motherhood

The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

A Mother Who Inspires us to Love

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

What if Pope Francis gave you a special mission? Wouldn’t you find it hard to ignore? I, for one, paid attention when the Holy Father issued a commission to me and my companions during a private audience in Rome back in October of 2013. We had gathered together for a study seminar hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity […]

Encountering the Word — Proverbs 31:26-29

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you […]

Is Motherhood a Choice?

I recently stumbled upon a series of memes about womanhood and motherhood.  They were posted on Facebook by a friend’s daughter, and the one that immediately caught my eye was: “Rose decided not to have kids.  That’s okay, Rose.  Motherhood is a choice.”  In a string of comments following my “Motherhood is a gift and blessing” opening, I realized that […]

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

Lucia, Franciso and Jacinta

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 […]

The Good News About Imperfect Families

Do we have to go to church?” my five year old, Camille, whined as we readied for the Good Friday Stations of the Cross. “It’s boring and stupid,” she said, tears dripping down her cheeks and punctuating her overly dramatic sentiments. “I want to go to the Stations. Today is the day Jesus died. I want to comfort Him,” I […]

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 […]

The Human Side of Mary: Our Lady of Tears

I had seen the various mothers in my life cry many times, but it wasn’t until I went to make funeral arrangements with my mother-in-law that I glimpsed a portion of the tears Mary must have shed during her lifetime, especially during Our Lord’s passion and death.  My mother-in-law was making arrangements for the third time, for the third grandson.  […]

Mary as Our Lady of Grace

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

She stood there, in the front, as she always did.  She was looking down, but I felt like I somehow caught her eye.  Maybe it’s because I had my small children with me at the midnight Mass.  Among all the families with small children in our parish, we were the only one who had woken our children in the middle […]

Mary, the Most Flexible Woman I Know

"Mary Untier of Knots" (detail) by Johann Georg Melchior

I’m not known for my flexibility.  It’s not just that I’m neither athletic nor interested in becoming more so.  It’s that I want my world situated into a planner, complete with alphabetized lists and prioritized to-dos. It’s not that I don’t like surprises, as long as they come when I’ve planned for them (like at Christmas).  It’s not that I […]