The long thank-you

Catholic cathedral altar

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail My six-year-old son is usually bored at Mass. For a couple years now I’ve been trying to find ways to draw him into it, but he can’t get past the fact that it’s not fun. Honestly, it’s not always easy for me, either. I’m not usually bored, but I’ve experienced a wide variety of… [Continue Reading]

The God who becomes dust

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I made an early-morning holy hour a couple weeks ago. The stars were still out when I pulled into the Adoration chapel’s parking lot, but the first row was almost full; there was only one space left. When I walked into the entry hall I was deeply moved, as I always am, to see… [Continue Reading]

6 things I learned from living on a monastery prayer schedule

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail One of the old church bells at Mt. Angel Abbey One of the most transforming aspects of this trip to Mt. Angel Abbey has been living according to the monks’ schedule of prayer. They pray the Liturgy of the Hours and have Mass every day, so every few hours the grand church bells start… [Continue Reading]

Received as Christ: Photos from a Benedictine monastery

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I knew a little bit about the Order of St. Benedict before my husband and I arrived in Mt. Angel for our vacation this weekend. (If you’re not familiar with them, I highly recommend this brief explanation of the Order at Vivificat; I think it’s the most clear, concise summary of the Benedictines I’ve… [Continue Reading]

When church isn’t fun

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail I can’t think of a time in recent memory that I have had less fun than I did on Easter Sunday. It was the day I found out that feeding four young children a breakfast of donuts and Easter basket candy results in the same behavior you’d expect to see if you gave crack… [Continue Reading]

Feeling taken care of

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail The other weekend my husband went out of town with the three older kids, and I stayed home with the baby. I decided to take the opportunity to tackle pretty much every household project I hadn’t gotten to in the past four years, and ended up staying up until 3:00 AM on Saturday night…. [Continue Reading]

Breathing with the Body of Christ

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail As I mentioned the other day, until recently I didn’t understand what Advent was all about. Actually, I didn’t completely understand what Lent, Easter or Christmas were all about either. The significance of the different seasons of the liturgical year was one of the last things that I researched in my long road from… [Continue Reading]

Undefeatable joy

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail One of the things I most looked forward to as part of the Christ Renews His Parish retreat the other weekend was simply the opportunity for a leisurely confession. There are always so many people in line at our parish’s confessional that the priests have little time for extra spiritual direction. For weeks I’d… [Continue Reading]

When God locks doors

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail On Saturday, my long-awaited break finally arrived. Regular readers know that for a couple weeks now I’ve been desperate for some time to get away from it all to recharge my batteries both spiritually and physically, and that my efforts in that department kept falling through. Just when I felt like I was getting… [Continue Reading]

Lies and Confession: The case of the stolen pacifier

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestPrintE-mail One day last year I was putting grocery bags in the car after an epic store trip, and after I grabbed the last bag something caught my eye in the back of the cart: a $3.75 package of pacifiers. I somehow missed them when I was handing items to the cashier, so we hadn’t… [Continue Reading]