Author Archive: Julie Machado

Julie Machado is a 28-year-old Portuguese-American who grew up in California, but moved to Portugal for college and has been there ever since. She has a degree in Theology from the Catholic University of Lisbon, is currently teaching English and has special interest in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. She blogs at Marta, Julie e Maria.

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Minimalism

Minimalism

[ 4 ] March 4, AD 2015 |

Minimalism takes work and effort. It is an exercise of saying no to many things in order to focus on saying yes to the important ones. It is well worth it since minimalism also brings many benefits to both body and soul. Lent is a season for minimalism, both inside and out. We are invited […]

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Stay-At-Home-Moms are Warriors

Stay-At-Home-Moms are Warriors

[ 2 ] November 13, AD 2014 |

I am ever more convinced of this: mothers who stay at home with children, especially when it comes to large families, are brave. They put all their chickens in one basket and hope to be good at one thing only: raising well-formed little people. Getting other people to turn out how we’d like them to […]

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Celebrate Mediocrity

Celebrate Mediocrity

[ 0 ] September 17, AD 2014 |

It is a dog-eat-dog world out there. And I wonder, how much do we let this affect our spiritual lives? Every TV show from Biggest Loser to Master Chef is about competition, elimination and working hard toward the goal. Jesus also says “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48), so […]

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Natural Family Planning is Hard

Natural Family Planning is Hard

[ 3 ] August 20, AD 2014 |

Our bodies are complex, intricate mysterious things. They are not outer shells or machines that come with a user’s manual. There is a lot going on that we understand, and probably even more going on that we don’t understand. This really hit home for me with breastfeeding. A forewarning of “it’s not intuitive” turned into […]

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Look Really Cute and Eat All You Want

Look Really Cute and Eat All You Want

[ 3 ] June 25, AD 2014 |

Here are some of my tips for eating as much as you want and never worrying about weight… it’s all just added cuteness. Make sure your ingredients are all natural. I make sure mine are not processed, not artificial, straight from the source and unaltered. Nature knows best I say. Have food and drink always […]

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Just Food Is Not Enough!

Just Food Is Not Enough!

[ 1 ] May 28, AD 2014 |

Before my baby was born in April, I had carefully been reading and rereading Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby Book. It consists of several routines for feeding and sleeping from newborn to one year. I made little “cheat sheets” of printed out routines, ready to go and ready to follow. However, I started becoming […]

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Fast from Success

Fast from Success

[ 6 ] April 2, AD 2014 |

If I look deep, I find my inner self hooked up to a drip IV of success. I heard once at a summer retreat that we all look to the three “P”s to wrongly satisfy our inner desires and insecurities: power, prestige or popularity. It is natural to want good things for ourselves and loved […]

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Five Ideas for Lent

Five Ideas for Lent

[ 1 ] March 5, AD 2014 |

In case you are still needing some inspiration for Lent, here are some ideas you could find interesting. Lent isn’t only (or even mainly) about “doing things”, but I do think it’s good to plan and prepare such an important season.  1.     Crown of thorns I found the idea of a homemade crown of thorns […]

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Families Support Each Other

Families Support Each Other

[ 1 ] January 8, AD 2014 |

A man shared with me recently that at his swimming competitions when he was a little boy, he would watch his teammate embrace his coach at the end of competitions and think of his own father. Although his father never went to his swimming competitions (only his mother), the image of his teammate embracing his coach at […]

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Are You Scared of the Synod?

Are You Scared of the Synod?

[ 5 ] November 13, AD 2013 |

At least in Portugal, news of the preparatory document for the Synod of Bishops in October 2014 on the topic family arrived on mainstream radio stations as:  “The Pope is asking Catholics what they think of topics such as homosexuality and divorce.” “The Church will have a Synod to reevaluate its position on topics such […]

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To Kneel or Not to Kneel?

To Kneel or Not to Kneel?

[ 16 ] October 16, AD 2013 |

                To receive Communion… that is the question. I was recently confronted about this, at a parish I will be teaching religious education through my job this year. At this parish, all children are made to kneel in order to receive Communion. When the explanation behind this was […]

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Don’t Plan a Perfect Wedding

Don’t Plan a Perfect Wedding

[ 2 ] September 18, AD 2013 |

Planning a wedding is a lot of pressure. Everyone you know is invited, it’s (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event and it’s the most formal occasion of your life. That in itself can make any bride or groom a little antsy. Yet more than that,  in the modern world, it is a life goal that is right up […]

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The True Presents of Christmas

The True Presents of Christmas

[ 3 ] December 26, AD 2012 |

Isn’t it sad that it is Jesus’ birthday and everyone gets presents except for him? That’s what the priest said at a mass for children at the school I work at. So I didn’t feel as bad when I didn’t have presents to give to my family members and friends at Christmas (a combination of […]

