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Holy Family

“The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble.”   

Catechism of the Catholic Church, #164



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Blog - 2017 Entries

Date: 12/25/2017

Lighting Candles


Lighting Candles


You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 12/20/2017

Lighting Candles

Joseph and Mary are on their way, He’s almost here! As children we waited with such excitement for Santa and the presents by marking off the days on the Advent calendar, even though we knew that it was the Birth of Jesus. The enthusiasm was for the material world. Sadly today, many adults still desire the things this world has to offer with little or no mention of Christ’s coming in the flesh.

Jesus really and truly came and lived among us. Imagine, God Himself chose to be born as a Babe, a real baby. Some 2,000 years later, we fail to marvel at the thought of it, so routine it has become. The world grows old and many look for reasons to fill their lives with other things—new cars and houses, the latest fashions and trends, expensive vacations or unlimited toys. When these no longer satisfy the option is drugs or alcohol or gambling or sex or anything to numb the pain.

But Jesus came that we might have life, not for 5 more minutes but for eternity. He wants us to be happy in this world and in the next. He asks very little, but gives everything. The world wonders what could this Babe possibly offer us many, many years after His first coming.

The answer is simple—He offers us His Love. A love we could never obtain by any other means. He gives it freely and lavishly. And with that love comes a joy unlike anything this world has to offer. The joy of knowing deep-down within ourselves that we are truly loved for who we are. It doesn’t get better than that!

If you are struggling this holiday season in any way, give Jesus a second look. Ask Him for a special Christmas gift this year, tell Jesus you need Him and want Him in your life. His joy at your invitation will know no bounds.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 12/8/2017

Lighting Candles

A big feast today—the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in four more days—the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A very Marian month to be sure.

What a great time to walk with Our Lady. We can use these feasts and this season of Advent to have her ever present with us as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Notice that I did not say: as we prepare for Christmas. Somehow preparing for Christmas does not necessarily bring to mind the same images as preparing for Christ’s birth.

Our preparation could include frantic gift shopping or long lists of holiday chores and while none of the activities in December might be bad in themselves, a quiet Advent awaiting the Christ Child certainly takes precedence over the bustle of secular happenings.

When we gaze at this image of Mary, we see a complete focus on the Child. She is so full of joy knowing that the months of waiting will soon be over and she will see His Face. For us too, if we walk through Advent with her, we will see His Face in our lives. Not in the same way, of course, but we will know and recognize Him when He comes in a new and gentle way.

I realize that this time of year can be most difficult for those of us who are separated or divorced and that the holidays can bring with it many occasions for the opening of wounds, but I also know from experience that if we can simplify our lives during Advent and concentrate on the most important aspects of the season, we will be able to deal more easily with those hurts and not be so caught up with the pain.

Mary will be accompanying us every step of the way. Take her hand and walk toward Jesus.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 11/17/2017

Lighting Candles

We are fast approaching Thanksgiving, such a beautiful holiday. The stores, however, have practically jumped right over Thanksgiving in order to get their Christmas merchandise out on the shelves! A holiday to give thanks does not fit in very well with a secular culture. Without God, who would you give thanks to??

For Catholics, though, being thankful is so important, in fact, it should be the essence of our faith. At the Eucharist each week we come together to worship and thank the Lord Our God. The word eucharist literally means thanksgiving/gratitude or praise given to God for His Goodness.

Some days it is more difficult to give thanks than at other times, but even in the midst of separation and divorce, we have much to thank God for. Being grateful might not be a primary concern for us if we are dealing with a wounded heart, but we can usually find something for which to be thankful. There was a book out several years ago about a woman who was challenged to look for hundreds of daily ways to be thankful. She struggled a bit at first, but as time went on she saw constant gifts, both small and great, coming from her Creator.

Spend some time in the week ahead thinking about the things in your life that give you a grateful heart. You don’t need to be on your knees to do so, but maybe as you wait in a long grocery line, or while driving the car, or doing the dishes! Thank you Lord for the rest I had last night.

Thank you for my children. Thank you for a roof over my head and food on the table today. Thank you for family and friends. Thank you even for the difficulty I am in right now because I know you will make good out of it. Thank you for the gift of faith. I give thanks for all of you, my brother and sisters in Christ!

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 11/3/2017

Lighting Candles

At this time of year, before the Feast of Christ the King (11/26) and the beginning of Advent (12/3), the Church focuses on the end times. Many of those readings might not be our favorite go-to Scripture passages, but they are important for helping us think about our end which in turn will help us to focus on the here and now.

Where are we headed? Are we on the right path? Am I living my life in a way so as to get where I want to go? Am I helping my loved ones get there too? Do I include my spouse in that list?

Hopefully by the time we get to heaven, we will have been purified both here and in purgatory and will then become the person God created us to be! When we arrive, we will no longer have our pride, our selfishness, or any of our other sins and faults, and we will see every other person as God sees them.

We certainly want that for our spouse too, don’t we? Even if we might have a difficult time imagining what they will be like, we know by faith that they too will become the person God created them to be! We will then see them through God’s eyes and we will love them with our whole being.

I believe thinking this way makes it easier for us to pray for them and to love them right here, right now. It also makes it possible to let go of any anger or resentment toward them, if it is still present in our hearts. Naturally, in the very beginning of separation or divorce, most of us are not thinking of our spouse that way. At least for me, I didn’t even want to see him let alone wish he was in heaven with me for all eternity! But time and grace have a way of softening even the hardest hearts.

So as you listen to this month’s Sunday readings, let them linger a bit and use the time to begin your preparations for the journey. If you need to let go of any ill feelings, now is a great time to do so. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 10/27/2017

Lighting Candles

If we were to take our cues from society these days, we would think that the only day of note next week is Halloween. Fortunately for us as Catholics, it is nothing more than the eve before the beautiful feast of All Saints!

Not only do we remember all the canonized saints of the Church on this feast but also the multitudes upon multitudes of blesseds who have lived throughout the centuries and have gone before us in faith. Someday we hope to be among their number.

There are days and times when ‘being among their number’ seems very much out of reach. We struggle along trying to do our best to live a life of faith but when we are angry, discouraged, or aggravated for example, the goal seems to move even further away.

I always thought it would be wonderful to be a great saint. In the early years of my conversion and return to the Church, I certainly had the focus more on me than on Christ. Somehow “I” was going to be great. Now, after many years of laboring on the journey, I would be very happy to just be an unnoticed member of the Communion of Saints someday giving praise to God for all eternity. My focus and sights have been adjusted. Life has a way of doing that.

For those of us who are not ready to be welcomed right into heaven upon our deaths, we can then be part of the feast of the following day – All Souls Day. I, for one, will be pleased to go to Purgatory for a time that I might then be purified and ready to enter Heaven for all eternity.

Our God is so merciful to have prepared a place for us to join Him forever and ever. On our own, we would never get there, but with His grace we will one day be among their number with Him!

Have a blessed week.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 10/13/2017

Lighting Candles

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal. When Our Lady appeared to the shepherd children in 1917, she promised that at her final appearance in October there would be a miracle. Estimates for the crowd that day were upwards of 70,000 people and all saw the sun dance in the sky.

Thinking about this event it seems as though the world was a very different place. Things that could not have been conceived early in the 20th century are common place in our everyday lives. We live in such a technical world now and think that we surely do not have much in common with the people who lived back then.

However, one thing has not changed: human nature is still human nature. We are, and will always be, in need of spiritual help from God.

When Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were on their way to the site of the apparition each month, throngs of people would try to grab hold of them just to have them beg Our Lady for help: ask her to heal my baby, keep my son from going to war, give us food enough to eat, help my husband find a job, cure the cancer of my sister, stop my neighbor from drinking, and on and on.

Are our petitions today much different from the people of Portugal a hundred years ago? How many times have we asked for help for a sick child or a wayward spouse or a family member with substance abuse? We may not be traveling to an apparition site in hopes of seeing Our Lady or witnessing a miracle, but we still beg the Blessed Mother’s intercession for our families, our nation and the world.

In these days of terrorists, random shooters, natural disasters and the threat of nuclear war, we are privileged to have Jesus’ own Mother for our advocate before the throne of God. Call on her every day. Pick up your rosary beads and get to work for the salvation of your loved ones and the world! God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 10/6/2017

Lighting Candles

There is something about the month of October that is very appealing to me. It could be the fact that there are many feast days this month of some favorite saints, but I think it has something to do with preparation for the winter. Living in a cold climate one would think that this kind of planning is something to be dreaded, but I love the idea of getting ready. I’m a person who loves to plan so I don’t particularly like not being prepared.

I think that one of the really difficult aspects of the divorce for me was that it came suddenly and there was no time to arrange anything. We were having marital difficulties but because I never planned on leaving the marriage, I assumed my husband would not either.

I remember those early months of coming to the realization that the children and I were alone. Feeling a horrible aching in my chest that was there night and day. Looking at the faces of my children and seeing their hurt and devastation. Literally putting one foot in front of the other to get through each day and wondering where God was.

There is really no way to plan for it even if you thought it could happen. You have to walk through it, maybe stumbling at best, and believe that life will get better. God is really there even if He might seem absent.

It’s good sometimes to look back over even some difficult memories. They are a reminder to us that we managed to go through that time and come to a better place on the other side, but more importantly, they show us that it was God’s tender, loving care that brought us through!

