. Our eyes can look at the world in many different ways: we can have a fearful or trusting perspective. How do you see? 

~Become aware of your breath and let the steady rhythm of your breathing bring you into this peaceful moment…

~What do you see…? Are you grateful for what you see…?

∼ Look at a loved one’s face with new eyes today… 

∼ Look at yourself with loving and compassionate eyes today…

May this challenging time help us to see with new eyes; eyes that truly see!

Praying Pause – Miracles

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
—Albert Einstein

~Gently rest in your breathing… feel your in-breath… feel your out-breath… 

~Feel the miracle of your breathing for at least five breaths…

~Count the miracles in every day life… starting with the miracle of being alive today 🙏🏻

This is Living!

Praying Pause – “Honor God with your Body”

Therefore honor God with your bodies. ——1 Corinthians 6:20

~ Become aware of your breathing…

~ Deepening your breath just a little, strengthening your lungs…

~ Feel the clothes touching your body…

~ Feel your body touching the chair or couch you are sitting on…

~ Rest in the moment and allow your body to relax… softening your face… relaxing your shoulders… 

~ Breathe deeply into this sacred moment…

~ How can you honor God and Life with your body today…?

Praying Pause – Appreciate your Hands

Bless to me, O God, My heart and my speech, And bless to me, O God, The handling of my hands. —Celtic Morning Prayer

More than ever before in life, we have to be aware of our hands; what we touch, how we touch and what we can’t touch.
We express our thoughts and emotions with our hands. We work with our hands. We pray with our hands. And we touch with our hands. Let’s have a new awareness and appreciation for our hands today🙏🏻

∼ Breathe gently, and become aware of your hands… 

~ Feel your hands without looking at them… 

∼ Slowly and consciously open your eyes and look at your hands…

∼ Fold your hands in prayer today even if you have not done so in awhile…

∼ Be aware of the miracle and work of your hands throughout this day…

~ Wash your hands with a new appreciation today and be fully present while washing your hands…
🙏🏻💕🙏🏻