Women of Faith

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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 […]

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On Lenten Failures and Easter Resurrections

This year, I didn’t pull out the Lenten decorations I use as visual aids to help my children during the forty days in the desert.  My crown of thorns wreath, the purple cloth, the sacrifice jar and the other small devotional items I implement as best Lenten practices stayed housed in their Rubbermaid containers in the garage. I suppose this is […]

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Try Hard, Love Much

“She tried hard and loved much.” Not to be morbid, but I hope that can be truthfully put on my tombstone. I’m not planning on dying any time soon, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Over the years I have come to realize that a great way to live is to really consider my own death. What is […]

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Why Pornography is Not Good For Married Couples

February is for Lovers. It is the reason that the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey is opening in theaters on Valentine’s Day. The producers hope that sweethearts will celebrate by watching sadomasochistic pornography together on the big screen. But pornography and love do not go together; one is selfish and the other is selfless. Even the non-religious world is coming […]

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Mass without My Kids: Not All It’s Cracked up to Be

Every so often, I find myself at Mass without my kids. And it never fails to shock me that…I’m just as distracted without them as I am when they’re with me! I wrote this piece back in 2007, when I only had one toddler to my name and was the full-time parish secretary. This toddler came to work with me every […]

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

Did Mary 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 […]