“It’s who I am”


Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Graymoor, at dusk.

Lately, i’ve been reflecting on that song by Chris Tomlin, “Good, good Father”. It’s a fairly popular song among Catholic and Christian circles right now. I first heard it at Catholic Underground in September, and it has been stalking me ever since. Since I’m doing a year of service, I see a spiritual director about once a month. And as we were talking about my past, and my struggle with a consistent prayer life, my love of this song came up. He asked me to reflect on this song and why it resonates with me.

As I’ve reflected, and listened, and prayed, I’ve realized something. And to be completely honest with you, I think it’s because I have a hard time truly believing the lyrics. But I’m a sucker for repetitive prayer, this is something else I have learned about myself from SD. It makes me actually think about what I’m praying (taize or praise and worship), or think about what I’m meditating on (the rosary). This song is very repetitive and that’s a big part of why I find myself wanting to sing it over and over again.

The chorus reads:

You’re a good, good father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are. And I am loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. God, you are perfect in all of your ways. Because you’re a good, good father.

Now you may be asking yourself, but Mary these are basic Christian principles. You know, God so loved us (John 3:16). Why is this hard for you to believe?

Well, dear reader. Think about how radical this Love is!

I had a wonderful experience at DDA, or Day by Day Agape, (a student led encounter retreat that CYFM runs). One of the things that I realized about my relationship with God is that I am often reluctant to accept God’s love and the love of others. Often enough. I’d rather remain closed off. I would rather be completely independent.

And I am loved by you. It’s who I am, it’s who i am. You’re a good good father.

But we are so loved by Him.

Often enough, I am reminded of how the world sees Love. And I begin to believe it. That I can’t be loved. That no one can truly love me that much. That love is based on merit. That it can’t be unconditional because we live in a broken world.

but He is Love, and this has become my prayer.

I recently finished reading Tattoos on the Heart by Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ. In the last chapter he reflects on that song “O’ Holy Night”. Everyone has heard it. It’s a Christmas classic. Fr. Greg reflects on this phrase:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

Fr. Greg talks a lot about how once the homies (the gang members he works with) realize their worth, they turn their lives around. Now, I won’t spoil the book for you, because you need to go out and read it because it’s incredible, but this part resonated with me. Just like the Chris Tomlin song.

He is love. He loves us with a perfect love. Even if it’s hard to comprehend in such a broken world. He appears and the soul feels its worth.

As we move to the end of the liturgical year, it is darker, and we become more aware of the new beginning that will be here this upcoming Sunday. Advent begins. It’s easy to commit to something for 30 days. So, will you commit to deepening your faith? I am. It’s kind of like homework because my SD will expect to talk about it in December when we meet. But, it’s good homework. And I’ll be sure to try because I’m being held accountable.

I’ve already started in a way. I’ve reflected on this song. I’ve read a wonderful spiritual book. And I’ve been trying to read the gospel of the day and do an examen with The Jesuit Prayer App, which I love. (It reminds me to pray twice a day!) It’s funny how God works because each day, the examen opens with this prayer:

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

And I am loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

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On Monday (my day off) a few of the CCVs decided to walk across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. We live less than a mile from this bridge that spans across the Hudson River. It was beautiful on Monday, so after we did our chores, we decided to go for a walk. It was gorgeous! There is a pedestrian pathway along side the The bridge was a little more rickety than I thought it would be, but still a great experience. All of the leaves were turning. It was sunny. And the temperature was perfect.

Life Lately

Life lately has been busy but good, here are some pictures from our food shopping adventures, lock in, garden, a few tweets that I found humorous, and some water color..


Sometimes we’re silly.

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We had a great time at the Lock In. More on that on CYFM Blog soon :)
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How is CYFM so beautiful?!


On Thursday night I decided to make some art for the Red House :)




I found this to be great because I work for the #OFMCap Province of Saint Mary.

Until next time, friends :)

Mornings like these


This morning was just one of those mornings that was absolutely perfect. Now, the pictures above isn’t from this morning, but I feel as though it captures what this morning was for me. Relaxing bliss, and sunshine. Lots of sunshine.

You see, this all started last night when I asked Chris to say a prayer that I would actually get up in the morning and make it to mass. I knew that we would have a slow morning, because we didn’t have to be at work until the late afternoon to set up for the retreat this weekend.

Every morning, my alarm clock is set for 7:30am, exactly a half hour before mass, which is about 50 steps from my front door. The Cap Corps Volunteers live in an old convent on the property of the parish here in Beacon. It’s lovely, because if we don’t have mass as a community, we can hop on over to the parish for mass with the greater Beacon community. I’ve been wanting to make it to mass at the parish for a few weeks now, but I hadn’t been very successful. But, this morning was the morning. My alarm went off at 7:30 and I hit snooze (per usual), but then I received a text message asking if I was getting up for mass. I internally groaned, and replied “If I get out of bed, yes.” I then remembered that I asked Chris to hold me accountable, so that I would indeed get up. With that, I rolled out of bed, put on pants and a shirt, threw on my vest, brushed through my hair, brushed my teeth, grabbed my keys, and set out for 8am mass.

