Women of Faith

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Ask for a Sign

I wasn’t looking for anything—not a sign from God, anyway. Long before that moment, I had abandoned asking God for signs. Maybe it was that it seemed superstitious or petulant or…maybe it was my lack of faith. I didn’t really believe God was speaking to me through such simple acts of providence each day—signs. But my oldest, Felicity, so gingerly […]

Scrapbooking Materials

I am His Beloved

I paused before exiting the guest bedroom. It was still new to me, since we had moved only a little over a month prior. But the walk-in closet beckoned me to open it, reminding me that I had thrust every photo album, film negative, loose picture, and scrapbook on the shelves in desperation to get the room uncluttered and somewhat […]

Flourishing and Dying

About two months ago, our family moved to a new city and home. Life was on the cusp of a spring breakthrough, though we couldn’t yet perceive all of its wonder and glory. Our new backyard was riddled with sticks and brown, parched grass. Heavily pruned and unidentifiable bushes adorned the brick pathway through the side yard. Life was dormant, […]

When You Feel Stuck

Right now I feel stuck. I mean good and rooted in some kind of nowhere, a limbo of sorts, a holding pattern. Call it what you want, feeling like nothing is moving forward is a frustrating place to be. Of course, there are all sorts of beautiful and poetic spiritual treatises available to explain the gift of spiritual dryness, but […]

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

Authentic Friendship—Learning from Mary

God made us for communion, and as women, we have been given an incredible gift. In fact our fundamental value as women is our ability to receive the other, our gift of receptivity that is characterized by our self-gift, giving the gift of presence. It is a special gift that is important in society today—that is to witness to the […]

Carpathian mountain valley

Becoming a New Creation

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “I can’t do this again,” I sighed to myself as we entered our new home. There had been too much transition, too much unknown, going on in recent days. We had to say goodbye to our friends and […]

What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the forty days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that the […]

Our Lady of Mercy

Understanding Mercy Thanks to Mary

There’s nothing quite like being in a hurry and seeing the flashing red lights that mean that a train is coming and that I have to stop. I had this happen to me recently when I was on my way from my mother-in-law’s house to town. It was at a train track that’s on a busy highway, in a place […]

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

A recent Lenten homily spoke to my heart in a profound manner.  Our rural Catholic community doesn’t boast of many grandiose things.  We are a humble church and a humble people.  But our pastor spoke boldly and confidently.  He pierced the hearts of many with these words: “God is challenging us to step outside of what is comfortable and familiar.  […]

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

Strive to be Legendary, not Popular

A while ago, I was lamenting to myself that I have not yet had my “big break” as an author or speaker (I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to admit).  My first traditionally published book was released almost a year ago, with a big splash and then quiet, calm waters followed.  Here I am, in the midst of winter, and […]