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Ink Slingers JOURNEY Randi Series

Running – My Holy Hour

Running - My Holy Hour

My running has felt a little flat recently. I’ve been struggling to just feel decent on my runs let alone good. My legs feel heavy and stiff almost as if they are stuck. I can’t seem to get a good ryhthm with my breathing and I usually stop to walk after a mile. For some, this is just growing pains; the period of time where your body adjusts and adapts to the exercise. But for me, it seemed impossible that was the reason. I was at a loss and continued to push forward with early wake ups and hitting the streets for 3 or 4 miles, struggling the whole time. Nautrally, I was telling a friend how my running was terrible and she asked me:

Why are you still running?

Why not take a break?

And really they were great questions. Why didn’t I take a break? And the only answer I had was because I always feel better after a run. And it’s true. Even if the run is a struggle and I’m hating the process, I always feel good and accomplished after a run.

It was during this time that I listened to a podcast about how it’s okay to meet Jesus right where we are. In fact, He wants us to meet Him where we’re at. He doesn’t expect perfection, being spirtually alive, or even having clean hair. He just wants us to meet Him where we are. He wants us to encounter Him, not just go through the motions.

And it struck me, I’m meeting Jesus like this. Out there in the dark, alone in the silence, with a messy bun, running shoes, and all sweaty I’m meeting Jesus. I think that’s why I keep running. There’s something about encountering Jesus in the quiet of the mornings as I move my body. Sure I’m focused on my erratic breathing, my tight quads and my terrible pace, plus the humidity which isnt exactly the ideal thoughts for spending time with the Lord. But it does allow me to ponder. And until recently, I never realized that I do, in fact, ponder.

Although a Cradle Catholic, Mary has always seemed unrelatable to me. Her life as a faithful Jewish woman, wife, mother, cousin…well, for a perfectionist like me, has always seemed unattainable. Her spiritual life was marked with her noteably taking in struggles and challenges and pondering them. Her faith was unparalleled. I once read Mary described as a walking Tabernacle. I mean how can I become, let alone strive for that?! And I’ve also heard the night of Jesus’ birth referred to as the first Eucharistic Adoration…and of course Mary was present! And in some small way, running gives me time to ponder. To think, to process, and to encounter God. It gives me silence to pray, to ask for help, to have a spiritual commuinon with the Lord, so I, too, can become a walking (or running as the case may be) tabernacle. It centers my day on Him in adoration.

So I think that’s why I’ve woken up early and struggled through runs for months now; because running is my Holy Hour.

And even in the hard, I am better for it.

It’s my time to meet Jesus right where I am and draw nearer to Him.

Categories
Confession Ink Slingers JOURNEY Offering your suffering Prayer Randi Sacraments Series

Running Changed My View on Confession

JOURNEY-Finding Faith in Running | www.catholicsistas.com

Welcome to this installment in the series JOURNEY: FINDING FAITH IN RUNNING, a series focused on taking a candid look at life through the lens of a runner. But not just any running journey – one that focuses on marrying the run with the sacrifice that Christ made for us all.

How can we find Christ in the midst of an easy run? Or a grueling run? Or a run after weeks or months after an injury or a break due to life circumstances? Ink Slinger Randi (the Runner) will take us through her own journey of running, going back almost two full decades.

We know that pain and suffering have divine purpose. Perhaps you have been a runner for many years – or maybe you have just started taking up running. What better way to take that suffering and repurpose it for Christ. 


I have this particularly strong and clear image of Jesus. There’s the Cross – plain and simple made of wood with smooth edges, straight lines, and the grain of the wood is subtle. The Cross is just there. Suspended if you will. It’s not mounted or leaning against a wall, or even held up. And the Cross is huge. Gigantic. It stands hundreds of feet high; it’s so big that it has its own presence. Its vastness is felt. But instead of feeling fear, anxiety or uncertainty, I feel peace. I feel love, compassion, longing, and the need to be close to the Cross. And suspended in front of the Cross is the Resurrected Jesus. In a white robe, with no nails or blood stained hands, is the Son of God. And just as big as the Cross, Jesus is proportional – He is gigantic compared to me and my presence. His presence is known and felt not only in sight but in feeling. And I am drawn to Him. His hands are out stretched along the arms of the Cross, He ushers me to Him. And I feel loved, enveloped in compassion, grace, and a deep sincere feeling of wanting to be close to me fills me up. 

Before the Cross, I feel small, like a child. But instead of feeling insignificant, I feel dignified, seen, valued, and unconditionally loved. I feel wanted and worthy; I feel welcome. So, I kneel before the Cross, my legs behind me and my backside resting on my feet. The image takes a third person perspective at this point, and I see little me before Big Jesus and I am awestruck. I long to hug Him. To thank Him. To adore Him. To stare at Him. To reach out and hold His hand. And in return Jesus smiles and generally always says something like “Here I am my child.” 