I was a couple of minutes late, which to be honest is pretty embarrassing because I live next door to the church. I sat down as the first reading began, and prayerfully entered into the mass.

After mass, I walked back over to the Red House, and grabbed my wallet. The nearest Dunkin Donuts is about 15 minutes away, so I decided to use a gift card that I have and get a cup of coffee. It was really nice to take a ride by myself down beautiful NY-9D, listening to music that I like.

I arrived back at the Red House around 9am and expected people to start making their way downstairs. They didn’t though. They must have taken advantage of the opportunity to sleep. So, I sat down at the dining room table, made some breakfast and enjoyed my coffee in the quiet. I read a few articles, perused twitter, read the Blessed Is She devotion, and realized that my favorite show, Fixer Upper is now on Netflix. And so, I went upstairs, closed my door, and watched an episode on Netflix. Now, for those of you who don’t know, the Red House has very basic cable, which is fine because we don’t spend much time at home, and we still get basic stations. With that, I haven’t watched HGTV since I moved up to Beacon. So this morning, when I realized that my favorite show was on Netflix, I thought to myself, “Wow, Jesus must love me.”

I relaxed, tidied up my room, and then got ready for my day. I packed for the retreat this weekend, showered, dressed for work, and even said a rosary. This morning was slow and lovely. I feel as though I had an entire day before I saw any of my housemates. From time to time, I think I need that. God is Good.

I’ve been having some fun with Canva

One of the really cool things about my job is that I get the chance to make pretty things for the CYFM blog, and also for the retreats that we run. For a few of our retreats we have been making pamphlets for the retreat-ants to use for reflection and prayer time.
So, I took the lead with the help of my fellow CCVs.
Below are a few of the pretty things I’ve been able to make through Canva:

Serve one another through Love

For our family and service retreat

Social Justice Image

Also for our family and service retreat

the beatitudes

For our Lock-In based on the Beatitudes

One of the things that I really enjoy about this is choosing quotes that I think people would be able to reflect with. I’m still perfecting the whole ‘making it pretty’ thing. But, I do love it. Canva is great because most of their things are free and you can work from a template, which makes it super easy to choose fonts and backgrounds.

Apple Festivals and the Middle of No-Where NY





A few pictures from our trip to the Apple Festival in Warwick a few weeks ago. Warwick is where two of the members of my community run a youth group, so we were able to park at the Parish and go to the Apple Festival! It was about an hour from Beacon, and it felt like we were in the middle of no-where. People come from all over to visit this festival. The little town was bursting at its seams with people!

There was also cider. and donuts. and other delicious things.

It was a good day.

Life Lately


Life lately has been filled with retreats, trips to see Jason Evert, free Pizza, and trips home.

Our girls senior retreat was one that I really enjoyed. I loved seeing the senior girls share their dreams with one another.

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Last minute we were able to go to see Jason Evert speak about chastity. This was really great for us, because it was a moment for the CCVs to relax, but also a moment to learn how to better explain chastity for our ministry. The parish also gave us two free pizzas!


Also, one of the reasons why I fell in love with CYFM was its location. We’re located in the Hudson Valley, so there are beautiful hills and mountains all around us. The fog in the mornings has started, and I am in love.

Also, I was able to go home and I sent pictures of my kitty cats to my community members. :)

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Catholic Underground on Saturday night was awesome!

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This past Monday we attended “Fraternity Day” with the Friars.

Fr. Fred was being honored for his jubilee year as a priest. The parish was beautiful!

Love and prayers,

Apple Picking at Fishkill Farms

On our first night in the Red House, the CCV’s decided to make a bucket list of things to do in the Hudson Valley as a community this year. One of those things was to go Apple Picking. And, of course, I had a place in mind from one of the various blogs I follow here on the interwebs. I found out about Fishkill Farms through Love Taza, one of my favorite blogs. When I saw that Fishkill Farms was near Beacon, I knew that I wanted to visit!

We decided to make the 20 minute trip on our day off. It was absolutely beautiful!

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We decided to buy one bag to go apple picking (because we’re full time volunteers)
but it was more than enough for the five of us. : )

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The farm also had this sweet little shop. They had coffee, tea, donuts, candy, t-shirts, and also all of this fun organic food.


I love this place. I can’t wait to take friends and family back to visit.

And bunnies. They had bunnies. (They also have a chicken coup, but the bunnies were cuter)

Love and Prayers,

We visited Holy Cross last week…

So last week, the CYFM team gave a retreat in Worcester, MA. Val, one of the members of my community, went to Holy Cross for college. So, we decided to visit!


We visited the “Hoval” and had coffee.


Then, we visited the beautiful Chapel, and Val sang for us. :)


We visited Campus Ministry and left a message for everyone.

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and took some pictures on the “Hoval” before we left.

Love and Prayers,

The Little Flower


Today is October 1st. The Feast of one of my favorite Saints and prayer companions, St. Therese of Lisieux. She has been a friend of mine since High School. I was first introduced to her through my Youth Minister, Tom. I read her autobiography later that year. I fell in love with her “little way” and eventually named this blog after her.

To read more about Therese and the other Saints who have feast days coming up, you can go here and see what my good friend Britt has to say. :)

Happy Feast of the Little Flower, friends!