St. Teresa of Ávila is the real deal; holy, down to earth, humble and best of all extremely articulate. Her phrases are succinct, to the point yet those few words point to a deep, Divine wisdom. Today, Oct. 15, is the Feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus. I love this woman. Although she is a doctor of the … Continue reading St.Teresa of Ávila: Down to Earth, Smart, Holy
Michael’s father, a police officer, had given our family free tickets to a large three-ring circus production that the police department was sponsoring. Of course, after a few hours, the flashing lights, loud music, breath-taking suspense, excitement and cotton candy overstimulated all six kids. Rather than playing like they usually did, everyone was hyperactive, yelling and becoming increasingly agitated. It was obvious that I needed … Continue reading What Does Jesus Do With Ghosts?
Angels’ deeds are more than simply the stuff of legends, children’s bedtime tales, wishful thinking or fantasies of illiterate, ancient minds. If you close your mind to these messengers of God, they sit like gold in a bank, useless unless we give them permission to act. An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the … Continue reading A True Angel Story for The Feast Day of the Guardian Angels
“Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.” Her quiet, hidden life of devotion to the spirit of childlike trust in God, Continue reading St. Thérèse: My Soul Mate
Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery which questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change and to live in mystical union with Christ. Although many Carmelites might not recommend this book as a valid description of pure Carmelite spirituality, Guidelines For Mystical Prayer, by a British Carmelite nun, Ruth … Continue reading Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play
I never considered marriage to be a real vocation. As a young student who had converted to Catholicism and attended a small Jesuit College on the prairies in Canada, I was convinced I was called to the active religious life. I wanted to serve God and this was the only option I knew. My spiritual director agreed. I did not even bother dating. What was … Continue reading Marriage IS a Vocation
The Gospel for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is the passage in which Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Beloved Disciple, both stand at the foot of the Cross. Continue reading Mary STOOD At The Foot of the Cross
“How I would love a Church which is poor and for the poor.” – Pope Francis Pope Francis consistently proclaims traditional with joy. Even better, he has joyfully lived out what he has preached for decades. Ironically, conservative American Catholics are outraged when they hear Pope Francis criticize individualism and unbridled consumerism. They feel threatened by the pope’s call for government policies which would welcome … Continue reading Pope Francis Challenges Us to Live The Joy of the Gospel
The most important fact of her life, that Jesus was born of her, is enough to tell her whole story. What more do you want to know? What further inquire would you make concerning the Virgin? It is enough for you that she is the Mother of God. What beauty, I as you, what virtue, what perfection, what grace, what glory does not befit the … Continue reading Art History Reveals The Nativity of Mary
The Power of Images To Change Lives Marie Constantin, the photographer, and author of Finding Calcutta: Memoirs of a Photographer, understands images have power, more power than words alone to impact lives. It was an image in a documentary film that turned Constantin’s life completely around in the early 1990’s. She was a young journalist, completely focused on establishing her career and partying with friends when an … Continue reading For the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Through the Lens of a Friend
Anxiety makes us ill in body, mind, and spirit. It can be ingrained in our nature from the moment we are born because of original sin. Babies are not simply empty slates; they are complex little people who just happen to be preverbal. Babies are born with more than simply inherited physical characteristics but personalities and even inherited blessings and curses passed down through the … Continue reading No More Mental Kung-Fu
A selection of the best art and icons capturing the humility, dignity, and nobility of Mary- The Queenship of Mary. The Church accepts Revelation 12 as a reference to Mary, Israel, and the Church as a three-fold symbolism through the Book of Isaiah and affirms Mary as the mother of Jesus as the prophetic fulfilment described in Revelation 12 (cf. Isaiah 7:14, 26:17, 54:1, 66:7) … Continue reading A Visual Feast:The Queenship of Mary
When Jesus invites us to die to ourselves, He is not referring to some pious act of self-sacrifice which will make us look or feel holy. No, He has something much more radical in mind. The kind of inner transformation Christ desires will literally rip the rug up from under our feet and shatter our world view. For the very brave, I suggest a quick … Continue reading Let Christ Rip The Rug Up From Under You
Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; where from the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to … Continue reading Art Celebrates The Assumption of Mary
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was inspired by Mari Montessori, a devout Catholic, in Rome in 1954. Just like in Montessori schools, in an Atrium, children use their bodies, along with all their senses, to meditate on the Sacraments and Holy Scripture. A catechist creates a sacred space and then adds to the atmosphere by lighting a candle before reading from the Gospel much like a lector … Continue reading Crocheting For An Atrium of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
A young child, who knows enough words to communicate, can describe their prenatal memories and their birth from their own unique perspective, not as an observer. Most of my nine children were able to verbalize their womb and birth experiences if my husband and I posed questions before they were three and a half or four years old because most children can no longer remember … Continue reading Prenatal Memories and Ancient Hebrew Wisdom
A good friend, Martha, from Madonna House, “happened” to sit beside a self-proclaimed witch on an old bus heading towards the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Noticing Martha’s large cross identifying her as a member of the Lay Apostolate, the witch cynically remarked that most Christians were stupid because they were completely clueless about the potential power that existed within each of them. … Continue reading Are Most Christians Clueless About Their True Identity?
To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s message; I tried too hard to be a perfect … Continue reading So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?
Every society, every culture has a tradition of a scapegoat: a person or group of people to blame and punish for the sins of that particular society. Centuries ago, old women were blamed for poor crops, cows which failed to produce milk and any birth defects. Less superstitious societies turned on each new group of immigrants to blame for their economic woes and rising crime … Continue reading Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs
My ambition, I guess, would be to have the images of the face of Christ in every church throughout the world. Maybe from there, the image may permeate the next generation of Christians. Continue reading An Interview With Artist Jonathan Byrne and The Face of Christ