Selfless love is a hard thing for me. The problem is, sometimes I think my love is like a bucket of water; I love someone and a little bit pours out, someone loves me and a little bit pours back in. Most times, I pour out and my water lands right in their bucket. That should be enough, but I find myself constantly checking my own bucket to see if they returned the favor.
Bear in Mind: God Does Lent for Us; We Don’t Do It for Him. If you think that you are going to crush Lent, it will crush you. And good. You apparently need a firm crushing or a heaping spoonful of you suck. The point of Lent is not to stretch ourselves, it is not a fitness regimen to make ourselves grow in holiness, it is not to prove ourselves to God or man, and for pity’s sake, it is not a contest.
I’ve written several times about how Catholics should not be jerks on the internet (Cardinal Sins of Social Media Debate and Paul’s Letter to Social Media). I would think it obvious that being unkind towards others—especially over media as impersonal and public as social media—pushes people away from the faith.
Yet each time I’ve written, I’m met with resistance by devout Catholics—both left and right leaning—justifying their nastiness by citing various examples from scripture where Jesus (or Paul or somebody) supposedly did something similar so it’s ok—noble, even—for them to hurl insults.
Earlier this year, Fr. Michael White, pastor of the Church of the Nativity and author of the book Rebuilt published an article entitled, “Why We Don’t Encourage (Little) Kids in Mass.” At his mega-parish, kids are expected to attend a children’s program while parents attend Mass. Since I was raised attending weekly Mass and now bring my four children every Sunday, this article made my blood boil.
This weekend marked my first wedding anniversary and I wanted to reflect on the some of the feelings and spiritual lessons that I have learned along the way this past year.
You speak of “us” and “them.” You say that “they” are the source of “our” problems. You beseech the Lord to enlighten “them” to be more like “us,” and you thank God that you and those who think like you are on the right side of history, unlike “they” who are sinners. (3)
Have you not heard that we are all members of Christ’s body?
So the power of the female Catholic is nothing new. It is as old as the women of the Bible. But I fear it is often untapped. If we Catholic women concentrate our efforts on ascertaining more “power” from within the hierarchy, we may be attempting to bring about change, but are not doing it with the full strength of our femininity.
More than ever, I’m asking myself now, why am I still Catholic? Should I stay or should I go? (Cue the song)
I want to shout out trust no one! Yet, Christ still calls me on the carpet and says “will you leave too?” Within that I recall the phrase “The gates of hell shall never prevail” (Matt 16:18).
I don’t want to write this blog post. I’ve started it or something like it six or seven times now, only to throw away my work. But it has to be done and I feel that I need to do it. I’m going to write about the current sex scandals in the Church… What we are witnessing in the Church is a revelation of something that has been going on for a while.
I had been shouldering the burden of chronic anxiety and depression for years before I had learned about mindfulness. For years, I had trained my mind to ignore the root of my illness (a history of abuse) and to cope with its symptoms: my pent-up nervous energy, my over-analyzing of every social situation, my intense self-scrutiny, my hyperactive mind going to work on all my fears and insecurities.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think we often get so wrapped up in apologetics, Christian courtship, and theology of the body, having babies, being involved in church, and more, that we just forget to have fun. This is bad.”
Recently the vicissitudes of the Interwebs have me thinking about talking sex with kids.
Not in a creepy way, of course, but in the parent-to-child, where-do-babies-come-from, when-can-I-start-dating, if-I-buy-a-girl-dinner-that-means-I-can-X way.
I’m part of a Catholic Moms group on Facebook, and several conversations in the group recently have made clear to me how very, very, important it is for parents to have The Talk with their kids not once or twice, but several times throughout their lives.
Our holiness and goodness grow when we let the Mother of God speak to us and teach us and move us, just as she did with her Son.
I once heard someone say that the longer you are a Christian, the fewer non-Christian friends you have. I know this has been very true for me. As I fell in love with God and my Catholic faith in high school, the more I started to make choices around my faith. Where I went to college, the career I chose, the subjects I studied, and how I spent my free time were significantly influenced by my identity as a follower of Christ. I don’t think this self-segregating phenomena is peculiar to Christians. It’s totally normal, if not always healthy, to spend time with people who think and act like us. However, by the magic of social media, I’ve managed to stay in touch with, reconnect with, meet, and in fact deepen relationships with people whose lives have taken a very different turn from my own. Some of these people are atheists
Ready or not, it was time. Time for each child to take the next step in bike-riding expertise. And so one sunny afternoon, we all set out – each with the next-level bike – to let the Great Bike Training of 2018 commence. We hadn’t been at it long before three kiddos realized this was not going to be a simple one-and-done session. As Teddy grumpily inched along on his balance bike, Max slowly wobbled next to dad, and Bridget took her first tumble, the hesitation and frustration set in
These days I’m making a podcast about friendship with my some of my best friends and, reflecting on so many stories, I have to say, friends are super important. In fact, Pope Francis agrees! In his new document on the call to holiness in today’s world, he emphasizes, “no one is saved alone.”
We're done with Lent, now, which is nice. Hopefully we're not done with growing in our faith though. This time of year we throw the switch from "Fast" to "Party". If you haven't already done so, it might be a good time to put together a reading list for the year of our Lord 2018. To help you, I'm sharing an annotated list of books that have shaped me
These days we have very little tolerance for hypocrites, that is, people who don’t practice what they preach. And this is good! We should be challenging others, and ourselves, to be authentic and virtuous. Jesus calls us to “live in the truth,” and criticized the legalistic scribes and pharisees as hypocrites (See Mt. 23!). But when it comes to Jesus’ call to “be perfect” we all fall short. The real question isn’t whether you’re a hypocrite but what kind of hypocrite you’re going to be. As we move from Holy Week to Easter we can meditate on three very different paths.
About a month ago I went with a couple of my friends to Santa Monica to see a showing of Howl’s Moving Castle in 35mm film. For anyone who hasn’t seen this film, it’s an animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli and it’s based on a fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones published in 1986. The movie follows a young woman named Sophie who lives in this bright world that’s full of magic.
It seems like “You are in my thoughts and prayers” has become synonymous with “I will do nothing in the face of suffering and injustice” for many. Especially in the wake of a major disaster or violence, what used to be an expression of solidarity has become incredibly politically charged.