Tag Archive | Catholic

Spirituality moves me …


Today I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague/friend. It’s not the type of conversation I venture into very often because for some people it is controversial. But, since this is my blog and my thoughts, I figure I’m entitled to share them here if I so choose. So I do so with a caveat – if you disagree, I am completely fine with that and respect your point-of-view, and hope you do the same for me. Please refrain from any negative harassment as I won’t tolerate it on my page – either by readers or towards readers. It’s just my ethics.

religion-spirituality-christianity-scopo-ebook-98710433233_xlargeSo… the conversation was about spirituality vs. religion. Now to be fair let me say that I was raised Catholic – Catholic orphanage run by nuns, Catholic grade school and high school, also run by nuns. I even attended a Jesuit Catholic college. My world was singularly Catholic, which is not uncommon in Cincinnati as it is a predominantly German Catholic culture. That was, until I lived for 5 years in a small town that was decidedly NOT Catholic, by majority numbers anyway. I am proud of my upbringing and find solace in many parts of my religious upbringing, particularly the reverence I find present in the church during worship.

Nope, that’s not the controversial bit. What is … is that I find as I get older I become more spiritual and less religious. The more I know about the big churches (no, not just the Catholic church) the more it is blatantly apparent that the “rules” have really strayed quite a bit from the life of Christ and I find it difficult to look at them without seeing that. As I’ve grown older I’ve continued to seek God and to deepen my relationship with Him. That life of spirituality moves me and … it supersedes religion. This is a relationship that makes my soul sing. It is a place that recognizes God in people no matter what their religion or background. Funny things is, I learned so much of this from some nuns I met in my adulthood.

I still consider myself Catholic because I believe in the basic tenants of the faith. But I do not consider myself to be a blind follower of “the church”. Yikes that won’t sit well with many people I know and love. And I’m okay with that. Actually I believe when we die and transition to heaven there will be a lot of Catholic people (and others too) who will be shocked to look around and see who else is there. lol Sorry, I can’t help myself from laughing. I know that God is love and love is all encompassing. I know that the building you sit in to praise him is irrelevant to him. The labels we use for ourselves and others are meaningless in an eternal view. Jesus did not come here to start a religion. Wow – that’s quite a heady statement if you really, really, really examine it. And with all the human frailties and sins committed by people of every faith I cannot imagine a scenario in which God’s Heaven – His eternal domain, is not big enough and loving enough to include us all. We all sin differently but we all sin.

spirituality

I saw a bit of shock in my friend’s face when I stated this. And in that moment I knew, yet again, that spirituality is a topic that doesn’t get talked about enough. There should be no mystery about a relationship with God just because there are religions who profess to know all the answers and have the only path.

And so I sigh a heavy sigh. I pray unceasingly that Love overtake the world, no matter what the denomination.

Be loved and be blessed!

My company blew up my world!


There are many things about my job and the company I work for that I really love. And over the course of my career, this company has changed many things about what I know and how I’ve developed. This is as it should be. But the greatest effect I have seen personally is actually cultural.

When I started working here at the age of 18, I was a fresh high school grad. I had lived in this city my entire life – actually within a 10 mile radius from where I was born. I was in a Catholic orphanage. I was adopted and raised by a loving Catholic family. I attended Catholic grade school and high school. I graduated from a Catholic college. I did (and do) consider all those things to be a blessing in their own right. And it was by chance that this is also the founding city and headquarters for this huge corporation in which I have built my career.  I had family, friends and neighbors who worked here. I felt very much at home.

As I worked my way through my career I found myself in a role as recruiter in our International division. It was my entry into HR and  by far my favorite role of my career.  Within one month my world went from being Cincinnati-centric to being global. Wow – my company “blew up” my world! What a change. I found myself talking to people all over the world. They came to visit and shared stories of their countries and their cultures. I was traveling to colleges across the US and interacting with students who were my age but from worlds I did not know and some countries I had never heard of before. With that single role I became an adventurer at heart. I created a list of places I want to see before my days are done. I was inspired to actually pursue bringing a foreign exchange student into my home and was delighted when Heidi from Norway became my daughter for a year.

This single aspect of my career has helped me grow in so many ways. I am privileged to have learned from so many people. I immersed myself in understanding other cultures to the point that I was able to create and deliver cross-cultural training sessions to my colleagues. I appreciate, live and breathe diversity and inclusion every day of my life. Today I find myself privileged to be in a very diverse and rich organization. My boss is from Mexico. I work on teams and sit by colleagues from China, Japan, Canada, Venezuela, Columbia, Germany, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, England, Egypt and so many more places. I know and appreciate not only Catholics but Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and more. I don’t know all the countries nor all the religions of those who I work and laugh with. Without leaving my company or even leaving my desk I now can say that I am not just a citizen of Cincinnati but a citizen of the world.

Even as I write this blog I am fascinated to look at my visitor counter and see that people from 15 different countries have read my words. I hope you have all felt welcome and/or inspired. I appreciate each and every one of you! Thanks for joining my world – be blessed!

BEING A FOREIGN EXCHANGE “MOM”


I recently sent my foreign exchange student back home after being with me and my daughter for a full school year. The experience was something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school day dreaming about jetting off around the world on adventures. So this past year I decided to take advantage of my daughter’s final year of high school and make this happen.

Our student was a lovely girl from Norway. From the very beginning she seemed to fit our family well – she liked similar shows and activities as my daughter. She wanted to dabble in American sports and she signed up for several sports throughout the year. She worked hard in the beginning to get a handle on the US school system, and a Catholic private school at that (nope, she wasn’t Catholic, and she wasn’t religious in any form). Things got off to a great start.

We hit some snags but that’s to be expected along the way. I’m not sure if it was cultural or just the personality of our student but she didn’t bond with us in the tight way I had heard other students do with their families. At times I felt like she was simply on a 10 month vacation and sometimes I felt we were in her way because of our conservative beliefs and behaviors. We’re not monks of course but we certainly couldn’t compete with the California lifestyle I later found out she wished to have on her exchange.

At the end of the day I have no regrets. I’m glad to have done it. I’m glad to have provided this experience for my daughter and for our exchange student. But I’m also left wondering. I ponder whether the lack of bonding meant little to no influence in the life of this girl. She was polite and genial (well, for the most part). But I can’t put a finger on whether or not my dream to have her here had much impact on her at all. I wonder if our faith and what she learned about our culture has changed her heart or her behaviors in any way. I wonder whether she went home wiping her brow, glad to have gotten through it. I wonder if I will ever see her again. 10 months is a long time to give emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I feel a connection to her as a mom in a way that I’m pretty sure she doesn’t reciprocate. So I wonder and ponder and muse at the level of influence we had on her. I wish for her all the dreams of her young life. I hope that she remembers us and her time here fondly. I hope that a glimpse into our life plants a seed of faith for another day. I wish her love and happiness. And I miss her.