daily life

Preaching: A Woman’s Perspective

“As laity, we have an active duty to work for the Church, in the Church, in a specific way.” For those of you who read these Friday posts frequently, you know that I often reflect on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings. Scripture is inexhaustible, and we can go back again and again to the same passages to pull out additional […]

The Real Lesson from Martha

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

“Let’s not be too hasty to set up Martha as the bad sister, nor to judge her service as the problem.” Martha, Martha… Familiar words greet us in this Sunday’s Gospel. Much ink has been spilled on the sisters at Bethany, Mary and Martha. They have long been seen as metaphors for the active and contemplative life, although there’s a […]

God enters the darkness

A world in darkness. A world in desolation. While these last days of Advent are filled with expectation, we must not forget that they are also filled with darkness. A world waiting for a Savior means a world waiting in sin and pain. A world filled with hope means a world that is still unfulfilled and empty. The people walking […]

When You’re Too Busy for Advent

Last week, we looked at making a plan for Advent. So often our spiritual preparation gets lost in the midst of our preparation for the temporal demands of the season. Advent is now half-over, and you may be thinking it’s too late to make a spiritual plan. Quite possibly the demands on your time have ramped up as Christmas approaches, […]

Making a Plan for Advent

I heard someone point out once that most of us generally celebrate two seasons – Lent and not-Lent. When Lent rolls around, we have the sense that we need to make a plan. How often we hear the week before Lent from someone: “I need to decide what I’m going to do for Lent.” We decide to live the season […]

Lessons from Ikea: Do the Next Thing

A few weeks ago, I ordered several pieces of furniture from IKEA. If anyone knows anything about IKEA, they realize this doesn’t mean that a desk and bookshelves arrived on my doorstep, ready to be used. Rather, nine large, heavy boxes arrived on my doorstep. A daunting task was ahead of me. I had heard horror stories about putting together […]

Our Family History

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

I love saint stories.   I know I’m not alone – even the saints loved saint stories.  St. Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion was spurred by reading the life of Christ and the lives of the saints.  Edith Stein stayed up all night reading the life of St. Teresa of Avila.  There is an attraction in the radical witness of holiness that […]

Leave Room for the Holy Spirit

Over the last few years, on at least two different occasions, I have declared I would “never” do something or that something “is not happening.” Let me clarify—I was not speaking about things that were sinful or harmful to myself or others. I was speaking about things that were not in my plan or were not included in how I […]

Sacramentals in Our Time

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at sacramentals, the integration of our life, and a sacramental worldview. In this last post on sacramentals, I want to look at the place sacramentals can play in the evangelization and restoration of our culture. How do we evangelize our culture? How do we protect our families from the encroachment of secularism? […]