Is the Catholic Chur...

Without a doubt, the articles I write which attract the most feedback (positive or negative) are always those that discuss sexual morality and the Catholic Church. Nothing seems to raise the emotions of people more than knowing that the Catholic Church has an opinion on sex. And while it may...

New Year’s Dre...

The shiftiness of college years does not always create the best circumstances for keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  Though I hardly ever pass up an opportunity to make a list, my typical resolutions seemed like they would only put more pressure on me in the midst of an already demanding...

3 Ways Families Can ...

The family is the domestic church. As a part of the larger Church, we too are called to evangelize. Yet often families do not feel like they have the time nor the energy to evangelize. However, there is an easy way to evangelize without leaving the comforts of home: invite a single friend over...

Passing On Motherhoo...

I’ve always loved my mom. It could be that hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t remember my teenage years being awful. My mom and I had our spats, but on the whole I think we got along fairly well. Even in college – halfway across the country – we’d have our tiffs, but...

Curiosity, Wonder, a...

In a short but provocative reflection, Prof. J. Budziszewski calls curiosity the enemy of wonder. In so doing, he is drawing a distinction between the desire for knowledge—itself a good thing—and the elevation of that desire to the highest good, one which can then seek fulfillment at all...

Our Friends: The Sai...

We have access to literally thousands of friends—at any time. No, I’m not talking about Facebook or any other online network; I’m talking about an eternal network of friends in high places. The saints are always available when we need to ask for intercession. The saints are like a big...

How to Keep New Year...

In case you hadn’t noticed, this week was the time of New Year’s resolutions. A tradition in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement that begins on New Year’s Day. The time when all the world is throwing advertisements for gyms and weight loss,...

Fr. Mike Schmitz, on...

This post is part of a monthly series on my blog, called PRIESTS & NUNS ARE COOL! in which I interview a priest or a nun about his or her vocation — and about how adults who haven’t discerned a vocation yet can discover their own. This edition features Fr. Mike Schmitz, the chaplain...

A Christian Outlook ...

In our family, we celebrate New Year’s Eve in a typical way – Midnight Mass, party at our the house of our paternal grandparents, fireworks, noisemaking, countdown at the stroke of 12, eating the traditional twelve grapes for every month of the year. Then, we interrupt the revelry to pray...

Clinging to Traditio...

This time of year is usually filled with traditions: both family traditions and liturgical traditions, which shape our experience of Christmas. Traditions serve a great purpose in our lives. We are creatures of habit, and circling back to favorite traditions year after year helps us focus on...

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 Beggar In Me

I’ll be honest, more often than not when I pass a homeless person or someone begging on the side of the road I give them nothing more than a smile. Maybe, just maybe, if I happen to have extra food in my car and the light doesn’t change, I’ll give them of my excess, but...

What’s Become ...

A reader of Ignitum Today requested an article that in some way addresses the question of what it means to be Catholic today, especially in terms of what that means about the beliefs we hold.  To get right to the point: if many people who identify as Catholics also hold beliefs that the...

A Wish-List from a P...

A parish priest from the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, is working to raise funds for one of the two parishes he staffs. Holy Rosary Parish has great financial need. With Father”s permission, I am re-posting his wish list here. There is no better time to give to such a worthy cause...

A Christmas Message Dec26

A Christmas Message

This season of Christmas we recall the powerful words of Scripture, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Christ became man to be with us and to experience life with us. He lived an authentic and real human life with all of its many aspects. I know during this time of year...

Enough

Here I am, finally sitting down to write this, write something, procrastinating once again (or just finally getting around to this, it’s a dice roll these days) and I just can’t think of anything to say. What is there to say? I hear my extremely overtired toddler scream from her...

Could you not stay a...

I love holy hours. In the last year or so they have become my favorite devotion, and I try to make a holy hour as often as I can. Over the last year I have been developing my routine for such holy hours, since I, alas, am a creature of routine. All humans are, to some extent. That is why we...

Tweeting While in th...

I was in the adoration chapel and I had an urge to tweet. I was so enthralled by Fr. Robert Barron’s eloquence on the life of St. Thomas Aquinas that I couldn’t hold it in. I just, couldn’t help myself, I HAD to project this moment of celestial clarity through the closest means digital...

What Begging for Mon...

$30,000. 3 days. We had 3 days to raise $30,000, and I had no idea how we would pull it off. It was my senior year at Franciscan University, and I was blessed to be co-leading a mission to Ecuador that is so near to my heart. Plane tickets were beyond expensive that year, and the cost for us...

Mary and the Love th...

Standing in line for confession recently, waiting to pour out to Christ all my mothering failures, I wondered for the hundredth time how the Blessed Mother did it. How did she raise a toddler without sinning? The constant demands of my children on my time, love, energies, and patience often...

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:...

The Power of Traditi...

My husband and I are currently navigating our way through our first holiday season as a married couple. Many life lessons learned, many tears of frustration shed, and I’m sure there will be more. There have also been many moments of joy, laughter, and peace, and I know there will be more of...

The Beauty of the Se...

“This season is not about all the stuff, this season is about a promise that what God says God will do, He will do. Even if He says I’m gonna send a Savior – and it takes 700 years for that promise to come true – God is gonna do what God says He’s gonna do, and...

Why I Got Married in...

I’ve been to some beautiful weddings in some ugly churches. Either the carpet was old, the tabernacle was weird, the lighting was off, or the vestibule smelled like moth balls. Sounds romantic, no? Having taught Theology to teenage girls for years, one of the first questions they ask...

To The Mothers In Ch...

Dear Moms who bring their kids to daily Mass, Church, adoration, and other church-ly activities, Thanks. Thanks for being an inspiration to women like me who are getting ready to start our own little screaming, crying, talk-whenever-they-want, make-all-kinds-of-bodily-noises brood. The fact...

Christmas – Wh...

The stores filled with Christmas items especially early this season, “Santa Baby” playing endlessly on the local radio station since late October. Christmas all around me and I am already getting tired of it. Yes, I sound like the famous character of Ebenezer Scrooge from A...

Does Contraception h...

I was recently invited to tour a new medical ship run by the international Christian relief organisation Youth With a Mission (YWAM). This particular ship, destined for work in Papua New Guinea (PNG), is larger and newer than their current vessel, and it will allow YWAM to increase their...

A Servant’s He...

Last night, my husband Will and I put our little daughter Grace to bed and had our first moments of alone time… barely, before Will had to leave to go to work until 7 a.m. I became a barnacle while he talked to me, and before I went downstairs to fix his dinner and coffee, I begged him...

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...

What’s Keeping You from Becoming a Saint? Dec10

What’s Keeping...

Bigger is always better. That’s the maxim of our culture. From our vehicles to our buildings, from our paychecks to our television screens, we are never satisfied with our possessions and want more, searching for meaning in a chaotic world. Even our heroes are the people who have made it...

Martyrdom, John F. K...

Martyrdom confounds the modern mind… and how could it not? Living in an age of religious skepticism and scientism, we “enlightened” Westerners are unable to speak the same language or see the same world as the martyr, who found himself or herself unable to abandon their God to...

Hope in Season

What does it mean to have hope? I keep returning to this question in my many musings. There are, in a sense, two mistakes which we often make about hope, namely that any optimist is a hopeful person and that no pessimist may be. A hopeful optimist is not a tautology, nor is a hopeful pessimist...

Jesus and Motherhood...

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get...

Sacred Silence

Silence is painful. It can be torturous. At times, we can’t even comprehend how to be silent. This society allows us to reach almost any piece of information we wish in a matter of seconds, and be connected to friends and family at all times. Silence, and pulling away from it all for...

An Open Letter to Pr...

Dear Fathers, In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis wrote, “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.” When I read this, I thought of all of you priests who spend hours in the...

From the Realms of G...

I imagine angels to be like responsible teenagers asked to babysit their toddler siblings. I’m sure that my own guardian angel is often exasperated with me, as tends to happen when babysitting mischievous toddlers. Sometimes the kids are adorable, and sometimes you have to lure the guinea...

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...

My Battle Against Hitler: A Review Dec01

My Battle Against Hi...

Even in the typically Catholic circles I find myself in most days, Dietrich von Hildebrand isn’t exactly a household name.  In fact, I only discovered his works by accident while doing some school work.  If you have never heard of this man, I encourage you to learn who he is from this...

Holding a Light in t...

Here in the United States, religious liberties are fast eroding Last night on the news, I saw a segment about public schools near me (Montgomery County, MD) removing all references to religious holidays from their school calendar. The story goes that Muslim families approached the school...