Sometimes God will imbue a secular musician’s lyrics with His Spirit. A few years ago, my six daughters and husband sensed a palpable Presence of God sweeping like waves through an adoring crowd as country-western composer Garth Brooks belted out the lyrics to the song “Standing Outside the Fire”. Twenty thousand people leapt to their feet, singing…… Continue reading Stand Inside the Fire
We all like to be in control — especially mothers, I think. We even try to control the action of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and in the lives of our children because we don’t always see events through the eyes of faith. Of course, most of us would deny trying to box in…… Continue reading A Beautiful Work of the Holy Spirit
The worst possible fate for me would be to die only to discover I had not lived in reality but in a false existence created by both society and my own ego. Reality can only be found in God, lived in the Mystical Body of Christ, in and with and through the Holy Spirit. I…… Continue reading Coming Out of the Cave
When people think of a Catholic saint, the first image that comes to mind is a sad, pale, thin figure, often tortured and in pain, or looking as if he was wearing a hair shirt. Traditional Catholic art has reinforced this impression. Recently I was looking for images of smiling or laughing monks. Hundreds of images popped…… Continue reading Holy Laughter
A writing prompt asked writers what would be the most difficult things for you to leave behind in a burning house? Well really, the only objects I consider to be important are photos of family, my computer, passport and ID, a bible and bank card, assuming that I am wearing my wedding ring and gold…… Continue reading Children taught Me Gratitude
feature image by Yongsung Kim I have faced difficult situations countless times, finally learning to surrender control to God after playing god becomes too exhausting. Often He has surprised me with bonafide miracles, miracles even skeptical teenagers could not explain away. One would assume I would be experienced enough to stop trying to control but I…… Continue reading Am I Weak Enough to Be a Christian?
“We enter into solitude first of all to meet our Lord and to be with Him and Him alone. Our journey through life can be compared to a desert scene. We are all standing in a huge, modern, air-conditioned airport, peering anxiously through the plate glass, waiting for a jet plane to fly us to…… Continue reading Camels or Jet Planes?
I do not want to die only to discover I was playing society’s ever-changing games and was so caught up in myself that I forgot why I am on earth. I have been called to love, to even lay down my life for others. I usually fail because it is impossible to love effectively without…… Continue reading Trying To Love
If you try to help a struggling butterfly emerge from the prison of his cocoon, his wings will be permanently deformed. As a butterfly struggles, fluid is forced into its wings so they stretch and open, allowing them to fly but butterflies are not the only creatures who must struggle before they have the ability…… Continue reading Lord, If This How You Treat Your Friends . . .
Life is messy; life is hard because we all suffer on our journey towards the heart of God. Recently, one of my daughters, feeling overwhelmed by her circumstances, was feeling sorry for herself. In the space of a week, she met three people, all who appeared successful and problem free on the surface, only to…… Continue reading Thriving in the Midst of Suffering
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…… Continue reading Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs
feature image: Fritz von Uhde, Let the Infants come to me People, from infants to the elderly, thrive spiritually when they have enough free time to relax, create, and pray. We all need unscheduled time, time to be bored in a positive sense because boredom can the birthplace of authentic spirituality and creativity. Self- obsessed business…… Continue reading Children Know How To Play With God
Today’s Gospel: John 15:9-17 – 6th Sunday of Easter The Gospel for today is a concise description of our new, glorious life in Christ. The Christian life is an incredible life, mind-boggling if we really stop for a moment and allow the truth about it to sink in. Jesus loves us, mere mortals, with the same depth…… Continue reading Mind-Boggling Love
In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws its strength from Christ’s Resurrection. (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Life in Christ, 67) Even though the Church continually invites Catholics to live in the Resurrection of Christ, many of us cling to our suffering. As a result, our spirituality is…… Continue reading Catholics Are Easter People
It is Holy Thursday, the night we celebrate the Chrism Mass. Tonight, churches around the entire globe will wait in prayerful vigil, with lights dimmed, all images covered with the congregation in respectful, somber silence. The Church is remembering the end of Jesus’s public life as a teacher and healer and walking with Him as…… Continue reading Where Do I Stand This Holy Thursday?
The secular world desperately needs to hear the perspective of Catholics on pressing issues, especially on the sanctity of human life. However, most religious authors write in a small niche, read mainly by fellow Catholics and perhaps a few other critics we would secretly love to block. An amusing analogy came to me the other…… Continue reading Am I Writing Like a Worker Ant or a Child of God?
I stood at the sink, pain lancing my chest, sobbing silently, tears blinding me as I tackled a mound of dirty dishes. Exhaustion weighed heavy, my arms like a stone. 11:00pm. I was alone, disconnected Isolated. I could almost see the knife piercing my heart. There was a name on the handle; I strained my…… Continue reading Stabbing Myself in the Heart
Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you; so lead us by your Spirit that in this life we may live to your glory and in the life to come enjoy you forever;- St. Augustine Over the years, I have attended many…… Continue reading Fr. Albert Macpherson, O.S.A.-“God, You Have Made Us For Yourself”
Attendance at Mass, regular confession, spiritual exercises, fasting, and prayer are wonderful vehicles of grace but if we think pious activities alone will sanctify us, we will only appear holy on the outside like the Pharisees: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,…… Continue reading Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God
I am not just reciting theology when I remind you there is neither time nor distance when we live and move and breathe in the Spirit. When someone dies or moves far away, I don’t have to say goodbye just whisper hello, a different kind of hello which moves with the speed of light to…… Continue reading When I Pray, I Never Have to Say Goodbye