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Sally Bolderson: Journal

Divine Mercy Sunday - March 30, 2008

I sit here this evening, reflecting on this day. I have become a devoted fan of the Divine Mercy and the chaplet that Jesus gave to St. Faustina to pray using our Rosaries. I have found strength in this series of prayers, pleading for God's "mercy on us and on the whole world."

I read the diary of St. Faustina a few years ago, which made me aware of the humility and total love for Jesus that saints have in their lives. In the case of the few saints I have been able to read about, I found the common thread of unworthiness, that humility that they find themselves so small and they wonder how can God find them worthy to work in these special ways for Him?

But we are all challenged to strive to be saints. I see myself in my music, especially since the CD has been completed and wonder "why me, Lord?" I am so small, my gifts so simple in the grand scheme of things. I see people around me who have so much more to offer, yet you take my small gifts and magnify them with your mercy and they become what you mean them to be.

So, I suppose we all have seemingly small gifts to give that Jesus can take and work miracles with. I pray that you be open to that reality. Love as Jesus loves and know that He will shine his mercy through you as well.

Moving Forward - March 12, 2008

Last week we had a foot of snow fall down on the St. Louis area. The other day, I saw 5 robins hopping in my front yard. I was so excited as it signifies that Spring is near! Today it's supposed to be 70 degrees! Gotta love St. Louis!
I returned to work on Monday, getting back into my usual routine. I must say it's a good feeling to finally feel like myself again.
Now, I get ready for my favorite week of the whole year, Holy Week! There is so much capsulized in that one week that is the very core of my (our) faith. The reality of those things that Jesus did for us is mind boggling. I think about the Eucharist and the blessings that He gave us to receive Him every day. And I think of the torment of Good Friday and try to imagine the pain he took on for me. I also think of the agony that was Mary's as she watched her son be tortured and ultimately die. Then there comes the Easter Vigil when we celebrate the entrance of new Catholics to our faith family! Not to mention the amazing RESURRECTION!
I pray for all of you that you open your heart and totally absorb all that will transpire this coming week. Have blessed week and a glorious Easter!

Lent - February 18, 2008

I love Lent! It's my favorite time in the whole church calendar. I like the challenge of trying to use this time to draw closer to Jesus. In music, I appreciate the time to pull back into a more meditative mode and focus on what my goals are that I want to accomplish before we reach the beautiful truth of the Resurrection!

I was never one to successfully make a resolution to "give up" something for Lent. But as I grow deeper in my faith I realize that Lent isn't about giving up rather than digging deeper and trying harder to understand Jesus' role in my life.

I believe that in life we are given crosses and that through these crosses we have the potential for amazing growth in our faith as well as our beings.

My cross now is my illness. It is humbling and as I entered the hospital for my surgery the day after Ash Wednesday, I was asked what I was doing for Lent and I said that getting through this illness with grace was what I was doing for Lent. I am blessed with this opportunity to walk the path of the Passion, contemplating on the depth of Jesus' sacrifice for each one of us and I tend to my one incision trying to grasp the magnitude of His pain as he was scourged. I can't begin to imagine!

So let us all work hard to set aside time to truly reflect on what this time really means, what power it has to bring us into the arms of our Lord.

Update - February 5, 2008

I've been at home since my hospitalization earlier this month for a ruptured appendix / abscess trying to shrink the abscess with IV and oral antibiotics without success.

I will be going into the hospital again on Thursday for a major surgery. I am offering this time as a Lenten sacrifice and ask that you join me in this time of prayer.

May your Lenten journey bring you to a blessed Easter with the Risen Lord.

Prayer - January 23, 2008

I am home and on the mend from my battle with a ruptured appendix. I was blessed that we caught it early and it was contained to the area of my appendix.

And that leads me to the purpose of this entry. I am continuously reminded of the blessings of prayer. During the time I was in the hospital and the first few days at home, I couldn't pray. But I knew that while I couldn't, there were so many others who were out there praying for me!

I need to share a prayer experience that I had on Monday evening. That is the night when our 10:30 choir meets for practice. All that day I found myself longing to be in church, in God's house. And I was also missing the dear friends that are my choir "family." My daughter picked me up to get our hair cut and afterwards I asked her to run by church so that I could say HI to these great people. They got me a chair and gathered around me and prayed over me! What an amazing gift! It was undeniably a turning point in my recovery. From the time of my admission to the hospital until that moment I hadn't sung a note. But in that familiar and blessed setting, I sang... and I was filled with the love of Jesus who is the purpose of my life.

Thank you again for the prayers and blessings!

Another Perspective - January 17, 2008

As a mother and wife, one of the many roles I have is to be a caregiver. With so many health issues over the past year with Dave and Angela, this has been a prominent role.

However, now the roles are reversed. I just spent the past 9 days in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. I am doing much better, but it was very different to be the one in the bed being tended to.

I must admit that it was nice to have idle time to just rest. A time to be aware of everything around me; being grateful for the wonderful doctors, nurses and aides who gave such great care to me.

I also had time to reflect on all of the people praying for me and my healing. Thanks so much.

People Around Us - December 18, 2007

Have you ever stopped to think about the people that God places in our paths on our journey of life and our journey in faith? This Advent season has been an awakening for me to the blessings I have for the people around me.

Let's begin in the middle of the circle and work our way out. First, there's our family, our parents, siblings, spouses, children. These persons are those people that God has chosen to nurture us from the earliest moment of our lives to this very moment and beyond. Now, with these people (and I do know that sadly this isn't the case for so many) are so different from each other and so different from us, but yet their existence shapes us into our unique selves.

Then we move from there to our close friends, those who know us well and know when we hurt and when we are elated. They know when to offer a shoulder or just leave some space.

Then there are persons who we may recognize to see them but can't place where or those who we've never seen before! And these people also are placed in our path to remind us of who we are in God, because all of these people from our family to these strangers are here for a purpose.

So as recipients of these amazing, living gifts from God, how are we to respond? I think that we need to begin by looking at ourselves, understanding our gifts and our shortcomings. I don't say "failures" because all of us are given the potential to thrive, to grow, to move forward. We have to make up our minds and know to be true the fact that God is with us ALWAYS! We also need to make Him the CENTER of our lives, and allow all other things to flow through Him and then back to us so that we will understand His plan.

So we are a week away from that amazing birthday of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May we keep our eyes ahead and know of His goodness. May we always trust that He knows our potential and will guide us accordingly. He will put those people in our path that will help us on our way.

THANK YOU JESUS!

Buy CD with Credit Card - December 8, 2007

Now accepting.....

Advent - December 2, 2007

Today we embark on the season of Advent, a beginning of a new Church year. As I enter into Advent, I reflect on just what is it that I am supposed to be doing during this time of preparation? The anticipation of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The beginning of his time on earth as MAN. We need to be mindful of the whole picture, the fact that he ultimately died for us.

I, also, find myself drawn to our Blessed Mother, Mary. I am awed by the fact of her YES in the first place. Then as I contemplate her seven sorrows, I cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude of her gifts to us by what she did and endured.

So, where does that leave me (us)? I believe our challenge is to go beyond ourselves, our comfort zones to say YES to God. We need to open ourselves to him and allow him to call us, for him to guide us to that place where he needs us to be to do his will. I also feel that this begins with our efforts to live our lives as Jesus instructed, "to love others as ourselves, and to love God above all else."

Begin today....look for every opportunity to love. Don't underestimate yourselves. Even a smile to a stranger is an amazing gift!

Giving Thanks! - November 16, 2007

We are on the brink of one of my favorite times of year....Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving, because it doesn't involve running up your credit cards, it's just about being grateful for every good thing that God has given us.

I find it to be a time to slow down and recall the events of the past year (or years) and look at the whole picture to see how all of the pieces fell into place and wonder about the path God will take me in the future.

My favorite part of the day itself is the 9:00 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity Church. During the Mass people are given the opportunity to speak out loud things they are thankful for. I love that!

In 2001 my father passed away on November 24th. It was a Saturday, 2 days after Thanksgiving....which also happened to be 2 days after my birthday, just like it is this year. So, I find myself reflecting on the wonderful gift my dad was in my life. I am so grateful to my mom and my dad for giving me life! And also, in raising me in the Catholic faith.

So, my prayer this year is for God's continuing gifts of Grace that He so graciously provides for me. I also pray for the ability to know His will and for strength that I can be a true disciple and live it out!

Words of Wisdom - September 29, 2007

I have a strong devotion to Saint Faustina. Daily, I read excerpts from her diary. Today's entry really jumped out at me and I wanted to share it with you, because it's exactly how I try to feel and think we all should....

"When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: 'You can do all things.' And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him." (Diary 1033).

May your day be blessed!

Power of Prayer - September 25, 2007

As you can see in previous entries, life in our household has been challenged. Yet, despite the issues facing us, threatening to disrupt the balance, I am at peace.

I am at peace, because there are multitudes of people holding my family (in particular, Angela) up in prayer. I can feel it all around me.