If you are having one of those times right now, know that God is right there and will carry you through if need be. We are also here and would like to be a support for you. The link is right below. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 9/20/2017

Lighting Candles

In dioceses around the country, Religious Education programs are beginning for the new school year. Many parishes are changing the way religious formation is presented to the children by adopting whole family catechesis, and RCIA programs are not just for those adults interested in being Catholic. The classes are also available for those who want to know more about their faith.

As grown adults it is so important to keep learning our Catholic faith. Most might go to Mass each week and make sure the children get to religious education but beyond that many would be hard-pressed to defend their faith if need be.

I left the Church for a number of years and, although I had good formation throughout my school years, when I returned, I needed to know so much more! There are a multitude of organizations now with wonderful websites to learn anything about the faith that you would like to know, from basic catechism to Papal Documents and everything in between.

As a result of my reading, I have learned more about marriage since my divorce than I ever knew all the years I was married! I wish both my husband and I had the understanding about the Sacrament then, but even now I feel blessed to have learned what a true Catholic marriage is supposed to be. Because of that knowledge, I can share it with others on a one-to-one basis when the opportunity presents itself.

Much of that has come from what is known in the Church as the Theology of the Body. A series of talks given by St. John Paul II early on in his pontificate about what it means to be male or female, and what God’s plan is for our happiness. I know I have mentioned this teaching before, but because I continually read and learn more about it, I thought it was worth mentioning it again.

The material is quite densely theological but there are many in the Church today who interpret the teaching very well. Christopher West is one of the most known and his material is terrific. Just put Theology of the Body in your search engine and you will be amazed how much material there is available.

Although we are divorced and the teaching cannot help our broken marriages, it can, however, give us new insight into our marriage failures. Looking back and realizing what we might have done wrong, will make it easier to forgive our spouses (and ourselves) for our mistakes.

May God bless you in your week ahead.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 9/13/2017

Lighting Candles

For those of us who are divorced the relationships with extended family members can become quite challenging. Does this one side with my spouse or with me? Are the in-laws speaking to me or just to the kids? Do I have to stay in touch or can I just withdraw? There are no easy solutions.

When our hearts ache and our feelings are raw, these situations can be real obstacles for us. I was very close to my mother-in-law during all the years of my marriage. After my husband left, just to speak with her briefly was strained and painful. We were both so afraid of saying anything that might be hurtful to the other.

But because we loved each other, we made the decision to keep our frequent communication limited for a time until the most painful months of separation and divorce were over. After about a year we found ourselves able to correspond more easily, and in time to be very comfortable again in each other’s company. Love endured.

If only all our broken or strained relationships could work out this well. Sometimes we give and give only to be continually hurt and rejected. Does it mean that love didn’t work??

No, not really. A relationship is made up of two people. One person cannot, no matter how much they try, bring love to the relationship for the other person. Both parties have to be willing to make that commitment for themselves. In my case, both my mother-in-law and I made the decision together.

Perhaps this example might help in dealing with someone close to you. You may have to go through a painful period but it will be well worth the effort. After all, it was Christ’s love for us that enabled Him to endure the Passion and bear it all.

Love and blessings on your week!

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 9/6/2017

Lighting Candles

In the U.S. recently the news has been dominated by the terrible flooding in Texas caused by a hurricane. Water seems to be everywhere and thousands are in shelters or have sought safety far and wide.

There have been many comments from those rescued about “depending on God to get them through”. In spite of the enormity of this natural disaster, it is wonderful to hear mention of God on the lips of so many, and to hear it on the news!

A divorce too, like a natural disaster, can be a way of bringing God back into individual lives. Many people who find themselves dealing with divorce have been away from God for some years. It is those times when we feel desperate and our interior resources are stretched to the max that we cry out to God.

During the divorce process (or the devastation of the flood waters), it is difficult to see anything good in the situation, but as time moves forward it becomes clear that the tragedy often brings us closer to God. God does not cause the problems of course, but He uses them to provide us with an opportunity to seek Him.

It is not uncommon for people years later to be so thankful for the negative event that was the source of their renewed faith in God. I have had it in my own life. I was not away from the Church before the divorce but it certainly deepened my faith and trust in God.

No matter how difficult your current situation, keep in mind that God will be using it for your good. It may take awhile until you are able to see it, but it will happen for sure. He loves us too much to let anything be wasted!

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 8/30/2017

Lighting Candles

Summer is winding down. Here in Vermont the nights are already a little cooler and the children have returned to school. I’ve noticed that there is something about the change of seasons that can make us more reflective, going back over things in our mind that happened in the last few months and even looking to the road ahead.

I’ve been using the time this summer to do some “hoeing out”. There has been entirely too much “stuff” in this house and it feels good to be getting rid of things that I really don’t need. If I cannot remember what the contents of an attic box are, there’s a pretty good chance I can let it go.

