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Feed your fears and your faith will starve,
Feed your faith and your fears will.

- Max Lucado

November 21, 2012                        

And so it begins, the holiday season is upon us. Thoughts of all that needs to be accomplished, cooking, gifts (BTW The Miracle Chase makes for a great girlfriend or hostess present), travel, work - the list goes on - can be overwhelming. On this special Thanksgiving holiday, we hope each of you can take a moment to breathe deeply and think about those who have touched your lives in special ways. Whether celebrating with family, friends or on your own, we hope each of us can experience the satisfaction of feeling an appreciation of others. This month Joan shares with us her own love of the Thanksgiving holiday and her new sense of compassion, recognizing the importance of allowing it to begin at her own doorstep.  

            We want you to know how much your notes and kind words mean to us and we give thanks that you welcome us into your lives each month through this newsletter. 

Happy Thanksgiving.   

Joan, Katie and Meb

            Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – maybe it’s the food, maybe because some years it falls on my birthday, or maybe it’s just because Thanksgiving seems to have less pretense than many other holidays. It’s a time for reflection, a time to express gratitude, which means taking the time to think about all that we are grateful for. Over the past several weeks I have done a lot of traveling for Miracle Chase talks with women at my alma mater, Boston College, and these meetings have become a part of me. Not only have I met some amazing and wonderful people; in the seeds of compassion and understanding that have been sown at these encounters, I know I have had glimpses witnessing the divine. When someone shares a story of loss, others offer support; as someone questions the validity of certain experiences, others provide understanding and intuition; and as some look for resources to help overcome their issues, others step up. Compassion calls us to respond.  It is a responsibility and a demanding mistress - there is no end to when enough is enough! How to be compassionate and maintain one’s sanity takes practice as well as courage – and, as I am learning, it also takes faith. 

            According to Karen Armstrong, former nun and current religious guru, it is compassion that brings us into the presence of the divine. I think this is what faith is - recognizing the face of the divine in each one of us. If Oprah can have things that she knows to be true, so can all of us, and the one thing I know for sure is the human heartedness that Confucius spoke of, the great commandment of Christ, and the notion of Augustine that scripture should be governed by principles of charity are all about compassion for others. One of our favorite quotes in The Miracle Chase is from Willa Cather, “Where there is great love, there are always miracles…” At its core, love begins with compassion, a virtue in big demand today.  

            As I write, several big things are happening: clean up post-Superstorm Sandy on the east coast where I caught the last plane out of Boston before the storm hit, the elections are finally decided and for people I care about lots of changes will result, some good, some less so, and in the Middle East the stakes have been raised to a new level. Faith is believing in our fellow man that neighborhoods will be rebuilt, lives and livelihoods can be reestablished, our nation can move on to rediscover its greatness and our capacity to do well for one another can thrive while living in peace.  While world events challenge us, I have found that, like charity, compassion begins at home. Two months ago when my youngest child walked away from his college choice after only 5 days, I wondered whether it was somehow my fault for not recognizing the signs of discomfort and the winds of change earlier. The reality of his college choice to a remote and pristine town was different than it looked on paper. My faith was tested as I had to face a multitude of new fears: what would happen next, would he be ok, make the right decisions, and be safe? Initially these fears and my disappointment overwhelmed me, but over time my faith in both of us has grown stronger.  I am a good parent and he is a good son. The less I have been afraid the more compassionate and understanding I can be, not only for him but for me as well.

            As former hotel CEO Chip Conley suggests, “…faith is something beyond ourselves that creates a sense of compassion in the universe.” Compassion binds us together; it makes great things happen by underscoring our humanness and connection.  This growing sense of compassion in the universe is a gift I think is certainly worth sharing and celebrating this Thanksgiving. (Joan)

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Upcoming Events

Santa Clara University
Alumni Association

Santa Clara, CA
Luncheon Presentation
February 23rd

Avon Public Library
Avon, CT
Area Book Club Discussion
Winter, 2013

Council for Women
of Boston College

Washington, DC
Spring, 2013

Thank you to the Council of
Women of Boston College
we love chasing miracles with
you. The groups in SF, LA,
Pittsburgh and Chicago have
been fantastic and we look
forward to sharing additional
events with you.

F  acetime and Skype have nothing
on us! What a wonderful venue for
sharing conversation and connecting
over miracles. Thank you to the
wonderful women in the Las Vegas
book clubs who have invited us in
to their homes and their lives. 
It has transformed and rewarded
all of us. Please let us know if you
would like us to virtually visit
your book group!

We have been enjoying scheduling
events surrounding the recent
release of the paperback version
of The Miracle Chase.
If you have any suggestions for
venues where we can continue
the miracle discussion, please
contact us.

Thank you to the Portland Book Review

and the PrayersWork blog

for featuring The Miracle Chase
with such inspirational reviews.

Thank you to Christ Episcopal Church
in Denver and the public libraries
in East Hampton, NY, Naperville, IL
and Simsbury, CT for liking
The Miracle Chase on
Facebook and recommending it to
readers and book clubs.

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are available at 

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Joan, Katie and Meb
co-authors of The Miracle Chase
It's About Faith
"I want to believe, to have faith, to know that 'every sort of thing will be all right.'"