Anyone who would question the validity of prayer and the power of prayer has only to face something that could potentially change their very existence, the very way you live your life. Something that would turn your whole world upside down. Then when you are feeling the most vulnerable, the way Jesus must have felt during his scourging and the way His Mother, Mary must have felt as she met him on the way of the Cross, we cry out in prayer, in our frustration, our agony. We pray that God could take this cup from us, that cup which is turning your world upside down.

But, knowing that Jesus died for me (us), accepting his "cup" and knowing that we are so much less than He, we, too must carry our crosses. How blessed we are to know that Jesus bore His cross so that we would know to bear our own in His name.

We are never alone...He is always with us to help us carry the burden. And he sends us each other to help bear the load together. Thank you all for helping carry this load with us.

Angela Update - September 18, 2007

I spoke with Angela's kidney doctor today and she will have to have a kidney transplant. I want to thank you all for your prayer support. It has been a true blessing. I ask that you continue to pray that a kidney can be found so that Angela can resume the life of a 26 year old.

Getting Closer! - September 10, 2007

I heard from Dave Smith of Icon Music Studios and he is just about done with the preliminary tracks that I will use to begin recording my vocal tracks for my CD. I will go into the studio here in St. Louis with Charlie Dent on September 21st to record my vocal tracks! May St. Cecilia intercede as this project becomes a reality!

Building Your Faith Life - September 6, 2007

Last night I sang and prayed at our monthly Eucharistic Adoration (XLT) at Holy Trinity. Matthew, the emcee, mentioned that to strengthen your faith life, you need to surround yourself with faith filled people. I thought, okay, that makes sense. But how many times in our lives do we do just the opposite in search of a false perspective of life? What is our goal in life? To be wealthy? To be popular? All of that is so trivial. What we need to have as our goal in life is GOD and the hope of our eternal life with Him.

As I look at my life and the spiritual growth that has taken place in say the past 10 years, it's very interesting. I found that God has been putting persons in my path that would bring me closer to Him (and He continues to do so). But, I also realize that so many times, I have to trip over the person in my path to open my eyes and see that this is someone special and that God has put this person right there in front of me for a reason. And as I grow in this understanding and feel the amazing graces of having blessed people around me, I fall deeper and deeper in love with my God and my Catholic faith!

This morning during the lower level mass at school Fr. Jim said to think of 3 things we are grateful for. He went on to say that whenever life is hard and we just can't get our heads in the right place, to remind ourselves of what makes our lives rich, what makes it so very special. Make the choice to look at the challenges in life and say you will not let it win!

So despite the concern over Angela's illness and the many other things that impede my progress in my spiritual development, I know I am tremendously blessed with so many things to be grateful for and for the multitude of people, faith filled people, who surround me and give me strength. Thank you, Jesus for your constant love that is so apparent through everyone and everything around me!

Angela's Home - August 31, 2007

Angela was discharged from the hospital yesterday. We won't have any definitive answers about her kidney disease for another couple of weeks. In the meantime, she will be going to dialysis 3 times a week. If the medicine they gave her to halt the spread of the kidney disease works (it takes 3 weeks to work), she will be taken off of dialysis and live on medication for the rest of her life. If it doesn't, then she will remain on dialysis until she could get a kidney transplant.

There is an amazing amount of people praying for her and us and I can't express enough how much that is sustaining us through this. I found out that the Patron Saint for kidney disease is St. Marina (Margarita) of Antioch, so please include her in your prayers for intercession.

Times of Trial - August 26, 2007

This week has been one filled with anxiety and fear. Wednesday morning I took my daughter to an eye doctor for problems with her vision. What we thought would be a simple doctor visit turned out to be something altogether different. Without going into all the medical details, she ended up that night in the ICU with the diagnosis of kidney failure. Her problems with her eyes were a result of extremely high blood pressure. At this time they are trying medication to see if they can halt the spread of the disease that has invaded her kidneys. If this fails, she will have to go on dialysis.

There are more people than I know praying for her, for us. It brings to mind our Blessed Mother and the pain she had to endure for her Son. My prayer (among many right now) is that I can be even a small bit as strong as she was. Our lives are in God's hands....and it is at times like these that we just have to surrender our anxiousness and trust in His providence.

Bridges - August 18, 2007

In the city where I grew up there was a major highway that separated my house from my school and church. There were two particular bridges that spanned over the highway. I would take one or the other to go to and from school and church.

This weekend they are being torn down in a major project to widen the highway. I found it interesting that this fact saddened me. I realize that they will be rebuilt in a wider fashion to accomodate the wider highway, but that's not the same. That's not the pavement that I walked on. Those aren't the bridges that I would stand on and make the gestures so that truck drivers would honk their horns.