Just recently I have been thinking about doing some interior “hoeing out” as well. Just as necessary, but more painful! It’s easier to give away a box of junk than it is to change a habit or forgive a hurt.

These are some of the thoughts I have had: Am I living up to my commitment to give myself totally to God? Is there a distraction that has kept me from giving more of my time to a charitable work? Have I wasted time? Am I praying as I should? Do I have a divided heart?

Everyone’s reflections will be a bit different, but we all need to question ourselves about the one most important thing necessary, namely, our relationship with God. If the answers lead us to the confessional so we can make a new start, all the better!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend and a good month ahead! God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 8/11/2017

Lighting Candles

Next week we will be celebrating the Feast of the Assumption on August 15th. All the Marian feasts during this year of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance in Fatima seem to take on more significance.

As Catholics we are not obliged to believe as a dogma of faith any private revelations, but it can significantly add to our faith by embracing the messages of apparitions approved by our Church, such as in the case with Fatima.

So what does all this have to do with a divorce, you might ask? Well, for one thing, having a more personal relationship with Mary benefits us enormously in our every day dealings with our families.

Remember how she helped the couple at the wedding feast of Cana when the wine ran out (John 2:1-12). Well, she wants to help us with our family problems just as profoundly as she did for them. She saw their need, interceded with her Son to come to their aid, and He, in turn, used the occasion to manifest His Glory!

Although the images of her Assumption might be difficult for us to relate to, I think we can imagine a loving Mother anxious to be a part of our lives. She wants so much to bring Jesus into our families in an intimate way, with all their worries and woundedness. And He desires to manifest His Glory in our daily lives too!

So, next Tuesday, as you fulfill your obligation to be at Mass, ask her to come so close to you that you will feel her arms around you.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 8/4/2017

Lighting Candles

I don’t know about you but it sure seems as though everyone lately is on a treadmill going very fast with no way to get off. What I picture really is one of those exercise wheels for a mouse in its cage.

When we are experiencing trying times and our feelings are all on edge, the treadmill doesn’t seem to stop. We just keep forging ahead hoping to keep our head above water and the only thing we can think of to do is to run faster.

No matter what your situation, summer is a great time to take a break. Stop the treadmill and see if you can still tread water. You might even find that it is easier if you are not moving so frantically.

I think the running we do sometimes is because we don’t want to face some things within ourselves that we would rather not look at, or make decisions we would rather not make. Could we be running from some anger inside that we wish wasn’t there? Are we hiding some sin that needs to be dealt with? Do we see our faults in relationships that hinder growth with others or with God?

Perhaps it is time to stop and look. We may not even consciously be thinking that we are avoiding issues, but sometimes they just creep up on us. By taking a break and halting the running, we can let everything settle and see what’s left in the dust. Only then we can do something about it.

Jesus will always be there with us to deal with whatever it is. Even if it is something we can hardly face ourselves, He is right there holding our hand and helping us to do the right thing.

My prayer for you this week is that you will accept an invitation from Jesus to stop running and allow Him to show you what is in your heart that needs attention. You will be so thankful that you did.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 7/26/2017

Lighting Candles

I am reading a new book by Robert Cardinal Sarah entitled The Power of Silence. He is explaining how important it is to have silence in our lives. Because God dwells in silence, it is then possible to meet Him there. He also discusses how difficult it is to be silent, not just exterior silence but also interior silence.

When I divorced years ago, I spent a lot of time in church. It was usually empty except for the scheduled Masses so I could just sit there. I would like to say that I spent a lot of time praying, but I really spent most of my time just sitting, sometimes crying or at other times spouting off about my spouse, finances, family, etc.

The exterior quiet of the empty church brought comfort to me. There was little comfort though in my soul. I struggled with overwhelming sadness, but also with anger. I wanted to be able to sit in peace and comfort, but my soul was too upset.

However, I believe that those hours spent with Jesus in the Tabernacle were enormously beneficial for me. I didn’t have warm loving feelings to offer Him but I gave Him what I had: my anger, worry, sadness, hopelessness, and fear, just to name a few.

It is very difficult to quiet the soul. When we are living through upsetting times in our lives, it is almost impossible. BUT, God already knows that and He is thrilled that we are at least coming to Him!

I, for one, always need to be spending more quiet time just “being” with Him. I know He speaks to us when we do that even if we can’t “hear” anything. Give it a try sometime soon. Let Him help you quiet your soul and soothe your aching heart.

Hang in there. Many blessings on your week ahead.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 7/12/2017

Lighting Candles

Nothing can make life seem to stand still like the few words uttered by a spouse saying “I want a divorce”. There are times when it might be expected, but all too often they seem to come out of the blue spoken by someone we thought we knew.

