Friday, November 8, 2013


Often quoted but every time I read it I think, "You mean right now? Even about this?"
I apologize I haven't been blogging much of late.  I might be able to work toward a once a week posting schedule in the future.  My new job has given me the excitement of taking the commuter train daily in and out of Chicago, but also means a 60-90 minute commute each way, each day--the longest of my adult life, and not much has changed with the usual load of cooking, homework support, sports, pro-life, and Sunday school teaching time commitments.
This post will be short as it is really a means of procrastinating updating a presentation due for tomorrow, and I don't want to work all night like I did last week.  I needed to get this job and to do well as our bank account was in the red for several reasons.  Now I am very focused on simply providing for our family.  This has given me a new found discipline of arriving before 8 a.m. each day.  For some people that is the norm, but it never has been for me.
I don't find much time to exercise now as I did during my extended summer hiatus from work.  I think I need to find a way to do that though as I notice I feel a persistent, anxious tension in my throat and chest the past few days.  I think it comes from the stress of the commute and needing to do well at this job.  Hard workouts help me keep a better handle on these types of stress reactions.  I think my body needs to be exerted so as to not over-react to what are daily stresses.  However, it is really hard to exercise at 5:30 a.m., or to exercise after 9:30 p.m. at night when you have been up since 5:30 a.m.  I have tried to drink more decaf and less regular coffee to see if that helps, but pretty sure I need to pray and find a way of exercising 3 times a week.

Scripture continues to be so important for me to hear God and sense his active love and care for me in the moment, no matter how removed from God that moment seems to be.  Have been praying the Scriptural Rosary some mornings on the train, and attending Daily Mass at 12:10 in downtown church on a couple workdays each week.  Also there are books I am reading and random Facebook posts from pages I've liked, that provide steady flow of scripture verses for me to consider, and if they strike me, share with my FB friends.   It helps fill the void of actually blogging!
I was surprised by an instant message on MS Office Communicator on Tuesday.  Someone newly assigned to my project team asked me if he had seen me in St. Patrick's church the previous day.  So now we can encourage each other to attend.  I think he is getting there more often than me,  and as I want to attend more, knowing him will help.  Sometimes I think I really need that extra 30 minutes to finish something, but Mass is so much more than 30 minutes more toward a task!  Adoring God!  Being fed by the Word and the Body of Christ, and being lifted up seeing others that also left the office to worship!  I can't attend Mass on the train ride, but I can easily make up that 30 minutes on my laptop while riding home.
Interestingly he is an India Indian and he doesn't have a first name like a saint.  I hope to hear his story sometime.  He is obviously in love with Jesus.  I told him how blessed I was to be so close to a window that has non-blocked view of Old St. Patrick's.  His response?  "You are fortunate to sit there and be so often reminded of Jesus."  This was from our first instant message exchange.  How can you not feel that joy well inside of you when you unexpectedly encounter someone else that loves Jesus and is not so careful to keep that hidden?
Last week I had a similar chance encounter.  My train stopped suddenly at a stop about midway between Chicago and my suburb.  The train immediately ahead of us had struck a pedestrian, which means delays of 2-3 hours for the coroner and police investigation.  My daughter was playing in what might have been her final high school volleyball match, so when they opened the doors I exited immediately and had Siri find me a taxi service.  I called right away, but there was a cab from that company waiting already.  Some other stranded commuters tried to get him to take them, but he said he was waiting for someone else.  They were also pretty demanding with him.  I stood there quietly waiting as I saw him make a call.  When he got off I edged over to the cab and told him I had ordered a cab . . . he asked where I was going and then told me to get in.  His other fare hadn't shown up, and I guess I struck him as less rude than the others that were asking him.
It turned out this was another chance encounter with a devout Catholic.  He is 74 and he told me his and his wife's date night each week is an Adoration hour at his church in Park Ridge.  We talked about EWTN, St. Faustina, St. Augustine, and St. Monica.  He, like another couple I met at Mundelein Seminary when Father Barron was offering Mass, was frustrated that his adult children were no longer attending Mass.  I tried to encourage him as I did earlier with the other couple with the story of my friend, who had been away for many years, and did not return to regular Mass attendance until after she turned 40.
I'm not sure if I'll ever see the cab driver again, nor if a good friendship will grow between me and my co-worker, but I have a sense that we'll be seeing each other on the other side some day.  Thank God, Our Father, for having drawn all of us to him through Jesus, the beloved Son he did not spare so as to save us.
Yes this post seems to lack a theme with random updates.  I am trusting God.  I still long for when I am in more constant awareness and communication with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  In the meantime I love and trust God, and seek his will when I remember, and he beckons to me through scripture, through friends, including through unexpected new friends that share my faith.


  1. Colleen, I was delighted to find this update, and to be able to share a bit of what you've been doing lately. I love your "chance" encounters with your co-worker and the taxi driver. It is a great joy to meet others who share our faith. Such meetings make me wonder what Heaven will be like, when EVERYONE is in love with Jesus!

    You sound incredibly busy. I will keep you in prayer, that you will be able to remain well and peaceful in spite of all that you are responsible for at the moment. I must say that you do indeed sound peaceful and non-complaining, even though you miss exercising to help with stress.

    Take care of yourself, and I look forward to reading your blog, whenever you do find time to post. Holding you in thought and prayer...Love and hugs to you.

  2. Patricia, I really appreciate you stopping over and leaving me such a friendly and caring note. Did you notice my short post ended up not being so short? Love and hugs to you!

    1. Hah! Colleen, funny you should mention your "short" post. As I was reading, I was thinking: Gee, this doesn't seem too short to me ;) But then, I was happy to have the longer one. I rarely write short posts either, unless it's a little prayer or poem. And, my comments are often post length. I guess being succinct is not one of my strengths! Have a wonderful week! I prayed for Denise and Elizabeth at Mass, and all the others like them who so desperately deceived.
      Love ya!