This is the very image that came to me while running. And it was also on this run where I went to confession. Not literally of course, but in my mind I played out my confession to this giant cross with Jesus towering over me. And the image I saw next was that of fireworks. 

As the miles ticked by, my sins were sent up to Jesus on the Cross like a hot burning ember, and when it ascended to the heights of the Cross, they exploded into beautiful colors and patterns of fireworks. And just like fireworks, once exploded my sins extinguished into vast nothingness. One by one, my sins burst into beauty and vanished into nonexistence. And as I continued along this run, this sort of “Examen of Conscience run”, every sin I mentally ticked off, Jesus smiled, exploded my sin into a brilliance of colors and extinguished it into nothingness. No smoke. No lingering firework trails. No smell. It simply vanished into thin air. And it was then that the true meaning of in persona Christi was not only revealed to me but understood. It was during this run, that the beauty of confession took hold. It was during this run that God revealed to me, through this mental picture, that He is happy to receive my sins. And not only happy to receive them, but happy to explode them into oblivion. Into non-existence. And since God is beyond all time, my exploded sins are truly non-existent. They are neither past, present, or future. My sins simply no longer exist because of God’s grace. 

I don’t go to confession nearly as often as I’d like, but when I do, it’s always this image of the vast towering cross and Jesus that is before me as I kneel and rest back on my feet, confessing my sins and reconciling my relationship with Him. It is this image of fireworks exploding and receiving absolution draws me to this Sacrament. 

As July 4th draws near, this image is becoming more and more present in my thoughts lately. No doubt this is God’s handiwork – drawing me to Him, drawing me to Confession and all the Sacraments, so that I may be as closely united to Him as possible. So, while you’re out running, and your mind settles, your breath eases, and you reach that comfortable place where your pace is easy to maintain, I challenge you to consider your sins. Run through an examination of conscience and see what God is telling you. And think when we celebrated our nation’s independence this past 4th of July, consider the magic behind the exploding beauty of those fireworks. There was no trace of fireworks left. No aftermath, no evidence. When you walk out of the confessional, recall this – your sins are truly forgiven when you are truly contrite. Let the vastness, the towering cross of Jesus take those sins from you and explode them. Receive His grace and love and watch as your sins are transformed into nonexistence. For me, I ran a few miles this July 4th and remembered that Jesus already fought the battle for my sins and desires nothing more than for me to kneel before Him, desire to hug Him, and reach out to Him. 

Running Changed My View On Confession

Categories
Ink Slingers JOURNEY Offering your suffering Prayer Randi Series

Every Run Tells A Story

JOURNEY-Finding Faith in Running

Welcome to this installment in the series JOURNEY: FINDING FAITH IN RUNNING, a series focused on taking a candid look at life through the lens of a runner. But not just any running journey – one that focuses on marrying the run with the sacrifice that Christ made for us all.

How can we find Christ in the midst of an easy run? Or a grueling run? Or a run after weeks or months after an injury or a break due to life circumstances? Ink Slinger Randi (the Runner) will take us through her own journey of running, going back almost two full decades.

We know that pain and suffering have divine purpose. Perhaps you have been a runner for many years – or maybe you have just started taking up running. What better way to take that suffering and repurpose it for Christ. 


When I run I am grounded. I am stripped raw of all the worldly afflictions. I am exposed – bare, raw, and vulnerable. And all that is left is me. The truest purest form of me. I am rested. I am renewed. I am invigorated. To put it simply, my cup is full. And this allows me to love better. When I don’t work on myself, the hard nitty gritty crevices of my heart that go untended for days, weeks, or even months, I lose myself. I lose who I want to be, especially with others. I lose my focus on what is important. I lose my focus on kindness, love, and self-giving. So I run to work on me. To reflect, to clean house, to realign my heart to Jesus.

Saint John Paul II reminds us that to love, to fully love, we must lay down ourselves for another. Love is an act of self-giving. And we only need to look at the cross to fully understand the magnitude, the weight, of such love. We only need to look at the cross to see Christ IS love. This giving of oneself for another is exactly the hope we have in Christ’s Passion. What a gift! What a heavy, weighty, immense gift and responsibility to follow His teachings and align our lives with this true, pure self-giving love. To suffer and sacrifice for others, so that we may love them as Jesus loves us. It is powerful. It is transforming. And it is hard.  

So I run. I run to wash away the selfishness, the ego, my desires, my motivations, my greed, my anger, my bitterness, my resentment, and my frustrations. I run to cleanse myself and to kneel at the foot of the cross and say, “This Lord, all of this, all of my humanness, all of my sins are for you. I give these to you so that you may dwell in me, and I may dwell in you; and love as you love me.” Often times as the miles click by, and I’m only reminded of them by the silent vibration of my Garmin, this prayer is silent as well. It’s not quite as articulate or even really formed into words; but He knows it. He knows my heart and hears my prayer.