It’s been many years since I heard these words, but I know there are new people hearing them every day. If you have just heard them for the first time recently, please know that we are here to give spiritual support as you begin to try to piece your life together.

First of all, even in the midst of pain, accept and believe that eventually life will get better. Although your spouse has left, God has not. He will be right here with you every step of the way. He has broad shoulders too and might have to carry you sometimes, but He will never leave you. Never.

The help and support of family, friends or clergy are essential. At times like these we need others to listen and affirm to us that we are still deserving of love. I mention this because when we have been abandoned, we doubt whether we are loveable at all. Others can make that be a reality for us.

If there are children involved, do whatever is necessary to let them know that you love them and will be there for them. Tell them, and reinforce it over and over again as necessary, that it is not their fault that mom or dad left, that you are sorry they have to go through this and that your family will be okay.

The early days of a marriage break-up are some of the toughest times we will experience. Be patient with yourself and call out to God for help. As a community we pray daily for all separated and divorced couples in the Church. Know that someone is praying for you. Know that you are loved.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 6/28/2017

Lighting Candles

Soon it will be the 4th of July weekend here in the U.S. Even if Americans are in different places politically, usually everyone agrees that we need to celebrate the founding of our nation. Religious liberty was one of the founding principles upon which we were formed and most of us embrace this freedom.

God gave us freedoms too, first and foremost the freedom of choice. We can choose to worship God or choose to ignore Him. We can live according to the Ten Commandments or avoid all of them. Our Creator was very generous in allowing us to make the decisions ourselves. The problem, of course, is that we get easily bogged down in the attractions of the world, therefore, desiring to follow Him becomes complicated. Often times we choose a path other than the one leading directly to Him.

After divorce, the choices certainly don’t become easier. We are faced with the freedom to choose to forgive our spouse, or to hold on to anger because we think he/she deserves it. We can foster a love in our children to be devoted to the parent who has left, or we can expect them to “side” with us. We can decide to be charitable when speaking with others about our spouse, or we can bad mouth them.

It seems that no matter where we turn, there is always a new choice to make for the good or for the bad. If we make a conscious decision though to walk the way of God, He will help us use our freedom for the good. He will give us the graces necessary to be forgiving, nurturing and charitable.

So this coming holiday when we look to our nation and all the privileges we enjoy, let’s remember that one of the greatest freedoms is the freedom to worship God. We can use this privilege to give Him our greatest gift in return—the love of our whole being for Him Our Creator.

Stay safe! God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 6/21/2017

Lighting Candles

Our culture today seems to be moving further and further away from God. There are bright spots and some wonderful things happening, but on the whole it looks a bit bleak.

And if you are dealing with some hard issues (like a divorce for example), life can be somewhat overwhelming. There was a time in society where a minimal quality of faith might have sufficed. However, in days such as these today, we need a much stronger faith in order to, not only manage, but thrive.

God chose from all eternity that we would live now. He knows what our strengths and weaknesses are as well as our struggles and our desires. If He has placed us in this time, then it means He has also given us what we need to flourish.

Therefore, in order to do so, we must have a relationship with Him. He does not require us to have elaborate plans for our faith life, and in fact, He really asks very little. He desires us to faithfully love Him and our neighbor, He asks that we keep the Lord’s Day holy by worshipping, and He tells us that we need to petition Him for our daily bread. To be sure, these are some very basic requirements; however, if we follow them, He will give us everything we could hope for and more besides!

It seems unbelievable that we offer so little and He gives so generously, but that’s because HE LOVES US. One thing that we need to remember is that God’s Love Never Fails. If you have not been as close to Him as you could be, perhaps this is a good time to make a fresh start. He’d love to hear from you.

Have a good week! God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 6/14/2017

Lighting Candles

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. It’s not a liturgical celebration but a secular one. We can, however, make it a day not only to honor our earthly dads but to give praise to our heavenly Father.

One of the things I have learned from the study of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is that the sin of Adam and Eve was essentially a denial of fatherhood. Yes, they were disobedient, but they doubted that God was a good Father for surely if He was the generous Father that they originally thought Him to be He would not have denied them the taking of the forbidden fruit!

Of course, they had help with that line of thinking from Satan. He tempted them to doubt that God the Father loved them unconditionally and wanted to give them everything. He did love them unconditionally, but asked of them this one sacrifice of not choosing the tree in the center of the garden. He asked them to accept His Goodness and trust that He knew what would fulfill them and bring them happiness.

Are we not like our first parents at times? Do we doubt the goodness of God for us? Do we believe He loves us unconditionally? If asked, we would probably say “Oh yes, I know God loves me and wants the best for me”, but our actions might show otherwise. When we pray for help to lead our daily lives, we need to trust that he will actually tangibly help us.

