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Lent: Are you willing to be surprised by God?

Flannery O’Connor, the American Catholic southern gothic writer, once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

That line has always resonated with me, but never more so than when I sit down to write reflections on Scripture readings, verses that can feel so familiar there seems nothing new to uncover. My latest book of reflections, Not by Bread Alone 2021: Daily Reflections for Lent (Liturgical Press), is my third book of Lenten meditations and prayers, and so the challenge is real — but realer still is the truth that lives within Scripture. Old passages can speak new hope to us at any particular moment of our lives if we are willing to open ourselves up to the work and words of the Spirit. Even the familiarity of Lent itself can turn a season of growth into a rote spiritual exercise if we are not prepared to be surprised by God, sometimes in uncomfortable ways.

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Lent is coming fast. Don’t go it alone.

Ash Wednesday is only four weeks away. I know if feels like we just got through Christmas, but, trust me, Lent will be here before you know it, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a companion to guide you through the desert, especially when getting to church these days is difficult if not impossible due to COVID? I have just the thing for you. My latest book of Scripture reflections, Not By Bread Alone 2021: Daily Reflections for Lent.

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Week 2: A room — or corner — of one’s own

When I was thinking about what I would tackle during Week 2 of our revolution-not-resolution journey of self-transformation, I looked at the original blog post and noticed that setting up a sacred space was my #2 suggestion. Perfect. Last week we started on #1 — using a gratitude journal — so why not move in order and take a look at another simple and concrete thing you can do to make this plan easier, more peaceful and more beautiful.

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Becoming a yoga teacher, fulfilling a dream

Ever since I first stepped onto a mat in the late 1980s, I’ve been a full-fledged yoga believer. I loved the power of the physical poses and the way they reverberated strength and peace in my body and soul. Whenever I’d fall out of practice (and that would be often) and be away from the mat for a while, I’d inevitably come back only to find myself wondering why I ever stopped doing something that made me feel so centered, something that made me feel more like my true self than anything else I’d ever encountered.

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A new podcast is coming your way

I’ve decided to launch a podcast. Right now I’m in the testing phase (and learning phase). I only unpacked my microphone this morning, so bear with me as I learn to record and edit. This first try (link below) is only eight minutes long, but it will give you a taste of what’s to come. I hope you’ll check it out. Leave me feedback in the comment section. Thanks for listening!

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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Resolve to Evolve in 2018

We were debating the merits of the latest Taylor Swift album with our teenage daughter one Saturday morning recently, when the conversation morphed into a larger discussion on the way people in general and artists in particular evolve over time. How many singers or painters or authors have been criticized when they’ve taken a new path, one unfamiliar to their most loyal fans? They are often seen as traitors for nothing more than testing out new waters or pushing the boundaries of business as usual. We don’t like change. And yet who among us stays the same year after year? Even if we try our best to hold tight and maintain the status quo, life has a way of demanding growth or evolution. And that’s a good thing. Read more

Spreading Good News with a small and capital “g”

I was featured as a Faces of Faith interview by Rob Brill in today’s Albany Times Union. I’m honored. Here’s the story:

MARY DeTURRIS POUST

Background: Born and raised in Pearl River in Rockland County. She graduated from Pace University. Her husband, Dennis, and their children, Noah, 19, a freshman at Le Moyne College, and daughters Olivia, 15, and Chiara, 10, who attend Bethlehem public schools, live in Delmar where they are parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She’s director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Your resume includes reporter, editor, columnist, author and blogger. You’ve switched hats in your new job.

It’s the culmination of everything I’ve done professionally over the past 32 years, not only as a writer but as a public speaker, retreat leader and commentator of Catholic issues. Dealing with the media is my favorite part of my job, because I’ll always be a journalist at heart. I love to find an interesting story in the diocese and get it out there in the secular press: Good news with a capital g and a lower case g. I do sometimes miss being a full-time writer.

Continue reading HERE.

Talking everyday prayer, grief, friendship and more

I had a great time on today’s episode of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras of Reconciled to You. We covered a lot of bases, including three of my seven books: Everyday Divine, Parenting a Grieving Child, and Walking Together. It was a smorgasbord of my writing with a lot of fun and serious conversation mixed in. Thank you, Allison, for being such a wonderful supporter of Catholic writers and of this Catholic writer in particular.

If you missed the show, you can catch up here. And if you go to Allison’s website, you can catch an entire week of shows devoted to my books — Everyday Divine on Tuesday, Parenting a Grieving Child on Wednesday, and Walking Together on Thursday. Here’s the show: