Mary & the Saints

Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los ÁngelesBasilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles

La Negrita, Costa Rica’s Our Lady of Angels

I don’t remember who it was who encouraged me to start talking to my guardian angel.  It was certainly after I became Catholic, because prior to that I would have laughed out loud in the face of such a blatant absurdity.  The only reason I was open to this idea of talking to my angel was because of a book […]

Our Lady of Consolation (cropped) -- By Ramon FVelasquez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOur Lady of Consolation (cropped) -- By Ramon FVelasquez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cowgirl Mary, Complete with a Great Hat

When we first decided to take our oldest daughter to a nearby horse farm for a pony ride, we were both thinking it would just be a fun way to pass an afternoon.  We had no idea that it would bring us closer together as a couple, that it would turn into a destination for so many afternoons.  We would […]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

"Our Lady of Carmel" (detail including Sts Teresa of Avila and Simon Stock) by Pietro Novelli"Our Lady of Carmel" (detail including Sts Teresa of Avila and Simon Stock) by Pietro Novelli

Humility in the Dirt with Our Lady of Mount Carmel

I think Mary must have been a gardener, and not just because it seems like a thrifty use of her first century time. I imagine her kneeling down, maybe using an old cloth to cushion her knees, and getting dirt under her fingernails. I think of her as a gardner throughout our human history too. A little trouble in France? […]

"The Holy Cave" where Our Lady of Covadonga appeared to Pelayo"The Holy Cave" where Our Lady of Covadonga appeared to Pelayo

Hope for the World: Our Lady of Covadonga

I never used to like history.  Then one of my best friends introduced my husband to a book that was more story than history book.  My husband read it in record time, which was remarkable given his limited reading time and his tendency not to read for pleasure.  On the other hand, I am a bookworm of addictive proportions.  My […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament: Holding Jesus Twice

I am alone, and yet I’m not.  It’s silent, which is strange and disconcerting, coming as I do from a life full of noise and activity.  When I have been there a while, immersed in some reading that I can’t seem to absorb when I read it anywhere else, I notice that it is not, in fact, completely quiet.  There’s […]

LUCIA, FRANCISCO AND JACINTALUCIA, FRANCISCO AND JACINTA

Inspired by Our Lady of Fatima to Do Less (and More!)

I am constantly challenged to do more, sometimes by people who don’t even know they’re doing it.  Back when I used to work for our parish, almost everyone knew me.  After Mass once, a well-meaning and very enthusiastic parishioner came up to me and exclaimed, “WHY aren’t YOUR KIDS signed up for Vacation Bible School???”  She was smiling, she was excited, and […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Three Powerful Lessons from the Blessed Mother

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. For quite some time, I have had a desire to write about my ever growing appreciation and deepening […]

Our Lady of ChinaOur Lady of China

Finding Comfort in Our Lady of China

Whatever time it was, it was dark, pitch black, deep night.  The scream shattered the stillness and destroyed my sleep.  I was wide awake, completely alert, no daze to me, despite the lack of sleep. There was no intruder, no fire, no emergency.  There was, instead, a little girl, terrified by monsters assailing her in her dreams.  She had no […]

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Peeling Paint and Our Lady of Good Counsel

Before we moved to our current home, when people would find out I lived in an old farmhouse, they generally had one of two reactions.  They either thought I was lucky or they commiserated.  For some reason, the people who thought I was lucky—living in a house that could have been in Anne of Green Gables or Black Beauty, electricity added of course—seem to outnumber […]