God the Father loves each of us individually. He is not just the heavenly Father that keeps the world in motion and loves us in kind of a general way. His love is personal and intimate. As was the case of Adam and Eve, He desires for us to trust that He will be the good Father and provide us with everything that will make us happy. That does not necessarily mean that we like everything He chooses for us, but He always desires what is best for us. Always.

So on Sunday, let’s make every effort to respond to our Heavenly Dad with the trust of our lives. Give Him all the pieces of your life (spouse, children, job, finances, health, housing) and believe that He will give it back to you whole. It may not be exactly what we think it should be, but we will know that He chose the best for us personally.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads!

Have a good week. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 6/7/2017

Lighting Candles

Time moves along so quickly and as I get older, it seems to move at an astounding rate! Of course, when things are difficult it creeps by but moves speedily when life is going well. Time, however, is only for our life here on earth, in eternity there is no time, only present.

Such a hard concept to take in, isn’t it? One thing that I think gives us a glimpse is daydreaming. When we “come to” after having our mind someplace else, we are aware of not knowing how long we were out of touch. For those brief minutes or even seconds we were not constrained by time. Prayer can be like that too. There are days when we are looking at the clock because it seems to drag, but there are other times when we hardly realize time has moved.

I always have more things I want to do in a day than I have time for so occasionally I struggle with the time for prayer. My nature wants to get up, move and get going on the day, but my will tells me to stay put and just be. Those are the days I am conscious of the clock.

I remember hearing Archbishop Fulton Sheen years ago say that if time itself is the excuse for not praying--then seize it! Time for prayer is time well spent. If your schedule is already full to the max, squeeze in some time with Jesus anyway and squeeze out something else.

I have a friend who has decided not to wear her watch anymore. After losing a dear friend to cancer a couple of years ago, she has decided to use her time for being present to her daily life and not worrying about her schedule. That’s a perfect attitude not only for our normal routines but especially for prayer.

I am not advocating that we become irresponsible by not keeping our life in order, but just expounding a bit on the fact that we are controlled by time because we live in it now and can’t imagine being without it.

Try wasting some time with Jesus this week. It doesn’t have to be long or dramatic, just settle yourself down and be.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 5/26/2017

Lighting Candles

As we kick-off Memorial weekend, there always seems to be an upbeat feeling in the air anticipating the soon-to-be summer season. There is also something very upbeat before us on the spiritual level—the great Feast of Pentecost next Sunday!

The apostles, on that day, received the Fire of the Holy Spirit and went out to change the world by their witness. We so need that fire today! All Christians are in need of the gifts of the Holy Spirit but if we are living out our marriage vows without our spouse, we certainly need the strength He provides for us to remain chaste. We also require the patience, peace and charity to deal with our spouse, our families and the world around us.

I think this third Person of the Holy Trinity is difficult to wrap our minds around and even harder to visualize. He is, however, no less important in our lives whether we can picture Him or not!

Try praying to our Advocate for the power to hold your tongue when you want to lash out at your spouse or anyone else, ask Him for the strength to get through each day with your children or coworkers when they try your patience, plead for the fire of love to burn within you for God and for others, and lastly, pray for final perseverance to stay faithful to the end.

Be there on June 4th as the Church celebrates this great Solemnity and ask Jesus to pour out anew a portion of His Spirit for your life and the lives of those around you. You will then be equipped to go out and change your corner of the world!

Have a good week. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 5/17/2017

Lighting Candles

Do you ever have those days when you seem to be assailed by negative thoughts? I do. No matter how much I try to counter them with positive thoughts, there they remain. It’s as though there is an incessant chatter in my ears telling me that I am not worthy of God’s Love because I have too many faults and failings.

For some people these thoughts might come from conditioning received as children, or the result of negative relationships with others, or a host of any number of past events. But in any case, it is a part of us still needing to be redeemed.

Years ago I would wallow in self-pity, but I know now that it’s just a waste of time and I always felt worse for having done so. Instead I now make many acts of confidence and trust in God’s great Love and Mercy for me. I may not “feel” it at the time, but I know it to be true on faith.

I am also well aware that our adversary uses these times to convince us to give up. He wants us to believe the lies we hear and to throw in the towel. He thinks if he harasses us enough we will believe what we hear and fall away from God. If we believe the lies, he wins.

On the contrary, God never gives up on us. He is always there to lift us up and even carry us in His Arms if need be. He wants to tell us how much He loves us and how beautiful we are to Him. He wants to shower blessings upon us.

So the next time you might have one of those days, begin immediately by making an act of faith in God’s Love and Mercy and proceeding as though you feel it, even if you don’t. The negative thoughts will pass and we will once again be back on the journey a little stronger from the battle!

Have a good week. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 5/10/2017

Lighting Candles

As I am sure you well know, this Saturday, May 13th marks the 100th Anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearance in Fatima to the three shepherd children. Two of them, Francisco and Jacinta, will be canonized by the Holy Father while he is in Portugal for the anniversary.

The world needs Our Lady’s intercession as much or even more now than it did in 1917 just prior to WWI. She needs our prayers, sacrifices and offerings more than ever before, and we all need her intervention in our lives and the lives of all our loved ones.

Ask her to help you in dealing with your spouse and your children. She very much understands your difficulties as a single parent. Even though she had the benefit of a dear spouse in St. Joseph, she was not distant in the lives of any of the families in her town of Nazareth. I am sure she would bring, not only some food, but especially some consoling words for her neighbors in need—sick children, husbands with no work, mothers who were ill, or a lack of groceries that week.

We deal with all of the above and Mary is no less present to us now then she was to the people of her village. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima is meant to give us an idea of how she appeared to the children, but she is no plaster image. She was a real mother who dealt with the loss of a husband and a Son who was brutally murdered. She knows sorrows deeper than we can even imagine. She will make herself known to you and be an integral part of your life, if you just ask her.

As a dear Mother, she wants so much for us to be close to her Son. She will make it possible for us to overcome anger, resentment, loneliness, worry or a doubting faith. Have no fear or shame in going to her, she just wants to be included in our lives.

So on this special anniversary full of graces, go to her. She’s waiting just for you!

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 5/3/2017

Lighting Candles

It’s been three months since I have written any blogs. I had surgery in early February and planned to return to blogging soon after that. Unfortunately, I had another emergency surgery later in February and that made my recuperation much, much longer. However, I am on the mend and looking forward to getting back in to my normal routine. Thanks be to God!

I began my blogs a little over a year ago during Holy Week, and here we are in the Easter Season again. Such a great time of year, not only because it is spring, but it is the springtime for faith as well. The newness of life coming from the Resurrection! How much we struggle for that newness when coming away from months of struggle from separation or divorce.

We want so much to feel good inside--to know love again, to not be so hurt or angry or resentful. We just want life again to return to some normalcy. We need to know that there is life without all the pain for us and for our children.

The Risen Christ gives us that hope. We know that if we continue to walk the path with Him, or better yet, to let Him walk it with us, we will eventually know peace and joy and a future of hope. He gives us some of these graces even during those rough times because He knows how much we need them just to hang on.

He walked with and encouraged the disciples of Emmaus. How dejected they were, their hopes being shattered! We can relate to them because our hopes have also been shattered. We thought we would grow old with our spouse and now we have to go it alone. He stirred into flame the ashes in their hearts as He walked with them and then allowed them to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread.

Each day as we open the Scriptures, He is right there with us enkindling the love in our hearts to keep our hopes alive. We see Him in the Eucharist by receiving Him into our hearts, and then it becomes easier for us to recognize Him in the events of our daily lives. Know that no matter where you are on the journey, the Risen Christ is right there walking beside you. He never leaves you for a moment. You can count on it!

Have a good week. God Bless!

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 2/3/2017

Lighting Candles

Living in a cold climate (northern Vermont near the Canadian border) much of the winter is spent focusing on keeping warm. If you are fortunate enough to have a wood stove as a main source of heat or as a back-up for another type of heat, the warmth of a wood fire has a way of seeping into the bones and taking away the chill when you have been outside for awhile.

All of us, no matter where we live, need a way to remove the ‘chill’ of the outside world. We are not always aware of it, but the things that are part of the secular culture affect us more than we realize: computers, ipads, smartphones, kindles, TVs and of course the airways.

When Christ walked the earth, the scriptures tell us that he regularly left the disciples to go off by himself to pray. He needed to unite himself with his Father, to pull away from the demands upon him in order to ‘warm’ himself by being united with His Father in prayer.

I believe the demands of living in an active household, and most especially if you are a single parent, are monumental. Trying to juggle work, household chores, needs of children at any age, finances, personal time, or prayer can seem at times to be insurmountable challenges. But, as essential as it was for Jesus to unite himself with the Father in prayer, so we too need to pull ourselves aside and unite with Him.

As I mentioned in the beginning, there are many sources of heat to keep us warm, but only one is superior to the others for that deep down heat. So also there are many ways to connect with God, but to let go of everything else and spend time just with Him, well, that’s the best!

My purpose is not to add another layer of guilt to already burdened shoulders, but if you are having a terrible time trying to carve out some time to be with God, tell him the problem and allow him help you with the solution. He doesn’t want to put more demands on you. He wants to help you carry the demands you already have!

God loves you more than you can even imagine. God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 1/28/2017

Lighting Candles

I am enjoying re-reading one of my favorite books about St. Therese’s Little Way: I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C.J. d’Elbee. Over and over again he speaks of having humble confidence in God’s great love for us. St. Therese was able to use that attitude to the full in her spirituality and is the basis of her teaching. I know that it is exactly what we should do also.

