Time to render your spiritual soil...
A friend's reminder that we need not fear.
My education in psychology ignored the most important part of the human being. The eternal part. Here is a book that delves into the WHOLE human and how we love.
"But the Knights remained at their post. For that is what Knights do...continually protect the Kingdom they love."
Always treat your soul with the same caution you treat your body during the pandemic.
When we were little, my dad gave us a chance to earn money around Christmas time so that we could buy gifts for others. He called them "Christmas Bucks" and even drew out little dollar bills with funny little pictures on them, cut them out in the shape of monopoly money, and gave them to … Continue reading Care-isms
Lots of people say Grammy (my mom) is like Mary Poppins, or Auntie Mame, but to her daughters she is more like the guy running the roller coaster ride at the park who loves to say "Buckle up!" and watch as your face takes on a look that lands somewhere between terror and excitement, with … Continue reading Grammy Gabs
The other day, after a deluge of personal bad news (even after the bad News on TV and in the media), my heart was moved to pity when my husband asked for maybe the 10th time that day “What’s wrong?” With anxiety raining down around us, I confess I have deeper lines in my forehead … Continue reading Ask Yourself…
This week's prayer group called us to focus on those who have been entrusted to our care, and the case of a selfless young woman.
What do hiccups and holiness have in common?
Why it's okay to be weak this week.
A text popped up on my phone the other night, "Jesus, I trust in you." One of my bestie's pics popped up with her name. "Everything ok?" I texted back. The response was not surprising, that anxieties are mounting. Sometimes, all we can do is muster a short act of faith like one prayer St. … Continue reading How to Increase Our Trust in Times of Desperation
Why our fragile freedom means every moment is a new moral question.
A powerful devotion that can be effectively combined with one you may already be praying.
It's Boscoworld's Patron Saint Day! "Do not ever forget these three things: devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, devotion to Mary Help of Christians, and devotion to (always be in support and come to the defense of) the Holy Father!" This year, for Boscoworld's feast day, I want to focus on the last directives that St. … Continue reading Three Important Things St. John Bosco Told Us Before He Died
Upon visiting the Shrine at Knock last fall, I was blessed with the mystical image of the chapel.
The House By The Side of The Road
Today begins the O Antiphons...join me in rejoicing in these ancient titles of Our God!
When you really love a soul and feel the joy sublime You never really feel the heavy weight of time You only feel the rush of days that hurry past your heart The spending of the moment like a spinning whirring dart Whether parent, friend or child, you always know the truth That loving costs … Continue reading The Weightlessness of Time
On a beautiful early autumn afternoon I jumped into my car, on to the next errand. I shut the door and suddently heard a sound that was similar to a bag of gravel dumping out in the back of my car. I looked into the rear view mirror and suddenly I realized there was no … Continue reading A Million Tiny Pieces
Stand at the brow of the hill...what will you see?
Con (with ) Soul (Invaluable individual spirit)...walking with someone without trying to "fix" them. That is to console...
I was having a conversation with a friend today about our shared sadness for our hurting world. Neither of us felt we knew what to do, "but," she stated, "I know the answer is Jesus." Shortly after, this little slip of paper fell onto the counter from a little pile of papers I hadn't touched … Continue reading If My People Who are Called
By: Megan Naumovski If you look up synonyms for PANDEMIC, you find at least 40 different words of which only a small handful seem at all connotative …Why the Rosary is the Spiritual Vaccine for the Pandemic
By meg God is restoring something in you during these days of change...what is it? I decided to write a love letter to God, thanking Him for these challenging times. I will review it in six months and see what I am leaning about my relationship with God, myself and others. Dear Heavenly Father; these … Continue reading A Pandemic Love Letter
“Turn me inside out”…”This is the meaning of true love; to give until it hurts.” St Teresa of Calcutta.
