It was nine years ago today that I launched this blog. Although it looked very different when it started out and I posted much more frequently, the overall style and substance of Not Strictly Spiritual have remained the same. I have shared my struggles, my stories, my opinions, and quite a few recipes, covering everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Thank you to all of you who have visited this site over the years, especially those of you who come back time and again. Even if we have never met in person, you are special to me, and I am grateful.
I launched this blog on Jan. 24 because it was the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists and writers. This is a special day for me, not only because of my blog-iversary but because it’s my professional feast day, having worked in the Catholic press in one form or another for just about 33 years. (How did I get this old?!?)
In my very first blog post, I shared one of my favorite prayers, written by St. Francis de Sales. This one used to hang on the mirror in my bathroom as a daily reminder, and it has made it into at least one of my books, maybe more. I’ve lost track. Here it is again:
Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cares for you today
will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering,
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.
— St. Francis de Sales