However, when we sin the last thing we are thinking about on a natural level is the fact that God loves us. We feel guilty and, instead of running to Him immediately as St. Therese always did, we usually shy away from Him, feeling bad that we committed the fault in the first place and then that we hurt Him besides. Usually in that order.

So often in the months and early years following the break-up of my marriage, I was filled with anger and resentment. And because of the anger, it was easy to fall into all the pitfalls that were placed in front of me. I was constantly feeling bad, feeling guilty. I wanted to believe that God loved me as I was, but I did not love myself so I just couldn’t understand how He could love me totally. I thought for sure He was unhappy with me which translated to me as “I don’t love you right now”.

I see now that what I needed to do was run to Him and say: “I’ve done it again, said what I shouldn’t have said. I’m sorry, please forgive me. I know and believe in your Great Love for me”. I don’t know if I could have gotten that last sentence out of my mouth! I was always asking for forgiveness, but my plea usually stopped there.

Now, as time has progressed, I can honestly say that the sentence that I could not say back then has become second nature to me, and that’s the grace of God! If you are dealing right now with some difficulties and falling often, please run to Him, ask forgiveness, but always add that you believe in His Love for you! You may not feel it but know that it is true.

God Bless you all.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 1/13/2017

Lighting Candles

It is Respect Life Month. This is the month when thousands upon thousands of people make the trip to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. It’s been a number of years since I have been there for the March, but I follow it now on EWTN. If you have never been, it is a shot in the arm for anyone who is pro-life and thinks that we are alone. Just being with so many people of like minds and hearts always lifts the spirits, and, of course, at the same time gives witness to the nation that we believe abortion is wrong.

It is also a month to respect all life from conception to natural death. That involves an awful lot of people in between--that actually means everyone!! When it is a loved one or friend, it is easy. When it is the neighbor next door who is loud and obnoxious, not so easy. When it is someone who has hurt us, almost impossible.

But as scripture tells us: “…nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). So that means when we have been hurt or betrayed by our spouse (or anyone else), for instance, we can still love and respect them with the grace of God. We might not respect them for what they have done, but we must respect them for who they are—a child of God.

We also must respect ourselves. Often times during separation and divorce our self-esteem is poor. We’ve been hurt, we feel unlovable and we sometimes make choices that would harm us rather than help us. If we slip, we have the wonderful ability to ask God for forgiveness. He can help us get back on our feet and begin to make choices that will be beneficial for us. There can always be a new beginning.

And last but certainly not least, the Lord also respects us. He never belittles us, never accuses, never says I told you so, and never forces Himself upon us. He always waits patiently for us to respond to Him. After all, respecting others really means to love them. He shows us how, may we respond to this call in a generous way.

God Bless.

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org


Date: 1/6/2017

Lighting Candles

Well, this is my first entry in the new year! I began on Ash Wednesday last year and, although there have been weeks (especially recently) that I have not posted, it has been a big accomplishment for me. I have never been fond of writing. I have always enjoyed sending notes and letters, but to write something formally was not my favorite thing to do. It’s a clear indication for me that God’s grace can do anything!!

Maybe that’s a good topic for the beginning of the year—God’s Grace. Sometimes I think we have the idea that it is like the sprinkly, sparkly stuff that we saw in cartoons or childhood movies to allow the person to act in a better way. Having recently seen a Christmas Carol again (a tradition at our home during the Season), the Ghost of Christmas Present sprinkles it on the home of Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim blessing their Christmas.

God’s grace does indeed bless us, and frankly we could not do without it, but it does not go against our will and make us do things we refuse to do. His grace does enable us to act in accord with His Will and to live His Commandments as is our desire, but grace can also be repelled as in the case of Judas. Jesus was Grace Himself and still Judas chose a different path. Our wills are very strong indeed!!

So, how do we apply this to our everyday lives? If we are living in the throes of separation or divorce, we can and must ask each day for the graces of patience, peace, forgiveness, and love; and to have the strength to put one foot in front of the other and carry on with our families, our jobs, our obligations. We might need help to deal in a civil way with our spouse; to have the patience with children; or to make every effort to live the life God calls us to live even under pain and suffering. His Grace can do those things and it is available to us by asking.

If your life is a little more settled, we still absolutely need His Grace each day to carry out His Will for us: To be loving with others; to be faithful to prayer and the Sacraments; and to spread His love to all we meet. Let’s face it, the only thing we are capable of doing on our own is to sin, everything else requires grace.

So let’s make 2017 a year of grace. He will give it to us of course--all we have to do is ask. God Bless and Happy New Year!

You can respond to these blogs through email to: gthompson@solitudemyriam.org




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