Surely it is foolishness
That to be fulfilled
I must empty myself
That to be esteemed
I must humbly serve others
That to taste the nectar of freedom
I must be wholly obedient
So it is for those who are perishing
The wise see the Cross as folly
But believers see His saving power
So shred my worldly wisdom
Do not cast me aside
Turn me inside out
So to live in Your Truth
Ash Wednesday may be the beginning of a season of penance and fasting in the church, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have joy! In the end, no matter how we choose to go about prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we must every day take stock of the tremendous blessings we have been giving by … Continue reading Get Your Ash On
SPIRITUALDIRECTION- explores Catholic spiritual direction advice and how a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human being based on the wisdom's of the Bible, Church and the saints and angels. — Read on spiritualdirection.com/2020/02/24/the-vice-of-acedia-and-our-use-of-the-media-part-1
O Come Emmanuel!! The Birth of Jesus. In those days a decree went out from Caesar August us that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to … Continue reading The Last Antiphon
My brother-in-law makes these beautiful nativity scenes out of old mint tins. None of them are the same. Each has a unique posturing of the Holy Family. The tiny gestures of hands, tilted heads, and open arms all pray in me a most profound peace and worship of the newborn King.
Day 4 of the O Antiphons
God is the giver of the law; let us revisit these laws of the Ten Commandments today. Instructions for living a life that pleases God...right at our fingertips.
Dear Pope Francis, God bless you and your priesthood, dear Holy Father. For it is in this mysterious gift the papacy rests in your hands, stirs in your heart, and witnesses with your life. Providence has brought you to us. I am always grateful for Providence. I am a spiritual daughter of St. Mother Theodore… via … Continue reading A Letter of Support and Hopefulness to Pope Francis — The Simple Catholic
Sitting at the booth next to me at the annual Christmas Bazaar, we engaged in warm and friendly chatter. He and she had grandchildren that were in my kids' grades and the kids were all friends. I would see them when I worked in the parish office at the front desk, as they were active … Continue reading Mr Tom’s Gift of Transportation
What I am, My Church Will Be: An Examination of Conscience for the Laity https://thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/11/21/universal-call-to-holiness/ — Read on thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/11/21/universal-call-to-holiness/
Sometimes it only takes a word of hope to help someone else. And sometimes, an image of hope and love can speak a thousand...
Here in Music City, we get over 14 million visitors a year, many of which hope to grab that coveted ticket to the Bluebird, drink a beer at Tootsie's, or walk the hallowed halls of The Ryman. Ironically, questions about visiting these places often rank second to the all-time number one question we get from … Continue reading Three Virtues I have Learned From Ohio State Fans
By Kristine Bruce, founder of "Praying for Our Prodigals" When thinking about my kids who are away from the church, my “prodigals”, I so want to wake them up to the urgency of getting back into the fold of faith. I know many parents feel this pressing desire. I often feel so burdened not only … Continue reading These Words From Mother Teresa Will Give You Hope
Zacchaeus, which means "clean, pure" in Hebrew, may not have seemed to be aptly named to those who knew him. He was a small man with big greed; like most tax collectors during the time of Christ, he was most likely despised for extorting money from people thereby making himself a wealthy man. Choosing physical … Continue reading Three Worthy Reactions from the Man in the Tree
I realized later that I was saying good-bye to a part of myself that had been "free" to spend my time as I pleased, but moreover, I was grieving the time I had wasted by spending it on things that didn't matter at all.Dear Christine, Congratulations on having your first baby! It is such an … Continue reading Dear Christine…
There is a place in our being, in the spiritual realm of our humanity, where our conscience collides with our expectations. It is a place where the light coming into our hearts, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, shows us the highest standard of what God has in mind for our lives. It isn't a clear … Continue reading My Weakness Is His Strength
An chapel outpouring for the ones who think they can't, they aren't or they won't.
The chasm that separates Heaven and the Netherworld as described in today's gospel is not the same as the one that is lessened on this battlefield of good and evil The civil war within ourselves must be waged every day. Put on your armor.