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How to Host a Catholic Party

How to Host a Catholic Party

[ 5 ] December 12, AD 2012 |

Some of the fondest memories I have of this year are the dinner parties I hosted at my house on liturgical feast days. They are memories of friendship, laughter, communion and a full heart. I thought I had come up with this wonderful idea of hosting saint day parties on my own, until I discovered […]

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The Government Is Not Our Father

The Government Is Not Our Father

[ 2 ] November 14, AD 2012 |

Living in Europe (and more specifically, Portugal) has been tough in terms of politics lately. I would venture to say even tougher than in America, even with this thorny election. Today is another day in many recently when Portugal is on strike or protesting in the streets. Today is a “general strike” when all are […]

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Faith Manifesto

Faith Manifesto

[ 0 ] October 17, AD 2012 |

This month marks the beginning of the Year of Faith. It has gotten me thinking; do I really have faith? If I lived at the time of Jesus, would I really touch Him? Approach Him and talk to Him with faith? I came across an interesting footnote to Luke 23:6-12 (The New American Bible, 1987), […]

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The Effects of the Rosary

The Effects of the Rosary

[ 9 ] September 19, AD 2012 |

Why do people pray the rosary: to obtain special graces? to connect with God? as Christian meditation? in reparation for one’s sins and the sins of others? for world peace? The rosary is very mysterious and so are the effects of praying the rosary. How is it that by saying certain prayers while thinking about […]

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How to Love a Mass Murderer

How to Love a Mass Murderer

[ 6 ] August 22, AD 2012 |

There were a few words, often repeated in the news coverage of the recent Colorado shooting by James Holmes, which stood out to me like red signal lights: “loner who said little and was easily forgotten”, “kept to himself” and “didn’t seem to have many friends.”

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The Loneliness of Singlehood

The Loneliness of Singlehood

[ 14 ] July 25, AD 2012 |

“You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see” Mother Teresa profoundly remarks in this video (at about 2:20). She explains that, “Material poverty you can always satisfy with material. The unwanted, the unloved, the uncared, the forgotten, the lonely: this is much greater poverty” (at 4:15). There are many that […]

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Sexuality and Marriage in Islam and Catholicism

Sexuality and Marriage in Islam and Catholicism

[ 10 ] June 27, AD 2012 |

I had the privilege of meeting a Saudi Arabian who was traveling throughout Portugal a few weeks ago and it was an eye-opening experience. I spend most of my time lamenting over the cultural differences between Portugal and the US, but after learning about the Middle East I realized that Europe and North America are […]

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Widowhood: Dating for Eternity

Widowhood: Dating for Eternity

[ 21 ] May 30, AD 2012 |

Widows have always been a group of people that tug on my heartstrings. What is more tragic than a young husband or wife with small children who becomes a widow? Even an elderly person who wistfully talks about their deceased spouse seems condemned to a particularly cruel and fruitless existence. Elderly couples are endearing, but […]

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The Death Penalty, Cowboy Culture and G.K. Chesterton

The Death Penalty, Cowboy Culture and G.K. Chesterton

[ 8 ] May 2, AD 2012 |

I sometimes sing Toby Keith’s song “Beer For My Horses”  to get on my sister’s nerves: “Grand pappy told my pappy back in my day son A man had to answer for the wicked that he’d done Take all the rope in Texas find a tall oak tree Round up all of them bad boys, […]

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Is Being Single a Failure?

Is Being Single a Failure?

[ 8 ] April 4, AD 2012 |

A wise friend once asked me, “Do you want to marry him or do you just want to get married in general?” Am I really responding to what God asks of me and who He places in my life, or am I grasping with my own strength, trying to achieve a picture-perfect dream that I […]

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Integration: The Object of a Catholic Education

Integration: The Object of a Catholic Education

[ 3 ] March 7, AD 2012 |

     When I decided to study abroad at a European Catholic university, some American Catholics that I knew reacted negatively, saying that most of these universities were “out of line with Rome”. At the time, I didn’t know much about being “in line” our “out of line” with Rome and it was other factors that […]

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HHS and a Revolutionary Church

HHS and a Revolutionary Church

[ 2 ] February 8, AD 2012 |

Accompanying the HHS Mandate uprising and uproar from afar has not only brought me hope but also more admiration for the Church. About 90% of Catholic women use some form of contraception, it’s true. I suspect that in Europe (and Portugal, where I live) this number might even be higher. We may or may not […]

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Femininity and Nurturing

Femininity and Nurturing

[ 5 ] January 11, AD 2012 |

There is this emotion that every now and then swells up in me and the only word I can think of to describe it is “maternal”. I’m not a mother, but this feeling has come up very often. It happened the other day when I was teaching an English (ESL) class and I noticed a […]

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