I am flawed and imperfect, but so immeasurably and unconditionally loved. All because Christ gave himself to save me. To save all of us! To cleanse us, to sanctify us, to make us new. To prepare us and lead us home with Him.

So I run and allow the sting of sweat in my eyes, the heavy inhale and exhale of my lungs, the strong steady beating of my heart, the aching muscles in my legs, and all my stirring thoughts to sanctify me; to kneel at the feet of Jesus and receive the love from the cross, so that I may be a beacon of His light and love others well.

Every Run Tells a Story

Categories
Ink Slingers JOURNEY Randi Series

He Calls Us to Journey with Him

JOURNEY-Finding Faith in Running | www.catholicsistas.com

Welcome to this installment in the series JOURNEY: FINDING FAITH IN RUNNING, a series focused on taking a candid look at life through the lens of a runner. But not just any running journey – one that focuses on marrying the run with the sacrifice that Christ made for us all.

How can we find Christ in the midst of an easy run? Or a grueling run? Or a run after weeks or months after an injury or a break due to life circumstances? Ink Slinger Randi (the Runner) will take us through her own journey of running, going back almost two full decades.

We know that pain and suffering have divine purpose. Perhaps you have been a runner for many years – or maybe you have just started taking up running. What better way to take that suffering and repurpose it for Christ. 


Jesus wants us to know Him. He desires our hearts. He desperately calls us to Him. He calls us near, always present, always working behind the scenes in our lives. I find it fascinating to look back on my life with this profound knowledge. Where was He when I was least expecting it? Where was He when I didn’t feel Him near? How did he answer my prayers? And as I look back, I am full of His Mercy and give praise – so much praise for His goodness.

I am a Cradle Catholic, but never fully understood my faith until most recently. I still shy away from the term “revert” because it just doesn’t seem to apply. I mean, after all, I’m a Cradle Catholic. I’ve ALWAYS been Catholic – I don’t know any different. And that led to my childhood being marked by attending Mass, participating in the Sacraments, and even Scripture to some extent, because after all, for a child it was all done by faith. It is this way because it’s always been this way.  And when you’re young and you trust your parents and trust the goodness of the Lord, this is sufficient. When you’re a child, you attend Mass every Sunday because we just do. But then I became a teen. And then a young adult where the expectation was for me to be fully responsible for living out my faith and for my own faith formation! I was desperately unaware and ill-prepared for this. So naturally, society and culture prevailed, and I fell away somewhat. I always had a deep-rooted love for Catholicism, the Sacraments and Mass, and even for Christ, but life has a way of throwing curve balls and decisions are made. Although nothing too profound or crazy happened, I look back on this time in my early adult life after graduating college, and starting my career, as a time of ambivalence. I believed. Full-heartedly. But lacked fully living out my faith. It became clear that the sufficient reasoning for a child, was no longer sufficient for a 24-year-old wife and mother. And life carried on. This was a time marked by not knowing Jesus well. I knew of Him. But I didn’t know Him.

And how does this tie into running? Because it came to me while I was running (no surprise there) that I am a revert. And for the first time, the term seemed appropriate. It fit, and I sat in it comfortably – full of peace. It all started with one question: why am I Catholic? And I knew then while sitting on the couch, that the childhood reasoning was no longer enough. And one book paved the way for me. One book answered all the “whys” I held onto for years, but struggled answering. One book changed me from apathetic to fully alive and hungry for Jesus. I craved Him. One book turned into dozens, which turned into liturgical living, which turned into deeper Mass participation, craving the Sacraments especially Confession, and opened my heart to a rich and active daily prayer life.

Remember how I said at the beginning of this post, that I like to reflect on my life so far and see how God has blessed me? How He has made himself known and worked in my life? Well, the one constant in my life is running. I started running when I was just a girl. And no matter how hard its been, or how many times I’ve taken a break from it, I keep coming back. Some would say it’s the endorphins or the fact that I can eat donuts and not care, but really God used that has an instrument for me to know Him.

Let me repeat that:

God uses running as an instrument for me to know Him! How incredible!

He allowed my passion to be a passion to discover Him!

We are all instruments for His purpose – we are not ornaments meant to be idle. Remember, He desires us! All of us! Our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls. He longs for all of us to be reunited with Him one day. And until that day, He allows us to know Him and to be near Him in so many wonderful ways! The similarities of knowing God and running were lost on me for years, but I like to think that somewhere my heart knew. Running is a communion of physical self, mental self, and emotional self just as we are in communion with Christ along with the angels and saints. So, it should come as no surprise that every time I run, I feel a deeper connection along my journey that is outside of me. And somewhere in the deep recesses of my soul, they collide – running and Jesus. Beautifully united as I diligently log miles and diligently pray. United as I continue along this journey of sanctification through running miles and receiving the Eucharist. United as I overcome fatigue with rest days and Adoration and thanksgiving. United as I grow stronger with strength training and my knowledge of Sacred Tradition and God’s Love. As I continue along this journey of achieving PRs and becoming a saint, I am intrinsically pulled into both as I continue along. I am experiencing the elation and delight in fully knowing Him! I am and will always be grateful for Him working on my heart and paving the way for my journey as a Catholic revert and as a runner.

