Women of Faith

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

Did Mary Ever Have Days Like This?

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things—the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the rest of […]

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When I Am Weak, He Is Strong

“Let my work glorify you today, Lord, ” I prayed as soon as I opened my eyes last Sunday morning. I was slated to take photos for our parish’s First Communion and though I hadn’t put my feet on the floor, I already felt nervous about it. Last year, the religious education director asked me to fill in when the […]

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The Four Keys to Everlasting Love

Most of us didn’t receive an instruction manual when we became engaged.  We likely participated in the required pre-Cana classes at our parish and completed the FOCUS test.  But that may have been the end of our premarital instruction.  Once the wedding was over and the honeymoon phase fizzled down, we were left with a marriage—a lifetime.  Suddenly the pomp […]

Our Lady of MercyOur 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 […]

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On Accepting Help

I was in desperate need of Confession recently. When I finally decided I couldn’t put off the spring-cleaning my soul so desperately needed any longer, I scoured the Internet looking for a local church and made plans to go.  I knew I would have to bring all six kids with me because my husband was working and I was dreading […]

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Beauty Unveiled: Wearing a Mantilla to Mass

Years ago during my single college days (when I was a daily Mass goer), I was captivated by the few women who wore mantillas. That interest led me to consider veiling, but it was a transitory thought that was never truly discerned. I admired the women who were unafraid to stand out among the crowd at Mass, and something seemed […]

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When Christmas Hurts: Coping for those who have lost a child

The Advent and Christmas seasons can be difficult for anyone who has lost a loved one, but uniquely so for those who are mourning the death of an infant through miscarriage. I know because in 1986, in the tender first year of my husband’s and my marriage, I lost our first child on Christmas Day. Instead of celebrating a warm […]

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What To Dump For a Better Life

We’ve got a dumpster coming today for some household cleanup, an October cleaning of sorts to purge the house of many things—old broken but non-antique furniture, a basketball hoop that has seen better days, wet carpet pulled up from a home improvement project, and a wooden swing that served us well for many summers but is now warped and falling […]

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A Mother’s Serenity Prayer

When the heat goes out and the temperature is minus-two degrees outside and I wonder when the oil company will arrive to save us from this dangerous situation, —Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. When we are on day […]

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A Reflection on the Desire to Feel Superior

On a rainy afternoon not too long ago, I took the kids to grab a bite to eat at the large food warehouse near our house.  We were all a bit stir crazy from being cooped up, so the seven of us braved the hellish weather with nary a yellow slicker or umbrella. (In our family, slickers, rain boots, and […]