Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I am continuing to bask in the freedom of my very own place once again. What I missed unbelievably and that is my piano. Plucking out Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart sonatas is key to my mental and emotional health.

Speaking of which, here's a photo of St. Dymphna, and some other atmospheric religious-fanatic pix I took around my room last night.

Plus it's hot and dry here in L.A. which aside from the fact that we're in a drought, I love. Nothing makes me happier than the windows thrown open and not even having to put on a sweater, even at night.

Am watching Finding Vivian Maier. And have a stack of good books.



  1. Loved the Aleteia article! Fr. P sent it to me this morning, and I read it about 3 times just to make sure I took it all in. You are beautiful! Blessings!

  2. I loved your Aleteia column (and, as I do every time, I printed it out to pass it on to a non-computer-affiliated friend.) I keep thinking of that Atheist saying they have no story. What a frightening choice that is. So bleak and empty. I also love how you concluded the piece (after starting with the Atheist and her lack of story) with the story of the country gal and her windex vodka. Which is an amazing story.
    Great work as always Heather! Thank you for always making me think!
    Dana Laviano

  3. Heather:

    Very nice Aletia column and you touch on a key aspect of my apostolate work, the work that comes from personal transformation.

    If it is work, as is yours, using the transformation to help others suffering as you did, find the transformative path, and if education and study deepen the skills used, we are in what I have termed deep knowledge, which I describe in my first book as:

    Deep knowledge is the knowledge that comes from experience, is shaped through education, and informed by Catholic social teaching.

    As I continued deepening my own knowledge around criminal justice issues, social teaching, higher education, and my consulting experience, it became clear the embrace of a deeper level of knowledge is required for effective work with criminal transformation, which ultimately requires dealing with the deepest part of a criminal’s spiritual, emotional, and intellectual being.

    Traditional books about working with people from life’s margins often talk about how those comfortably situated in the center of the modern world can reach out to the marginal, and Kennedy (1997) offers this:

    Bridging the gap is not just giving food and lodging to those who are hungry and homeless and praying for them. It means eating with them, living with them, praying with them. (p. 7)

    But that is not far or deep enough and I would end that sentence with these words: and looking to them for leadership in solving the problems creating the gap needing bridging, and as far as criminal transformation is concerned, from a Catholic perspective, faith in doing is not deep enough. What is required here is faith in being. (p. 47)

    Lukenbill, D.H. (2006). The Criminal’s Search for God: Criminal Transformation, Catholic Social Teaching, Deep Knowledge Leadership, and Communal Reentry. Sacramento, California: The Lampstand Foundation.


  4. Thank you so much, folks. Having this weekly column, and my other column at The Tidings, is a gift the breadth and height of which I've not yet fully been able to take in...Yes, David, seems shared brokenness is the place to start. Then calling each other higher... a way of processing guilt, resentments, fear, and shame...inviting people to contribute, if by nothing else than sharing their experience, strength and hope...this is the genius of 12-step groups. Wishing you all a stellar weekend...

  5. I can't explain how much your blog means to me. And the books and other gifts you've given for my welfare. Before reading your stuff, I was afraid of who I was (i.e. who I wasn't!) to the point that I didn't ever take the time to see who I possibly could be. I was just scared. But reading your stuff, and watching you make fun of yourself and your weaknesses and everything -it led me to stop taking myself so damn seriously. And then I began to see how seriously God loves me even as He laughs at my failed attempts, my ridiculous mistakes, my stupid sins.
    He is no different from me watching my son learn to walk these past few weeks. When he falls I smile or laugh, and make sure his precious head doesn't hit the coffee table. And then I encourage him to get up and try again until his little legs tell daddy -"that's enough, pick me up."

    1. Well, I'm sure our Lord doesn't laugh at my sins -as though they don't offend Him! But I think you know what I mean. If my understanding of St. Faustina's concept of Mercy in her diary is correct, then God's favorite thing to do is forgive us.... He likes to do this more than instruct, teach beauty, form us in our vocation etc. I'm no theologian, for sure. But it would be nice to hear someone else's opinion on my understanding of God's mercy.


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