He Calls Us to Journey with Him 2

Categories
Ink Slingers JOURNEY Lent Liturgical Year Offering your suffering Prayer Randi Series

Suffering in Running Brings us Closer to Christ

JOURNEY-Finding Faith in Running | www.catholicsistas.com

Welcome to this installment in the series Journey: Finding Faith in Running, a series focused on taking a candid look at life through the lens of a runner. But not just any running journey – one that focuses on marrying the run with the sacrifice that Christ made for us all.

How can we find Christ in the midst of an easy run? Or a grueling run? Or a run after weeks or months after an injury or a break due to life circumstances? Ink Slinger Randi (the Runner) will take us through her own journey of running, going back almost two full decades.

We know that pain and suffering have divine purpose. Perhaps you have been a runner for many years – or maybe you have just started taking up running. What better way to take that suffering and repurpose it for Christ. 


If you follow me on social media, or my website, it’s common knowledge that every year during winter I take a break from running. My body and my mental state fully embrace hibernation mode and my running becomes pretty much none existent. I enjoy quieter, and warming, mornings inside sipping coffee, reading, doing laundry and other wife and mom duties. Running takes a back seat on my priority list, and I use this time to rest and regroup. I love this time to just be. To just sit in the season of no running and more time for family. But every Spring, when the weather warms up, the greyness of Winter lifts, and the sun begins to shine, I crave being outside and running. And so, my running journey starts again, very slowly and painfully – both literally and figuratively. And every year, this coincides with Lent. I mean, this isn’t too surprising right? This is a total God Wink.

“Lent” means to “lengthen” to distinguish the longer days, but in Old English it also means “spring”. During Spring the days get longer, sunnier, warmer, birds begin to chirp, plants begin to grow, and flowers began to bloom. We are surrounded by new life. And in my own soul, a desire to start again, to begin a new, to bloom, echoes loudly leading me to lacing up my running shoes once again.

Like any journey, the start back to running after a long 2, 3, or even 4-month hibernation is not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s slow, sometimes painful as my legs adjust to the exertion and my body accommodates to early mornings again. It’s also frustrating as I am forced to focus on rebuilding my fitness, rather than being in racing shape. It’s a hard journey with lots of “hards.” It’s a test of determination, will, and perseverance. It’s downright humbling. And every time I think about my journey, I somehow come back full circle to Jesus’ ultimate journey.

Christ had a passionate journey that ultimately led to the world’s salvation.

Sit with that for a minute.

Jesus had a journey, that ultimately led to OUR, mine and yours, salvation. His suffering secured eternity for us. But not just eternity; eternity with Him. When I think about this, how Jesus – fully divine AND fully human – human like you and I, I am blown away. Humbled, loved, taken aback – all these words come to mind, but they all lack. They lack the weight, the magnitude, the intensity, the love in which Jesus willingly accepted His journey.

Do I accept my own journey with as much importance, selflessness, and love as Jesus did?

The beauty of the Church’s liturgical year is that every spring, every Lent, I am reminded of Christ’s passion and journey as I begin my own journey. I am forced to think, to ponder, to meditate, to pray on this. And similarly, our journey here on earth is for our own salvation, so that we may have eternal life with Him. What a powerful image! Christ journeyed through the Garden of Gethsemane, was scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, carried His cross, was nailed to the cross, and then in Calvary He returned to Paradise (Luke 23:43) for our salvation. For us.

What a journey He had. When I look at this I gain so much perspective surrounding my own journey. My suffering is not for naught. My suffering is not insignificant. My suffering unites me – human me – to God Himself. My suffering opens my body, mind, and soul to purification. My suffering carries me along a journey to eternity. My suffering through hard miles, atrophied muscles, and exhausted lungs unites me to Jesus’ journey that leads Him to saving me. When I carry the burden of training and getting comfortable with running once again, I am reminded that Jesus carried his own cross. And He fell. And fell again. And fell once more. He reminds me that it’s okay to fall. Its okay for it to be hard; the running, the wife-ing, the mom-ing, the just doing life. And in that hard, I can take refuge in His journey, in His sacrifice, in His love, because He made it alright again. I am humbled beyond words for Christ’s journey and sacrifice, and if anything, that deserves a few miles on tired, out of shape legs.

Suffering in Running Brings us Closer to Christ