There are many bridges in life. I remember when I was in the Brownie Girl Scouts ready to enter the Junior Girl Scouts, they had a bridging ceremony where we left the Brownies to become Juniors. So we walked over the bridge and somehow we were older, somehow more significant because we crossed the bridge. The same girls, just different somehow.

Then there was the Junior Ring Dance. We had received our Senior rings that morning and at the dance was a bridge, taking us from Junior year into our Senior year; to another level of maturity and growth.

And for me at least, there was the aisle of church, not too unlike a bridge that took me from my parent's home to my husband's arms.

Life changing events, all of them. This past several years have been a bridge for me. A bridge of learning more about my faith and how God interacts with me. I still have a long way to travel on this bridge, for you see, I believe it ends in our eternal life.

One thing you have to know about bridges...is that they are only as strong as the effort you put into the path you are traveling. So we must stay the path to keep it strong, lest we forget our purpose of being on it in the first place. We need to take one step at a time, placing one foot in front of the other. May our dear Father in Heaven continue to bless our path.

Seeing From Another Angle - August 15, 2007

I work in the medical school division of Saint Louis University. I am a medical secretary and I do work behind the scenes for various doctors. I don't see patients, but what I do see is the other side of the doctors' personalities. I see the ones who are boisterous and fun-loving, the ones who are quiet and kind, the ones who are more intense, the ones who take it all in stride. For most people, they go to their doctor praying for a good report, some in fear, some not so much. In that environment we see the physician, the person trained to understand the body and how it works. It's a very serious business.

It made me wonder, about Jesus and his "other" side. I love to think of him telling a joke! Laughing with his disciples, enjoying being with friends, like Lazarus, Mary and Martha sitting around a room shooting the breeze. Or seeing him with his mom, our Blessed Mother, giving her a peck on the cheek and telling her he loves her. Just doing "ordinary" stuff.

Hopefully, we have witnessed Jesus, the Healer, the Grand Physician. Just like the doctors, when they are gathering information to bring a sick person to health, Jesus comes into our souls and heals our pains, our frustrations. But let us also remember that he was human and had to have had a lighter side. I think if we can grasp that perspective, it might just make him more like the big brother that he is to us. Thank you Jesus for all you are!

Dog Days of Summer - August 7, 2007

As I write this we are in the middle of a heat wave here in St. Louis. Temperatures are expected to reach 100+ today with only minimal relief promised by week's end. After a short power outage at our house last evening, I could only say "Thank you, God" as I entered the house and flipped the light switch to have it illuminate the room.

I've always said I love this area because of the season changes and it is with hope that I anticipate the fall (my favorite time of year)....although that's not close enough at this point and time.

I love the fall because it always meant the beginning of school, seeing your friends everyday. It also makes me think of shorter days, colder days, time when you count your blessings for a roof over your head, warmth from the furnace.

Yes, even as I curse the heat, I give thanks to God for the blessings of relief through air conditioning. All things are blessings from God, we just have to make sure and notice it.

God's Providence - July 31, 2007

I'm always amazed at how our lives fall into place. I don't know why I am amazed...it only makes sense when we understand the reality of God in our lives. A couple things happened today that made me think about that. First, I received an email from a friend and it talked about how we think of God having a plan for us and then it went on to say but isn't what we are living now God's plan? Hmmm, something to ponder. I believe that God's plan begins at the moment of our conception. The timing of when we're born, the circumstances of our lives...every tiny, little detail. Pretty amazing, right? To think that God knows and has ordained every single moment of our being! The second thing that happened today was an announcement I heard on the CME podcast for 7/29/07 (check it out at http://www.catholicmusicexpress.com). Susan Bailey was reporting that Danielle Rose as of August 2nd would be entering the convent. Danielle is a wonderful young woman who has blessed my life. Danielle is a singer/songwriter who has written some very moving and inspiring music sharing her deep Catholic faith. About 2 years ago, as she was beginning the recording of a CD in honor of Mother Teresa, she had problems with her throat. She was placed on total vocal rest (no talking, singing, anything!). This lasted for about a year and a half. I corresponded with her during this time by email and she was so very at peace. I have wondered how I would be if my ability to sing had been taken away. But Danielle took this time and devoted it to prayer. During that quiet time, she heard the voice of God calling her to the vocation of the religious life. So then as we think about God's "plan" is it any wonder that Danielle received and answered this call? No, I believe it was coming all along....but she (like all of us) need to quiet ourselves voluntarily or not to hear what God wants us to do. Danielle's voice returned after many months of prayer and now she enters her next chapter in life. God bless Danielle and all who hear and respond to the call to religious life or priesthood. God is calling, are you listening?

You Gotta Love Little Kids! - July 25, 2007

This week our parish is having their annual Vacation Bible School. I was asked to come Tuesday and Thursday evening to be one of the rotations that the kids go through during the evening. My job was to provide music to make them MOVE! Okay, that's cool. I gathered all the songs I know that have hand gestures to them and went in ready to begin! The older kids were cool, they tried to learn and do the appropriate hand gestures. But then came the 3 to 5 year old kids! They marched into the room, found a chair and I just looked at them and thought, "huh, now what do I do?" They were too young to understand the songs I did with the older kids......? So, I thought, well I'll just start playing something and it was great! They all got up and just started DANCING!!!!!!!! There were as many variety of dances as there were kids in the room! There was the one girl whose dance was multiple attempts at a cartwheel, one little guy trying to break dance, some holding back hanging on to the teen leaders....others just jumping up and down, still others running around and twirling in circles. That was the fastest 25 minutes I had all evening! I totally enjoyed watching their total innocence and joy! Thank you Lord for reminding me what it's about to be like a child!

Patience is a Virtue - July 22, 2007

"Patience is a virtue." That's what I always said to my kids whenever they would be over-anxious about something. Trying to convey just what patience is can be hard, when it's so difficult to get a grasp on it myself. Today in the gospel reading, Martha is anxious about the tasks at hand in order for things to be perfect for her dear friend, Jesus, while her sister Mary sits and listens to him not noticing what Martha sees to be so urgent. As Fr. John reflected in his homily, Martha isn't wrong in her obligations as a hostess, just in the perspective of the importance of it. There is a time and place for everything and an order to life in God's time.

Over the past year as I developed songwriting and came nearer to the reality of having enough songs for my own cd project, I became anxious! But God, through several good friends, adviced me to be patient; to let God guide the timing and allow it to happen in His time, which is the right time.

I received a call from Dave Smith yesterday who will be producing, mixing and mastering my cd. Originally the plans were for me to record my vocal tracks in August and that he would begin his part in early September, but circumstances have changed and I won't begin my recording until early September. So, here I am anxiously waiting to begin. This time of limbo is hard on one's patience, but as Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening, absorbing his words, I too must sit and listen to his call for me....to listen to his words to know where he is leading me with this project, along with all of the other opportunities he continues to put in my path. May we all see the virtue of patience and when we are stressed over needless worry, may we know that "patience is a virtue."

"Humble Thyself" - July 17, 2007

This morning we celebrated the life of Christie Rogan. It brought me back to the humble place that helps me thrive in my service to our God. When planning music for any occasion there is so much of it that is directly from God. I can read the readings, or in this case, understand Christie in order to celebrate her life most accurately. This past Sunday, was the Gospel of the Good Samaritan, so, of course, I introduced my song "Choose to Love" which speaks of just that subject, living each day to the fullest because it could be your last chance to tell someone you love them, or to be kind to a stranger. The refrain ends with the line "we find our God, when we choose to love." Love....it's exactly what Jesus said we have to do...love our God, love ourselves and our neighbors as ourselves." Then we find God. So, as you saw in my last post, I quoted that song in describing Christie. Then Sunday after Mass, a friend of Christie's came to me and said "that song is Christie!" So I rearranged the plans I had made for the music line up for this morning's Mass to include "Choose to Love." And here's where I was really struck with the amazing reality of humility. Fr. John was giving the homily talking about Christie's goodness and her love of the Beatitudes and the way she lived them in her life. I was struck with how similar that message of the Beatitudes was to my song, "Choose to Love", not only in their message but in their truth of what Christie believed and lived. And in myself, it reminded me (something we all need so often) that I am God's humble servant. He has provided me with the gifts to provide His message for Him. What an awesome blessing to be worthy of this call. And I want to challenge all of you who read this, to search your soul, find that one thing that God has given you so that you can bring His message to others. We ALL have gifts, and the rewards of sharing them is more than human words can express because they are GOD.

Dying and Rising - July 12, 2007

Today our parish, Holy Trinity, lost a wonderful, loving soul in Christie Rogan. But, I say lost, but in reality, I (we) know exactly where she is. She is in the arms of our loving Father basking in the glory gained for us by Jesus, in His death and resurrection. Although my communication with Christie was limited compared to many others, I knew her to be a gracious, holy, loving woman living her life and faith to the fullest. What a gift for all of us who knew her. In my song, "Choose to Love" it begins with the line "Live today as though it were your last..." and Christie was a perfect example of that, always reaching out and being a wonderful child of God. Today, we pray for Christie's soul as she enters into her eternal glory and for Mike, her husband and Mike, her son whom we love so much. Thank you, Lord for the gift of knowing and loving this family. Shower them with your love today and always.
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