What Is the Soul?

Hot-air balloon, sky, balloon, soul

We’ve past the midpoint of Lent!  This makes some people happy, but, I enjoy the Lenten season and am always reluctant to have it end so quickly.  Maybe you’re thinking that  a time of repentance spent in fasting, prayer, and almsgiving isn’t something to be enjoyed.  But, you’re wrong.  There is great joy in living a life that is freed from the chains of bad habits, addictions, and most of all, sin.

Sin is too often equated with pleasure in our world – and pleasure is too often equated with sin.  That is why some think that repentance and true Christian living is a boring and burdensome kind of life.  “If we stop sinning,” they think, “what happiness would we have?”  But, what they don’t understand is that the body and soul are equally essential in being human – and in being joyful.  For, we are creatures of flesh and spirit and we cannot ignore the well-being of one without damaging the well-being of the other.

God created us with material bodies and spiritual souls so that we could enjoy the goodness of His material Creation and also live forever in the bliss of His Eternity.  Religion, and, yes, Lent, can help us to find the right balance and live the fullness of being human – body and soul.

Here is a little explanation that I gave to my nephews when they were very young about the soul.  (They received a shorter version.)  If we can see ourselves as little children, then, perhaps, we can better understand the true joy of a life well and fully lived…. Continue reading

Who Is God?

Horizon, dawn, God

Lent is a good time to get back to basics, to the essentials.  (Actually, anytime is a good time for that.)  So, I’m sharing some words on the very basics of faith, starting with what comes first: God.  This explanation is something that I said (in shorter form) to my nephews when they were very young.  It is meant for a child – but, it is also good for me to read once in a while, when I need to be reminded that I am little.  And, I have to say, writing a book for the first time is certainly a humbling process!  I am being made aware, very acutely, of my limitations, of just how little I am in this great big world… but, also, how great God is…. Continue reading

My First Book! Well, Okay, Not yet…

manuscript, pages, writing

The first draft of my manuscript is complete.  (And, yes, calling it a manuscript does sound weird.  And technically, anyway, is it really a manuscript since I didn’t write it out by hand – manual + script?  But, I digress…)  I’m grateful to have been able to keep the first part of my 2018 Resolution!

Over the last 59 days, a wide spectrum of thoughts about my first book, and the whole process of writing it, have tumbled through my mind, causing me to feel differently about it on different days.  So far, these have been my most frequent opinions/feelings (in no particular order): ridiculous… brilliant… impossible… lame… okay…. Continue reading

Lasting Words: The Gospel

What good news would you share with the people who will mourn your death?

This is an important question to ask if you, like me, want to plan your own funeral ahead of time.  I have no idea when my last day on earth will be – but, I do know that there will be a last day here.  That’s why I decided to write the blog post, Preparing to Die in 5 Easy Steps.  In my recent posts, I have shared the Bible passages that I want read at my Funeral Mass: Old Testament reading, psalm, and epistle.  Now for the Gospel – the Good News.

And, yes, the reading (continue to the end) is about Heaven, about life after death – but… with a twist.  The twist is that this particular reading, taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, helped me to finally understand that Christianity isn’t all about what happens after you’re dead.

Christianity’s focus is about how you live right here, right now.  It’s about whether or not you know Christ and have encountered Him in the flesh.  In Christianity, having a divine experience, having a living relationship with God, isn’t relegated to the afterlife.  Because God is here.  God is here among us – right now.  Do see him?  Are you even looking?

HomelessnessDo you care?

Because, right now, God is living in your neighborhood, lonely, sick, and suffering.  God is hoping that you will, as my grandmother might say, “shiv a git” and drop in, even just to say hi.  Right now, God is holed up in the corner of a filthy room, having not eaten for two days, her mother strung out and wasted on heroine, waiting for you to knock on the door, to call protective services, or to become a foster parent – to do something.

What are you doing?  What am I doing?

Some people think that disabled people like me need religion as a crutch and a comfort.  But, even though I seem to be one of the needy ones, I am also called to give – not just to receive.  Christianity, in reality, is more of a challenge than a comfort.  In fact, if you are comfortable in the living of your Christian faith, then you’re probably not doing it right.

I’m not doing it right, I confess.

We are all sinners in need of a Savior.

But, the good news is that we have one.

And our Savior isn’t far away on some candy sugar mountain waiting for us after death so that he can pat us on the head and say, “That’s okay, you didn’t have to listen to me.  You didn’t have to look for me on earth or go out of your way to care.”  Nope.  That’s not how it’s going to play out.  At the end of days, our Savior is going to tell us one of two things.

Either: “I remember you!  Thank you for being there for me.  Thank you for sacrificing and being brave enough to comfort me, to take care of me.”

Or: “Who are you again?  I don’t remember you.  I’ve never seen you before.  Where were you when I needed someone?”

Homelessness, poverty, Boston

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Lasting Words: The Epistle

If I wrote a letter to those who were grieving my death, what would I write?  This is one of the questions that I asked myself last year in my post, Preparing to Die in 5 Easy Steps.  I also made a commitment to choose the Bible readings that I would like read at my Funeral Mass.  These two efforts find communion in the words of St. Paul – one of the Scripture passages that I choose for when my loved ones say goodbye to me, whenever that may be.

As I am busy writing my book, God willing, I share this reading with you, dear reader.  (I will be checking the comments, so please keep up the bothering and encouraging so that I can stay on track!)

