Do you feel a call to a self-starter initiative- a creative passion or an entrepreneurial venture. As a speaker, mom-preneur, and former professional touring Broadway performer I am all too familiar with the infinity of little hours that can be frittered away doing anything but that creative calling. Fortunately, you don't have to stay stuck. Read on!
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 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
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.”
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.
Here we are again, at the start of Lent. One thing is shocking about the start of Lent this year, and it is how little our society is shocked by another mass shooting at a school.
When I tell you I’m pro-life, this is what I mean.
Learn to think... we all have room for improvement. This is the path... that St. Thomas and his cohorts used to address the theological confusion of their day.
Recently someone dear to me lost her fiancé to suicide.
My heartbreak is deep and jagged and ugly. It is not even my tragedy. My feelings of sorrow and remorse and anger must be pale shadows beside the darkness washing over those the young man left behind: his bride, his parents, his family and friends.
Grinding salt into the wounds is the vague notion plaguing my subconscious that suicide is a sin---images of unmarked graves at a crossroads and Dante’s forest of suicides haunt me. Surely this is not really what the Church teaches?
“Forgive me, Father, for I have trolled. My last confession was right before I saw that stupid post on Facebook. You know the one: the one where that idiot said something really dumb. Well anyway, since that time, I have spent way too much time on social media telling people that they were wrong. I stayed up too late, neglected my other responsibilities, burned with the rage of 1000 white hot fiery suns for mine enemies, let total or near strangers disrupt my inner peace, and used arguments so terrible that they wouldn’t convince a hungry German shepherd to eat bacon. For these and all my sins, I am heartily sorry.”
“A good confession, my child. For your penance, say two Hail Mary’s and read this dank blog post.”
As the rain falls and the news rolls on the TV I am humbled by the power of Hurricane Harvey. This is being labeled as one of the worst hurricanes for Texas in US history. The “500-year flood.” My family and a sliver of people in my neighborhood are dry, no flooding in our homes, and still have power. We are a minority and very lucky. Most Houstonians have lost it all and it’s heartbreaking. If you have been following the news, you can see many people are still in need of help, rescue and supplies.
As you read this you should know, this week is the 27th week of the year 2017. Half a year has passed, can you believe it? While freedom rings in our ears this 4th of July, it has me looking back and pondering if I've been living totally free in the first half of the year and how can I free myself more with this last half of the year.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been visiting friends in North Dakota. One purpose for my trip was to reconnect with a lot of my friends that I haven’t seen or talked to in over a year. I drove out for lunch with one of those friends, and we talked about how difficult the past year has been for each of us. We both struggle with neurodiversity - meaning our brains don’t exactly work like everyone else’s (think autism, OCD, anxiety, etc.) We’ve both experienced depression and suicidal thoughts, and have struggled with going to pray and feeling emptiness, like there’s nothing there. At one point our conversation turned specifically toward mental illness and my friend looked up at me and asked “Why?”
A major platform for restless seeking is on social media and, like everything else in this passing world, it cannot fully satisfy us. So we get bored, only to find ourselves back in the same place searching again. While social media is not bad in and of itself, this ceaseless searching and posting, I believe, is a great indicator of our restless hearts and our search for God Himself.
After traversing so much foreign territory I finally felt at home and like I could breathe. I gazed at Jesus on the altar and thought, ‘this is the most important thing I could do here’. Having received Him in communion, I knelt in worship before my God and heard him speak to my heart: “You traveled all this way to see me. Don’t you see I was always waiting for you in the chapel next door? Why have you not visited me there?”
“I don’t need a Church to tell me I’m wrong when I know I’m wrong. I need a Church to tell me I’m wrong when I think I’m right.” - G.K. Chesterton
I am most angry because I lost. In a quest to ‘destroy’ ideas of hate and division I lost souls. And worse? ... I lost Jesus.
As someone who is both queer and Catholic, I’ve noticed something that bothers me about the way the Catholics I have known either talk about or interact with the queer community. Before I get into it, let me just say this: I believe, teach, and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and professes. I agree with the Church’s account of human nature, the human person, human sexuality, and marriage. What I want to get into isn’t about the moral or legal issue of marriage . It isn’t about challenging the Church’s teachings; it isn’t about challenging doctrine. This is about loving people; it’s about challenging those who call themselves Catholic to do a better job of being loving with particular regard to the queer community.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is when I made a sign that said “Choose Life” for my teddy bear and brought him along to my first March for Life in Washington, D.C. I knew even then that I loved babies, born and unborn, and when I discovered that some people found their lives unworthy of protection, I was shocked and ready to change that.
This April will mark 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom we celebrate today, gave a speech at Riverside Church inNew York City entitled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” No stranger to division, the deeply controversial preacher and Civil Rights Activist spoke on one great fissure of his time, the war in Vietnam and its consequences for the trajectory of American Values. Having received the Nobel Peace prize in 1964, Dr. King described responding to what he felt as a “commission to work harder than ever for ‘the brotherhood of man’ … beyond national allegiances.” Even absent this commission he viewed the “making of peace” as intrinsically connected to “the ministry of Jesus Christ.” While Catholics flounder in their search for truth in a society that demands us to choose one side or the other, Dr. King’s words offer a third way of true unity brought about by a revolution of values waiting for a people to take up the cause.