Prodigal: characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure; lavish Eyelids drooping Wednesday night, I read the next day's gospel in the book "The Better Part" by Father John Bartunek LC, our group's chosen read this year. The word for the next day's gospel that jumped out at me was LAVISH. Describing how God wants to pour … Continue reading The Lavishing
When we were little kids, my dad used to sing us a bedtime song. He would pull out his guitar and sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" and we thought he was a rock star. As I became a teenager, he would remind me it was time to get to bed and I would instead find … Continue reading The Obedient Override
Why would someone take the hard way around in life? Why would anyone scrape through brambles and climb hills where there is little path and a narrow gate, when there is a wide, paved open road before them? One would assume that the right thing to do is take the easy road. Often a rule … Continue reading A Moral Litmus Test
Back to school week for most of us means back to business, including meeting to Encounter Christ in the upcoming Sunday gospel together as a group. Usually one of our well-attended gatherings, we were happy there were a few more than normal in attendance for digesting the challenging nature of this gospel passage. Christ explains … Continue reading Peace and Division
Sometimes, I have to treat myself like my own child.
...the spiritual journey for the Catholic-Christian is composed of three steps being the interior, religious, and spiritual.
2019 Draft Picks From a Late August Dream Team https://thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/08/08/2019-draft-picks-from-a-late-august-dream-team/ — Read on thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/08/08/2019-draft-picks-from-a-late-august-dream-team/ Thanks @thesimplecatholic.blog for the fun collaboration!
Everyone matters in this world. Even the Scientific dogs.
One of the first things I did when I got my own place as a young adult was throw a big theme-party. I love party-planning and making people feel special with little details and creative decor, so I rented the club house, picked up some dry-ice and colored light bulbs, and sent out invites for … Continue reading Blessed by Balloons?
Spend five minutes today right here...
Born on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, this youngest child of ten came with a special promise.
When my children were little, we would have what was called a "Book Picnic". Sometimes we would read together in an elaborate "fort" made from kitchen chairs, couch cushions and blankets. Sometimes we would pile all the blankets and pillows on the floor and lay on our tummies together reading our favorite books. My personal … Continue reading Bedtime Stories
Scientific Evidence of the Body and Blood of Christ.
This week's "soul lesson" is brought to you by many revelations through person experiences and conversations over the past week. I encapsulate what I believe I am supposed to have learned.
"The measure of love is to love without measure..." The latest "soul lesson" for me can be encapsulated best by these cute measuring spoons received as the parting gift at a friend's bridal shower, aptly called "The Measure of Love". I have heard both St Augustine of Hippo and St Francis of Assisi credited with … Continue reading The Measure of Love
These past few weeks have been busy with a college and a high school graduation in our family. It's been filled with family visits, and missing those who couldn't traverse the ups and downs of the hills of life (and route 65) to be with us during this momentous month. Along with my kids earning … Continue reading Graduating: Cat-Screeching 101
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. --Romans 8:28 While juggling graduations, women's retreats, surprise visitors and more, I worried. I worried about everyone. I didn't want anyone to feel overwhelmed, overextended or anxious. So, I stepped in. In order to soften any inconveniences for … Continue reading Get Out Of The Way
"The decision for good or evil begins with our eyes, when we choose whether or not to look at the face of the other...The other is the custodian of my own dignity...But we can only succeed in looking at others in a manner that respects their personal dignity if we experience how God looks at … Continue reading The Face of the Other
"Doubting Thomas." Aren't we all at some point a "Doubting Thomas?" I am sure that the beautiful things St Thomas did while accompanying Jesus in his ministry as an apostle would much outshine the one part of scripture that seems to have pigeon-holed him into being just a doubter, but I believe this Sunday's gospel … Continue reading Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Easter this year was the most perfect, glorious day. Our plan was church followed by a lovely meal and precious moments before our almost-college grad and his sweetheart were headed back to school. A stubborn eye infection, nasty medicine, and a migraine kept the joy at bay for me. Nauseated, I … Continue reading Dad’s Easter Blessing
"The cross represents all of the love of God, which is greater than our iniquities and our betrayals. In the cross we see the monstrosity of a man, when he allows evil to guide him; but we also see the immensity of the mercy of God, who does not treat us according to our sins … Continue reading Good Friday
Changing things up this week, I am introducing you to a blogger who has a huge beautiful family and a wonderful sense of humor. The very name of his blog expresses who he is "Fortitudine", meaning fortitude. And, oh yea...he has brain cancer. But that is a post script, because as all people with this … Continue reading Kids and Confession Verses Cancer
As we reflected on this Sunday's gospel about the woman caught in the act of adultery, the current headlines involving rich and famous parents trying to buy their kids' way into reputable colleges lingered in my mind. Like the media frenzy in this "bad moms" of college students scenario, I could similarly envision the ruckus … Continue reading “Bad Moms” and Fire-Fighting Storks
The first of spring's warm and sunny days are everyone's joy. They remind us that the sun did not abandon us, but was quietly accompanying us through the long winter days, shrouded by a haze that required our trust in knowing it would come back out again. When our trust is rewarded by those first … Continue reading A Day in the Warmth of the Son
This past week we celebrated the Feast Day of St Joseph. St Joseph, is considered to be a great intercessor for Christians, especially in the area of a "happy death". I wanted to deepen my relationship with St Joseph this year, so I attempted to do the 9-day Novena and ask for his help on … Continue reading A Happy Death
Life in "Music City" is amazing. There is so much music, art and joy here in Nashville. One of my favorite things about "Music City" that you won't hear about on the radio (except for maybe K-LOVE because it's here too) is that there are so many huge beautiful churches everywhere. Especially as you head … Continue reading Fighting For the Wrong Side
A few weeks ago during mass, Deacon told us the story of growing up with influences who lead him to look down upon and be repulsed by homeless people. He used to feel that they were a "tax" on society and should be working, not relying on people for money. One day while walking down … Continue reading The Man On The Plane
In the old Star Trek series, "Scotty" was the engineer in charge of the ship. He was the man you went to when you wanted to be zapped down onto the planet where your energy source was hidden (that was usually spewing molten lava or had aliens with bad make-up) or the neighboring ship with … Continue reading Beam me down, Scotty
Listening to a radio talk show this morning, one of our friends heard a caller relate the story of her son who is in college. When he had chosen to study the Swahili language, she questioned him. Why? He had no specific answer at the time, but four years later, God would chose to use … Continue reading The Ridiculous
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! (Ecc 1) I used to think these words were Shakespeare's, and even then, their truth rattled my ears. Now knowing that these words are from the book of Ecclesiastes, they are even more sobering. Indicating perhaps meaningless time and effort we waste in our lives on that … Continue reading Vanity of Vanities
This weekend's gospel teaches us about the abundant blessings that await us in the "deep water", a timely indication of the need for deep prayer, especially just having finished our silent retreat which was themed around hope. Traditionally, we use the first Encounter With Christ meeting after our retreat to talk about the beautiful things … Continue reading Put Out Into The Deep Water
The Case of the Perfectly Placed Stranger Staying in a hotel during a large event, a woman felt as though the Holy Spirit was prompting her to go down to the lobby. She didn't know why, but being the obedient and humble person that she is, she decided to abide this marked feeling. She went … Continue reading A Perfectly Placed Stranger
As we prepare to enter into silence for the weekend on our annual Spiritual Exercises--a powerful spiritual experience for everyone who attends--we begin to peel away at the thick layers of our daily lives that have been dipped in the glue of social media and applied in layers around our hearts like a paper mache. … Continue reading Prayer Vs Meditation
"Do whatever he tells you" stamped on a silver cuff bracelet was a meaningful gift from one my beautiful sisters last year for my birthday. The inexhaustible meaning of this line from The Wedding at Cana, continually leads me like a star toward my quest for guidance on how to live my faith. Although, due to … Continue reading Do Whatever He Tells You
HEB 6:10-20 Brothers and sisters:God is not unjust so as to overlook your workand the love you have demonstrated for his nameby having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagernessfor the fulfillment of hope until the end,so that you may not become sluggish, but … Continue reading All That I Have Is Yours
What are you going to do now? That is the question we should be asking ourselves every day in regard to how our love for God compels us to act. The "Jesus Man" was a person who understood this well.
Traveling home for the holidays has always been a debate in our family. On the one hand, we can't imagine not being with loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family members during the holidays. On the other hand, everyone ends up feeling disappointed because it wasn't enough time together, or it was hurried, etc. Every year … Continue reading The Star Precedes
Celebrating the New Year has always meant a stream of old movies or opening a new book, and of course, getting organized. I guess the best thing about New Year's is the sense of personal renewal we all feel, making resolutions to better people; physically, financially, and personally. I also feel the blessing of renewal … Continue reading Encountering Resolutions: The Best of 2018
Looking up "haste" on thesarus.com , ("extreme speed, hurry") I noticed an almost perfectly divided list of 43 synonyms that have nearly as many negative connotations as positive. I was thinking about "haste" as I reflected on this upcoming gospel reading for the fourth Sunday in Advent, and I have to ask myself the question, … Continue reading Make Haste Not Bustle
Rounding the second Sunday of Advent, and on the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we held our annual Advent By Candlelight. These evenings of reflection for women during seasons of Advent (and Lent) provide women with a peace-filled fellowship in an elegant, candle-lit atmosphere. Fr Peter Hopkins, LC, joined us this year, … Continue reading Watching Verses Waiting
When I think of Advent, the word "waiting" comes to mind. As we light the first two purple candles this past Sunday and this coming Sunday, we anticipate Christ's return to his people in a time of preparation and hope. The readings of the church these past few weeks seem foreboding, speaking of the last … Continue reading Why Wait? Advent and Austen
As a dancer, my daughter spends hours each day developing what is called "muscle memory". Her muscles are being trained to engage together for a specific reactive form that becomes a skill which plays out on a stage as art. Requiring thousands of hours of strengthening particular muscles so they create the perfect ballet form … Continue reading Spiritual Muscle Memory
A devastating wildfire and a fig tree don't seem to have much in common from the outset, but in this week's Encounter With Christ, the Holy Spirit connected the scourge of wildfire with the hope of human tenderness, likened to the branches of the fig tree. The watchful warning of a consuming wildfire speaks to … Continue reading Tender Embers
Knocking at her door, was a neighbor from a few doors down. She hadn't spoken with him in a while, but he came by to invite her family to a benefit dinner for "Legacy Mission Village". Down the street lived a couple who had fled Rwanda years earlier and settled nearby to make a new … Continue reading Beautifully Broken
Luke 14:15-24 ’Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. In today's gospel, a man prepared a great banquet and sent his servants out to gather the attendees. With a multitude of practical excuses, they declined. Enraged by the lackluster response, the master of the house again sends … Continue reading Master, Guest or Servant?
Christ is truly present when two or more are gathered in his name, and we certainly qualified this week as a long awaited reunion took place for several of us. All things come together to glorify God. The difficult but amazing coincidence of several of our members in the past few weeks were no different. … Continue reading The Thinning Veil
Christmas is no where in sight but can be seen everywhere. Next to the pumpkins and ghosts in the stores, are Christmas trees, snowmen, and candy cane decor. Some people shop for others all year to get the "perfect" gift. It's been interesting to see how, as our kids have grown, giving a really good gift … Continue reading What Do You Want?
I once read a beautiful story about a woman who was very attractive. She received many compliments during her days. Graciously, she took each compliment and imagined it was a lovely rose. She envisioned putting each complimenting "flower" to her nose, luxuriating in its sweet scent. Next, she added the "flower" to a "bouquet" of … Continue reading These Belong To You
My First Understanding of Vacancy; A Happy Memory Four girls ages 8-19 stuffed into a car, bags packed with swimsuits and excitement, round the West Virginia turnpike while counting mile markers on the road until the next mountain tunnel on the trip tic; three tunnels means progress. The static on the radio occasionally breaks to … Continue reading Vacancy
Preparing for a presentation this week, I uncovered an old dry erase board in the garage. I thought if I could get it clean, I could use it for a screen for our power point presentation, as there was no blank area of wall or place in the meeting room on which to project. It was … Continue reading The Dry Erase Board
One of my favorite bloggers. A great post! via Gratitude - The Way Back From The Desert of Discontentment
It's been a week of great loss and trials for many people I know. My heart was heavy as I drove to church this morning. Having trouble distinguishing between my tears and the pelting rain on the windshield, I knew deep inside that I must shake off this dreariness immediately. In my car, I began … Continue reading The Fifteenth Time
I have a problem. I speak a rare language that not many people speak, and as such, I often go misunderstood. It can be lonely, but I can't help it. When I get excited, happy or angry, I just blurt out words..movie lines. After yesterday's Encounter With Christ, where Jesus uses a little child as … Continue reading “I sing you to me, Mrs. Boss”
September is the month of recounting some big disasters. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and hurricanes past have been on my heart lately, and seem to evoke the same sense of looming that we have been experiencing in news reports of the Catholic Church. I have ready many related articles and posts … Continue reading Florence, Falls and Feeding the Hungry
Riding through the desert nearing Palm Springs, we noticed the field of often photographed wind turbines. I was transfixed by their soothing flow; all coming from wind and solar energy, but spinning at different speeds and even different directions. These turbines stand together in a crowd but starkly individual, drawing their power from the same source. … Continue reading Be Opened
"Do you think I stole something?" I asked her. The older lady who owned the book shop across from my middle school didn't like teenagers, her husband would later explain to my mother, as he apologized for his wife's semi-paranoid behavior. "Well open it up and let's see!" She said pointing to my tiny purse. … Continue reading To Whom Shall We Go?
Preparing the calendar of events for our women's section this year, I shared with our Director of Religious Education, Erin, that I felt the Holy Spirit calling us to focus more on Mission during Lent. I met up with an amazing group of young missionaries this summer, acting the part of the hostess of our … Continue reading Mercy In The City
Commonly called the "Bread of Life" discourse, the upcoming Sunday's gospel passage is part of what is at the heart of the Catholic church; the Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist; the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Difficult for even Jesus' followers to believe (many turn away in the next few passages … Continue reading The Bread of Life
via Dreams of a Warrior My Sister's blog...a faith so simple, by someone so beautiful.
Getting ready to head back to school, LB wanted to get a few items to replenish his apartment before senior year begins. "Let's go to the warehouse club...I have coupons!" With that we were off, deliberating through the long isles of bulk grocery and home items, only to find at check out that our coupons … Continue reading Membership
Six states. Four schools. Three days. Two worn out people. One thousand miles. I have been blessed to have a mother/son adventure with both of my boys to investigate colleges. This summer, it was JD's turn and he was honing in on schools that were "driving-distance". We have always taken long road trips in our … Continue reading Caution: Fog Ahead: Reduce Speed and Put on Lights
I want to thank Valerie Cullers for nominating me for this award! I love to read Valerie's conversational posts about situations in her life that have lead to inspirational revelations or "life lessons". They are entertaining and meaningful and pair up perfectly with a cup of coffee, like chatting with a friend. Please check out Valerie's … Continue reading Bloggers Support Bloggers Award
"Give me a word, any word, and I will show you the root of that word is Greek" How about, Macedonian? The movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (2002) is a family favorite in our home for good reason. I am pretty sure someone had a spy-robot-fly-on-the-wall that filmed our engagement and wedding and then … Continue reading We All Fruit
The Girls Are Back in Town Woot! We were able to meet today! I am so happy. How I have missed my sisters-in-Christ. Summer is nearly over and has wreaked its havoc on our team schedule, but many good things have happened among us this summer and the Holy Spirit didn’t have to have us … Continue reading Five Loaves, Two Fish, and Twenty Bucks
"How's it going with your child's roommate?" asked a work associate whose child went to the same university as our son. Her daughter had a random roommate assignment as well, only it didn't work out well for her. The roommate situation that we often see exaggerated on sitcoms or movies isn't as funny in real … Continue reading Roommates from Heaven or….
Quiet, somber, and thoughtful. That's how we all walked out of the movie "The Passion of The Christ". It was one of those movies that people still talk about, because it moves your spirit, changes your heart, and sticks in your mind. People are still talking about the way that movie changed their lives. There are … Continue reading Mediocre Matinee
"I killed my brother" He was a large man who walked slowly behind me as we made our way down the hall to my office. Since I was in charge of creating "intake" profiles for potential clients, I invited him to sit down and began the interview process. As we discussed his harried past, he … Continue reading Pigeon-holed
Cradle Catholic I am a cradle Catholic, which means I was brought up in the church; but for many Catholics this is a catch phrase for "I don't' know what I am doing here" or "My mom made me come". Until I became a young adult, I fit into this category (going to church but … Continue reading God Said No
Elegant and Contemplative When we lived near Toledo, my dear friend Susan masterfully put together "Candlelight" events for Lent and Advent, in which women would come together for a night of prayerful meditation and a formation talk/presentation. Designed around fellowship and homemade desserts, these beautiful candlelit evenings grew to be popular for Catholic women in … Continue reading Candlelight Events
On a recent trip for a family vacation, we met up with some special friends and spent some quality time together near the beach. One of the things people do when they go to a beach resort is order an expensive frothy drink with a cute little umbrella and some fruit on the rim of … Continue reading Choices
My mother-in-law was a beautiful, faith-filled woman who loved and served her family well. When my husband and I were getting ready to be married, I proclaimed a caveat: "I can't be just like her. She is one of a kind. I am not that good!" But when her health began to fail, I wondered … Continue reading FROG
We switched up some roles in this week's Encounter With Christ, and I handed over my beloved pen in an exercise of attempting to be fully present to the Holy Spirit and get some "Cross" training (+) for our sisters in Christ, always working on our leadership skills. Thanks to our recent growth spurt in … Continue reading Planting Seeds
One of my favorite family vacations with our kids was a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona that included driving to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. It was an amazing trip filled with scenery that changed by the minute and seemed to be from another planet. One particular species of the yucca plant drew our … Continue reading By The Shade of the Joshua Tree
I am reading Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God's Dream For You by Matthew Kelly, and I am storing up nuggets of wisdom like a squirrel storing nuts for winter. Summertime means less solitude and time for prayer in my life, so too less time to write. But with each change of season in our lives, literally and … Continue reading I Think I Will Just Be Happy Today
My kids forewarned me that a new season of "13 Reasons Why" just came out on Netflix, knowing how I felt when this series originally came out. The schools and youth groups were sending texts and emails warning us that this suicidal story aimed at youth audiences was a talking point, if not a warning … Continue reading 13 Reasons Why You Should Watch Joe Verses The Volcano Instead
I woke up with a song in my head this morning. That isn't unusual for me, especially because the song was from Pitch Perfect 3, one of many of the songs from the Pitch Perfect movies. I am not crazy about some of the humor in these movies, but having been in the show choir … Continue reading Cheap Thrills
One time I was asked as a parent to take my turn as a line judge for my daughter's very heated volleyball game. Their team had played so well and not scored, and of course the shot of the day came on my shift, and I happened to miss it because I was watching the … Continue reading Bump, Set, Spike
When my kids were little, especially during the winter, they would each pick three to five books and we would go up and snuggle in my bed and read before bedtime; some together, some on our own, but we called it our "book picnic". I guess the reason we called it that is because before … Continue reading My Bookself
"This weekend, there is gonna be FIRE!" This was the call from the pulpit we heard at our local church last year at this time, as Pentecost Sunday approached, and it brought a smile to everyone's face. "The Holy Spirit is coming! He is giving us the tongues of fire (like he did for the apostles) … Continue reading Peace and Pancakes
I love the Acts of the Apostles. Reading this part of the Bible really gives you a feel for the struggles of the newborn church as she establishes the teachings and traditions given straight from Christ, establishes leadership and a needed hierarchy, and sets the example of what it looks like to be a Christian; … Continue reading Entrust, Intercede and Commend
When I lived in Ohio, I would take my long weekend retreat to Michigan, where we would often have Fr Gomez lead us through the spiritual exercise of St Ignatius of Loyola. He always had a few good ways of saying something important, and one of them I always quote is this: "How's your prayer? … Continue reading Morning Prayer
Praying an Act of Faith is just a way of acknowledging God's goodness and sovereignty over our lives. These Acts of Faith are most valuable and effective, ironically, when we have a LACK of faith. "Fake it till ya make it" can be a method to meet the Lord when we are feeling weak, like … Continue reading Acts of Faith
I got lost the other day. I was making my way home from my usual afternoon routine, but trying to avoid unusually heavy traffic when I decided to go off the grid; er, well, without the help of my GPS, and using, what I consider to be a great sense of direction, until I inevitably … Continue reading Birds of a Feather…
*Spoiler alert. Do NOT continue if you haven't seen the new marvel movie! Or go ahead and read if you need a shot of spirituality along with your superheros. I admit it. I really like superhero movies. I was kinda jealous a few years back when my son got Captain America socks for his birthday. … Continue reading “Above and Beyond”
How do we bear fruit as instructed in John 15:1-8? We trust, rely on the word of God, and reach out to those who are neglected around us.
Every soul matters to God. He loves each one of us beyond our comprehension. Some people understand this from early on in life, like Olivia, who was the focus of our case study today. Olivia knew that when God brought her little sister into her family through adoption, she had seen His grace in her … Continue reading The Good Shepherd
Before we met this morning, one member of our group had gone to mass and heard about the importance of focusing our words and thoughts toward the things of heaven. To speak goodness, see goodness and do good things in our everyday conversations and interactions. Sometimes our world wants us to be selective and choose … Continue reading Jesus Revealed in Breaking of Bread and A “Prom-posal”
Influenza B came to join us just in time for the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. It didn't stop us from enjoying our family or the joy of the Risen Christ on Easter, but along with the rainy weather and illness, it was a different kind of day. Perhaps like the two disciples walking on … Continue reading But Him They Did Not See
One meets a stranger, and then takes a mystical encounter and shares with another stranger. The effect? A paying forward of hope...
Walking down the streets of New York City for hours on end, I noticed so many faces; all strange and new, different and complex. Sitting on the subway was my favorite for people-viewing. Most everyone seemed to be numbing themselves with buds in their ears and a phone screen in front of their face. Some … Continue reading One In Twenty Million
God sent His only son so you do not have to live in darkness.
Again today it seems our gathering to Encounter Christ was one of intercessory prayer. Turning to the Holy Spirit, we held in our hearts a list of people who are hurting and need prayers. At the time of our meeting, we also prayed for two young women who were undergoing surgeries, one of whom is … Continue reading Identity In Christ and the Truman Show
I drafted this article in the wake of the horrific Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida, and for some reason I kept it in draft because so many souls are hurting and looking for answers, and God wants us to know He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Since first drafting my thoughts, I received three … Continue reading The Presence of Evil Doesn’t Mean the Absence of God
Several very sick children, aging and ailing parents, friends with cancer...what do these things have in common? Heartache? Suffering? Certainly; but what they meant to us today as we gathered to Encounter Christ together, were an invitation to go to battle in the spiritual realm; to pray and invite God into the place where are … Continue reading A POWERFUL NINE HOURS
The first Sunday of Lent always holds a small sense of reprieve for me. Even though it has just begun, the first few days are a doosey. It's kind of feels like if you are climbing a mountain and you make it to the first plateau. You take a deep breath, stretch, and then … Continue reading Being Alone Vs. Being Lonely
My beautiful sister.
This one hit hard. And so close to home. Because it is the community where my husband grew up, where our extended family still lives. Because our son is an officer in an adjacent community. And our nephew (soon to become an officer) trained in the junior academy with the same department … the same band of brothers who lost those two seasoned officers last Saturday. They were just doing what they do every day, responded to a 911 call. Serving the public.
Then they were ambushed. And so were our hearts.
Hate-filled crime is senseless. Paralyzing.
I can’t even look at the photo of the killer. I’m battling so much anger.
Every day since Saturday, our hearts break a little more.
I can’t sleep, thinking of those wives left behind. And their babies. Who will take them to daddy/daughter dances? Who will walk them down the aisle on their wedding…
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MK 1:40-45 A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning … Continue reading He Stretched Out His Hand
"Have you heard from JD?" My husband texted from an empty parking lot yesterday. Our son, "JD" had been on a faith retreat and naturally had not been on his phone much. We just needed to know when and where to pick him up that afternoon, but had only received one cryptic text "maybe pick … Continue reading A Man of Few Words
Always after a spiritual exercise weekend, our numbers for Encounter with Christ double. Why? Everyone is seeking the peace and depth of love they felt over the weekend. Much of it is sacramental, but the rest of it is the companionship in eating of the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:22), the eternal and living word … Continue reading You Are So Much Stronger Than You Know