The words that follow are definitely those of St. Paul.  My letter to my loved ones will be different.  But, there is a tenderness in what St. Paul has to say to the Philippians that touches my heart and, I hope, will touch the heart of those who will hear it at my funeral, whenever that may be.  The way that he combines his expressions of affection and his joyful encouragement toward unity and kindness with the jaw-dropping reality of the Mystery of the Incarnation fills me with delight – this is Christianity.  A call to love, humility, compassion, and generosity, to union with divinity – through Christ, who is God… humble, compassionate, generous… love itself.

Wonder of wonders…

Rose, hands, Christian, help, Elderly

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Lasting Words: Psalm 139

What Sacred Scripture do you want read at your funeral?

Continuing with the divinely inspired words that I want to share with those who will grieve my death, whenever that will be, (for more, click here) I turn to my favorite Psalm.  God knows that I strayed from Him in my life, seeking truth where truth was not – yet, God was everywhere that I looked and I could not see Him.  God was with me – and Mysteriously, in me – all along, and I denied Him.  I tried, as some ancient sages have written, to run from my feet….

Thankfully, God is merciful!

road, country road, searching, wheelchair, journey, path, disability

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Lasting Words: The Book of Wisdom

Sacred Scripture on Beauty and Truth….

For the first reading at my funeral (read more about that HERE) I would like these words from The Book of Wisdom proclaimed.  This is God divinely understanding primitive beginnings of finding Him – understanding my own primitive ignorance, when I did not believe in Him and, yet, sought the truth through science alone.  I have always wanted the truth and been drawn to Beauty, loving the beauty of the natural world, even in my ignorance of God.  God was speaking to me – and I recognized Him not.  God is merciful.  (It is clear to me now how Saint Augustine was inspired to write what he wrote on the Beautiful One.)

When my body is in attendance at my last Mass, I want all people in attendance to be filled with the same desire of truth that filled me in my earthly life – and to receive Wisdom from God, as I mercifully did while I still breathed within God’s beautiful Creation of the natural world.  Let us  have mercy on those who still do not know the fullness of reality, that they may come to know God and the fullness of who they are as God’s beloved creatures!

(In case  you’re wondering, yes, I am working on my book – although this is prescheduled,  I trust in God’s mercy that progress is being made.  I will be checking on the comments, so please bug me! 🙂 )

Fire, coastline, nature, Book of Wisdom

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Leaving with These Words

Last year,  I had several health challenges that reminded me, yet again, of how fragile and fleeting my life is.  Having been born with a rare disease and living all of my life with severe disability, I have always know that my lifespan would be limited.  But, how limited?  What will be my last year?  When will be my last day?

This is not something to obsess about, but, last year, I did realize that it’s okay to think about one’s death and to plan for it.  This is actually a good and beautiful thing to do.  I even wrote a blog post called Preparing to Die in Five Easy Steps.  One of these steps was to plan my own funeral.

Bible, funeral, Mass, church

I gave a lot of thought to what readings I would like to have read at my Catholic Funeral Mass, but didn’t finalize my choices until nearly the end of the year, when I heard a reading from the book of Wisdom, which I wanted, instantly, as my funeral’s first reading.  Everything else flowed from there.

And, now, I want to share my chosen passages of Scripture with you, dear reader.

As this is being posted, I am supposed to be busily working on my first book.  I prescheduled this post and one for every week of February in order to free me from distractions while I write.  The blog post for February 1 will feature the first reading for my funeral.  February 8 will feature the Psalm of my choice, February 15 will contain my selected epistle (Second Reading) and February 22 will reveal my chosen Gospel passage.  Taken together, these readings from Sacred Scripture tell a little of my personal story, my follies and my faith, my love and my hope, as well as give prompting and encouragement to all who will hear them to seek beauty and truth, finding God.

Seek and find the One who is Beauty, the One who is Truth.  Find and be found by God, who intimately and infinitely loves each and every one of us – and in loving Him, be fulfilled as the wonderful, blessed human being that you are uniquely created to be.

© 2018 Christina Chase

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

The Book I’m Writing


To my ears, it sounds a bit ridiculous and slightly pretentious to say that I am writing a book. But… I am. Again.

This is not the first writing project that I have intended for publication in the last 20 years. But, God willing, this will be the first one to actually get completed and become a real, live book.

In the past, my great ideas have fizzled out into failure because of one simple thing: faith. Or, more precisely, lack of faith. Each project begins with great enthusiasm and confidence in the goodness and rightness of what I am undertaking. And then… and then I start to doubt. I either doubt the idea or my ability to bring the idea into fruition and my enthusiasm wanes… my confidence dries up… and I leave my idea to die on the vine.

Not this time! But… haven’t I said that before? Continue reading

An Eve in Winter

Starlight, illumination, Man, inspiration, hubris


When you enter a darkened room

and see a pool of moonlight on the floor,

do you wait to turn the lights on

so you can step into the glow?


I do.


For brightness can scare away the paler shades.

Though it is good for seeing definitions clearly and

avoiding stray furniture, it is poor for

hearing and keeping the secret

that’s whispered through tender starlight

 to waiting earth of snow.


When I say, “let there be light,”

smugly snapping on devices,

I cannot see beyond my own reflection

– blinded to that of the Divine.


© 2018 Christina Chase

Poem inspired by an Amazon “Alexa” moment,

written between Christmas 2017 and New Year’s Day.

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash