Lent, Suffering, and...

Lent causes suffering. The small (perhaps large to us) sacrifices that we make are meant to bring us closer to the cross. They are meant to bring us to greater reliance on Jesus instead of whatever it is we’ve chosen to give up. We can also “offer up” our myriad annoyances and...

Patience in the Dese...

For forty days Christ suffered in the desert, fasting and depriving Himself of comfort, choosing to undergo hardship and temptation for the sake of teaching us the importance of fortitude, penance, and trust in God alone.  Christ made Himself uncomfortable to show us the importance of doing...

Why Do We Pray, Fast...

This is a lesson for which I will be forever in debt to Dr. Brant Pitre.  He taught it to me, and I’m passing it on.  But I have to say up front that if you enjoy this post, check out his presentation on it here.  It is amazing stuff! Lent is a fantastic spiritual opportunity for...

When Waiting is Real...

In reaction to the increasing physical immorality spreading through society today, and in an attempt to counter the message  constantly being sold through advertising, movies, music, and even best-selling books that says sexual intimacy is not only okay, but expected, outside of marriage,...

Jesus Expelled

[An exegesis and reflection on Mark 1:40-45] In the readings this week we may consider the primary themes that of ‘expulsion’ and ‘re-entry.’ A man, in Leviticus, when he was declared unclean by the priest or by the community was expelled for the safety of the whole. He...

Death of Beauraing Visionary Renews Message of Apparition Feb17

Death of Beauraing V...

The last living visionary from Beauraing, Belgium died on February 10, 2015. I was not surprised Gilberte Degeimbre’s death elicited no coverage in the United States by Catholic writers or Marian enthusiasts. The thirty-three apparitions of Our Lady to five children in Beauraing are...

When Praying for a Stranger Feb04

When Praying for a S...

Have you caught word of the powerful call to #prayforpaul over the last few weeks? I personally never actually met Paul Coakley, in all words he was a stranger to me, until I began to join thousands of others who were praying for a miracle for Paul and his family. I heard about him through a...

Spiritual Antibodies

“And hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” —Mark 2:17 When I was three years old, I had a terrible case of the chicken pox. So terrible, in fact, that my...

Help Mary in Her Mis...

Fr. Emil Neubert, SM, one of my favorite Mariologists, wrote many books on Mary including Mary and the Priestly Ministry and My Ideal, Jesus, Son of Mary. Recently, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, through their publishing house, Academy of the Immaculata, have renewed interest in Father...

Don’t Cry Over Spilt...

Arriving home from grocery shopping one afternoon, I sensed an imminent meltdown from my 9 month old son. He was overtired and still upset that I did not let him grab and chew on all of the exciting things he could see in the grocery store. I surveyed the heap of grocery bags in my trunk and...

5 Ways to Pray the R...

We all know about the spiritual fruit that comes from praying the rosary. Throughout the centuries, the popes have encouraged, even insisted upon the regular recitation of the rosary. Our Lady, in her apparitions, requested the praying of the rosary, and our priests and religious lead by their...

7 Spiritual New Year...

I think most Catholics in the world would love to grow in their relationship with Jesus. People have a genuine desire to grow in holiness, even if they are not able to articulate their desires for it. On New Year ’s Day many people re-evaluate their lives. They examine how their lives were...

The Worlds of Differ...

When it comes to revising old hymn texts, I am typically a curmudgeon. I find excision as it is usually practiced a patronizing exercise in turning gorgeous old texts into meaningless drivel that avoids supposedly difficult or archaic words. Such excision includes but is not limited to:...

Helpful Advent Links

Advent is my favorite liturgical season. I become extremely excited when Advent is coming, and love observing it by wearing my purple “Advent scarves,” painting my nails to mirror the Advent wreath, and putting up my La Posada statue in my room. Unfortunately, during my first year of...

A Marian Heart

The other day my spiritual director challenged me to better emulate the heart of Mary in word and deed. As a person who claims to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin, I must admit, there are times my actions do not reflect my belief. From his simple, yet challenging comment, I realized my...

A Simple ‘Yes&...

I like to watch things grow. Three pine trees were planted in my front yard when I was a little girl. They were so small we could jump over them. Throughout the years I would watch them grow. They became too tall to jump over. Then taller than my brother. Now they are as tall as the...

The Suffering Questi...

The first time I went to Europe came about when my essay was chosen to receive a mostly paid pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome.  $800 out of my pocket was all it took for me to embark on a once in a lifetime pilgrimage experience. Since then I have always looked back with such fond memories of...

Watch and Pray- Prep...

The Taize Community of France, known for their rhythmic hymns, which encourage contemplation on lines from scripture, has a beautiful chant paraphrasing from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden before his arrest.  They hymn repeats: “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray,...

The Loss of the Orph...

I have been living in fear. I have been fearful that God will take away the things I love – my children, my husband, family – if I trust in Him wholeheartedly. Logically, it makes sense concerning my history. In the past ten years I’ve lost my mom, left my home, left my new...

Joyful Mysteries and...

I have always experienced the Rosary and its fruits as independent items, that is, when I meditate on the carrying of the Cross, I grow in the fruit of patience by exploring how patience corresponds to the act. I then move on to the Crucifixion and grow in fortitude as I contemplate His...

Crawling to Heaven

If studying the saints has taught me anything, it is that there are many ways to travel the narrow road to Heaven.  While some lived shorter lives which were filled with spiritual difficulties, but ultimately ended early and sweetly, others suffered great pains and tortures to their bodies...

Characters of Cana

With the month of October underway, the Catholic world has commenced the Month of the Rosary. During this month, Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary more often and meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life.  In 2002, Pope John Paul II gave the faithful a fourth set of...

It’s OK to be ...

There is a growing nemesis in the world today: Boredom. I’m bored, accompanied by a pathetic sigh, is something every parent, teacher, minister, or anyone, really, hates to hear. Boredom has inspired toy designers to figure out ways to occupy children, advertisers to write perfectly,...

The Cry of the Poor

Warning: This article deals with infant death and parent grief. Recently Travis and I found ourselves at the hospital at the orthopedic surgeon’s office again. This time with a two day old baby whose left foot was twisted and deformed and needed to be set in a plaster cast. While there...

Now, Make Your Act o...

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly resolve, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ...

I wonder… Sep02

I wonder…

I wonder if Mary had seen angels before the Annunication. She was troubled by Gabriel’s words but nothing is mentioned about just being in the angel’s presence. Was she already used to being with angels? I wonder what other great things God has done for Mary. In her Magnificat, she says...

Reconsider the Chape...

Over the summer my dear friend and roommate put together a gorgeous video about why many Catholic women are returning to the old custom of wearing a chapel veil to Mass.  I personally started wearing a veil in high school, and often thank the Lord that He lead me to do so.  I highly...

The Expectant Couple...

As my wife and I await the arrival of our second child, our first daughter, we have been filled with many similar emotions and feelings that stirred within us during our first pregnancy. In May 2012, we found out we were expecting our son, Noah, who was born in January of 2013. As I reflect on...

God Only Helps Whom?

Have you ever heard the story of the man who prayed that God would save him in a flood?  He stood on top of his roof, praying that God would save him.  Three different rescue teams tried, and when each asked if he was okay and offered to bring him to safety, he turned them down, declaring...

In Iraq, Little Chur...

Writing in the 2nd century, Tertullian once famously said that the blood of martyrs if the seed of the Church. If this is true, then the consequences of this are even more acutely felt today in the 20th century, where . Earlier in June of this year, on the Feast of the First Roman martyrs,...

St. Anne Novena

I’m going to let you in on a secret. When you type words into a search engine and then click on a link, the owner of that link (blog, ecommerce site, etc.) can see the words in the search that led you to their blog. For instance here are some screen shots from...

Sacred Heart, Change...

Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feast was requested in reparation for the ingratitude for the sacrifice that Christ made for us. This feast day also means we can eat meat today (Canon 1251), which is another reason to rejoice. I have a special devotion to the Sacred...

Do You Know Your She...

Devout Catholics seek to learn more about God through various avenues, such as prayers, songs, spiritual reading, discussions, talks etc. Yet sometimes we forget that the study of our faith should lead us to an encounter with Christ. Last week my friend and I were reminded of this when we...

The One Thing You Ne...

It’s not over. Earlier this week the Sheen Foundation shared a press release stating that “the seven-member theological commission who advise the Congregation of the Causes of Saints at the Vatican unanimously agreed that a reported miracle should be attributed to the intercession...

When the Joy of Fait...

In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ....

Joan of Arc: Model o...

In our glorification of Joan’s work and martyrdom, I believe it becomes a temptation to gloss over the Joan of Arc who was tried before being burned at the stake. The Joan who was taken to trial is the Joan we should – and can – aspire to be, because the Joan at trial was incredibly human.

What Happens When We...

Since becoming mobile, my one-year-old son has developed a rather terrifying habit of climbing up and diving off anything he can get a leg up on. Of course, I’m always right there to catch him before he face-plants in to the carpet, in which he repays me with heart melting laughter and a...

Don’t bury St....

My husband and I recently sold our home after several months of it being on the market. In the process there were a lot of people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who asked if we were going to bury a statue of St. Joseph in our yard. Simple answer: no. Now, I don’t want to mislead you:...

Experiences of the Rosary Apr27

Experiences of the R...

The rosary primarily is a personal prayer which comprises the devotional life of the Church and is not a liturgical prayer. The people of God oftentimes pray the rosary collectively in many different forums, be it before Mass, after Mass, at the funeral home, in a meeting room, or perhaps in...

Without

On Holy Saturday night, I met a woman whose son has a disorder on the autism spectrum known as Sensory Processing Disorder. As she explained it to me, this amounts to an inability to tune out any information coming in by the senses, making focused functioning in anything but extremely tranquil...