soul and body meet in faith, food, and fitness

Leave a comment

Praying off the storm

We could see the storm rolling into the valley where the two rivers met, where we’d made camp for the evening. With rain soaked ground everywhere it had been an ordeal to find the right spot to pitch a tent and we were moving a bit slower than the previous days of the hike.

Tents pitched and canteens refilled, we prepared for Mass on the Feast of the Assumption and saw the rain bearing down. Father Nathan paused before beginning to address us and invite us to pray the rain off and invoke the intercession of Our Lady to starve off the rain for enough time so we could have Mass.

There knelt 19 of us, young adults from around the US, journeying together through the wilds of the Scottish Highlands with two Priests and a Religious sister. And pray we did. Fervent prayer, imploring the Lord to hear us and turn the direction of the rain so we could bring Him glory and praise in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Continue reading


1 Comment

A jumble of thoughts from a stressful day

My mind was a jumble at the end of a day like yesterday—where meetings filled my head with what ifs and worries of what’s ahead.  My desire is for my most loved ones to be near and to de-stress with either a stiff drink or a long run. A long run has the power to reunite my head, sprinting ahead into the unknown, with my body here in the present moment. Yet thanks to prior plans, I found myself sitting in the chapel with my Lord. An Eagle Eye Ministries retreat is happening at the Holy Spirit Center this week and I’ve stopped over to see my friends in the ministry.  But before saying hello, I stop for a moment in the chapel, only to discover the retreatants are in the middle of their daily Holy Hour.  What a treat for me!
Adoring in the wilds of Scotland
The sense of peace and calm in the space of a Holy Hour with members from Eagle Eye Ministries and the Community of St. John is nearly palpable.  It is the same peace here in Cincinnati that I sensed in the Holy Hours while I traveled through the highlands of Scotland with Father Nathan Cromly last summer.  Despite being miles and miles from where I held that sense of interior silence, I catch a glimpse of it once more.  In fact, a run would be nice, but this, this adoration of Him is what can unite my body and soul in a way that a run never will achieve. I must run to You, Jesus.

1 Comment

Facing the Work

Made for Greatness

It’s the middle of winter, my friend, and I’m in a slump. I’ve been procrastinating, wasting time in a myriad of ways, being lazy, over-indulging, making excuses, avoiding big tasks. I thought the much needed vacation around the holidays would help me shake off this slumpiness.  Nope, didn’t help.

This morning I realized, at least in part, the heart of the issue.  I see the magnitude of the tasks before me and I stall. I freeze up.  I find any excuse under the sun as a reason not to start.  The big tasks I have before me – a busy season at work, growing SoulMeetsBody (and living consistently with the healthy lifestyle I put forth), pouring life into relationships, a massive volunteer project – they overwhelm me with the amount of work I see before me. 

As I reflected, nursing my morning Shakeology and cup of coffee, I remembered feeling the same way in Scotland.  As our group of backpackers was readying the campsite for our last night in civilization (ie: a campground – we’re talking the last flushing toilets for days, folks!), facing gnat-like midges and soaking rain for the first time that trip, I stalled. I froze. Continue reading


Pushing Physical Limits

I didn’t have much of a choice in my own mind. We were on day 4 of grueling hike through the Highlands and gotten to the base of the Sgurr nan Spainteach, one of the Five Sisters of Kintail mountains, and the thought of staying at base camp for the day simply wasn’t an option.

One in our group had been injured the day before and several of us were sore, achy, and tired from trekking through the pocked earth that is the Scottish Highlands (with 50 pounds of gear and provisions each, mind you).  So, our leader, Fathan Nathan Cromley and our guides decided we would make camp in the valley for a second night and leave everything but the essentials (water, food, emergency supplies) to hike to the summit.  That also meant if you weren’t feeling up to the challenge of a 3,000 foot hike, you could opt for a day of reflection with our Lord in the tabernacle in the beauty of the valley. Not a bad option in the least!

Valley by the Kintail Sisters

Spending a day here? Ok, twist my arm.

Continue reading