My latest Life Lines column, running in the current issue of Catholic New York:
Fourteen years ago this month, I wrote my very first Life Lines column. It focused on my then-4-year-old son, Noah, and a summer nature program we had attended together and how in his own little way Noah was forcing me out of my comfort zone and teaching me new things about myself and the world around me.
This is what I wrote back then: Read more
My August Life Lines column, inspired by the renovations at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Delmar:
My parish church in upstate New York is undergoing major renovations and reconstruction this summer. And so last weekend we filed into the school gymnasium for Sunday Mass, where metal folding chairs and raised basketball hoops brought back fond memories of my childhood Mass experiences at St. Aedan’s parish in Pearl River. Read more
I haven’t kept a gratitude journal with any long-term success over the years, despite knowing the benefits. In my latest Life Lines column (now running in the current issues of Catholic New York and the Catholic Spirit) I explore why and give you a peek inside:
The Advent and Christmas seasons tend to make us more grateful and more giving. At this time of year, when we’re abundantly aware of children who want nothing more than a pair of mittens or a warm winter coat, we seem to recognize how lucky we are. We collect boxes of stuffing and bottles of gravy for our parish food pantry and take tags off the Giving Tree so that others will have for one day what we have every day. And in those moments we are humbled by our blessings and all too aware of the fact that we often remain blissfully unaware of those same blessings the other 11 months of the year. Read more
My March “Life Lines” column running in the current issue of Catholic New York:
I decided to clean out some dresser drawers last weekend, and mixed in with the shirts I no longer wear and the silks scarves I forgot I had were little pieces of my past. Noah’s handprint in clay from when he was just a year old. A puffy foam heart necklace made by Chiara for a Mother’s Day gone by. Olivia’s old letters to Santa and one to the Tooth Fairy demanding to know what she does with all those teeth anyway. Read more
I’m sure the visiting priest who celebrated Mass at our parish this morning had the best of intentions when he got up to speak, but his homily on the Eucharist probably served only to confuse most Mass-goers. I, on the other hand, decided to bypass confused and went straight to annoyed.
He tried to explain the meaning of the Eucharist by comparing it to a wedding ring. Yes, that’s right, a ring. He said that, like the Eucharist, a simple ring is changed in the eyes of a married couple through their vows, and each spouse’s ring contains the “real presence” of the other. So does that make my wedding ring on par with Eucharist? Does that mean that Eucharist is only Eucharist for those who believe and, if that’s the case, there could be no such thing as desecration because, according to this explanation, the meaning of the thing is changed only for the people it affects directly and who believe in it.
I posted my April Life Lines column on my main Web site today. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read my latest reflection on family life and faith, which will run not only in Catholic New York, as it does each month, but also in the upcoming issue of Living Waters, the newsletter of ENDOW.
Here’s a little bit to get you started:
I brought my two daughters to church one recent weekday afternoon because I needed to pick up some information. As I talked to someone in the vestibule and gathered what I needed, Olivia, 7, and Chiara, 2, skipped up and down the aisles of the darkened church, pointing at stained glass windows and talking about which candles they would light. I finally caught up with them, shushing them as we walked down separate but parallel aisles toward the altar.