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Angels and Saints

The feasts and celebrations that surround us at this time in the liturgical year can do a soul some much-needed good. It’s hard to feel like a solitary seeker when we are basking in the glow of angels and saints on all sides. We Catholics keep good company, and the nice part is that we’re not outsiders waiting to be let into the club. We’re part of the communion, one of the gang, albeit on this side of the divide.

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For and Against

In the span of one week, at my job as a Church communications director, I had two people separately accuse me of completely opposite — and equally untrue — realities. One person sent me an online message implying I was ignorant at best and a heretic at worst for running a column in the diocesan newspaper written by a religious sister who mentioned her use of Centering Prayer. The other sent me a handwritten, anonymous screed because our newspaper had run a single image of a Latin Mass. This writer accused me of taking the entire diocese to a “pre-conciliar” time.

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God Alone

For those of you who, like me, may be struggling in our Church these day, I thought I would share my Give Us This Day reflection from two weeks ago.

I don’t know why it always surprises me when I open up the daily Scriptures and find a reading that speaks right to my heart, as though God placed it there just for me. And so it was that at a time when I was struggling with some of the more human elements of Church, the underbelly of faith, I came to today’s reading from Acts. “We must obey God rather than men,” the apostles remind us, even as they faced persecution for “the sake of the name.” While we may not have to deal with direct persecution in our daily lives, we often face revelations and realizations that can be as dangerous to our spiritual lives as the Sanhedrin’s threats were to the apostles’ physical lives. Despair and doubt, if allowed to fester, are destructive forces to be sure.

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Looking for a Lenten guide? Here you go!

Are you looking for a spiritual guide to be your companion through Lent? Look no further. There’s still time to order my latest book of reflections, Not by Bread Alone: Daily Reflections for Lent 2019, from Liturgical Press.

These are not your average Scripture reflections. Wherever I am in my spiritual life at the time I’m writing, that’s what you’ll get. Titles such as “A Spiritual Tattoo,” “Grit and Grace,” Code Blue” and “The Space Between.” Think less heady, more real. In other words, I don’t write like a theologian but like the person who sits next to you in the pew.

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Have you hugged your colon today?

It’s mid-March, and that can mean only one thing on this blog: It’s National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. That means it’s also time for me to parade out a photo of my fine-looking colon to get your attention. Yes, that is my actual colon on the left, as photographed by my kick-butt (pun intended) gastroenterologist. (Be thankful I limit my coverage to still photos.) Read more

Finding grace, even in the shadow of the cross

I’ve been in desperate need of some grace these days. So much so, that I pulled a tarnished silver necklace bearing the word “GRACE” out of my jewelry box and looked up a DIY silver cleaning recipe that verged on chemistry experiment to polish it up. It was as if that tangible, visible sign of grace hanging from around my neck might get me the real deal, or at least a little closer to it. Read more

Meeting God in the Middle

Our weekly blog post will be up tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. Can you believe we’re already moving onto Chapter 7? The weeks are flying by. In the meantime, if you missed the latest radio show discussion on our tribe and this Cravings topic, you can listen in at the link below. It’s just a short 10-minute segment, so not a big time commitment. Thank you to the folks at Mater Dei Radio out of Portland, Oregon, for having me on the show.

Click HERE to listen.

 

Don’t miss your moments

My reflection from Give Us This Day:

St. Paul’s story of conversion always sparks a little jealousy in me. Probably not the appropriate reaction, but let’s be honest: wouldn’t we all like a blinding light and God’s voice from heaven setting us on the right path once and for all? I know I would. There would be no more wondering, no more doubts, no more confusion about whether I’m doing God’s will or my own. Few of us get that kind of wake-up call, and those of us who do often miss it because we’re busy looking for one that is more interesting or less difficult. Read more

Fitting farewell for a giant in Church communications

I was honored to be able to attend the funeral of Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh this morning in the chapel at her motherhouse in Albany, where family, friends, and quite a few Catholic media colleagues gathered to pay their respects and say farewell to a woman who has set the standard for Catholic communications for decades. Although I had the chance to work with Sister Mary Ann only minimally here and there over my own 30 years in the Catholic press, she was present at every turn, whether it was a story she wrote for Catholic News Service, a press release she sent from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or, in later years, her blog posts and, finally, her America columns.  Read more

A perfectly timed novena. St. Catherine, pray for us.

I woke up this morning and noticed a link to a Novena to St. Catherine of Siena in my Facebook feed. I will admit that I am not one to pray novenas often. Okay, almost never. But this one caught my attention. St. Catherine of Siena has a special place in my heart. I consider her one of my patron saints since my middle name is Kathleen. To top it off, her feast day, April 29, is my wedding anniversary. So there’s that, but there’s oh so much more than the name and date connections. Read more