spiritual life

Why does my journey of faith seem so lonely?

Dear Sister, Sometimes the living of my Catholic faith is a lonely walk for me. Why is that?  Am I doing anything wrong?  Sometimes I think, “Am I the only one feeling this way?” I’ve never had theology classes and would appreciate anything you could send my way to help me understand why I feel so alone sometimes in my […]

Just Getting By

“Let her alone, Henry. This is an excellent paper, and she’s going to ace it.” I tried to pretend I agreed with the favorable judgment being made of me before my brother Henry interrupted: “Yes, but she’s lazy and complacent. She had weeks to write this term paper, and she’s only now getting around to writing it – the day […]

A Convert Struggles in Her Relationship with Mary

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

Dear Sister I just recently became Catholic and I’m still struggling with the Church’s teachings on Mary. I respect her, but I don’t feel the need to ask her for prayers if I can just ask God directly. Do you have any suggestions on how I can have a relationship with Mary? Dear Friend, Yes, I do! Being a convert […]

Where in the World is Carmel?

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be […]

Learning the Lesson of Leisure

As a child, looking out the back window of our mini-van, I could see the fields of corn stretching out along either side of I-29 for miles. This could mean only two things: summer and camping! My sisters and I loved the camping adventures that would occur during the non-winter months of the Midwest. But more than just summer fun, […]

The Day the Light Dawned

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

I am a Carmelite Sister who teaches 200 high school students daily during five class periods beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending about 2:30 p.m. Each of my classes has forty students. Each student is a cherished, never-to-be-repeated, unique human person. Each one of them has an immortal soul, so I can truly say that there are 400 souls in my […]

Do not be Afraid to Touch Jesus

"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) comes from Mark 5:21-43 and consists of the accounts of two miracles Jesus performed. Jairus, a synagogue official desperate to save the life of his daughter, seeks out Jesus. On His way with Jairus to restore his daughter, Jesus encounters the woman with a hemorrhage. Mark frequently interrupts one story to […]

Love in a Time of Social Media

A recent post here on Integrated Catholic Life echoed what I have been thinking about social media lately. Sister Laus Gloriae reminded us of the many sins of the tongue and gave us remedies for overcoming them. As I looked over the list, I thought of how many have been exacerbated, expedited, and assisted by social media. I was speaking […]

Living on God’s Time

“How do you do it all?” asked one of my good friends during a recent visit. It’s a question nearly every mother hears, especially those of us who are labeled “uber busy.” The reality of balancing domestic duties, caring for young children, and maintaining a healthy marriage—all in one twenty-four-hour time period—is even more difficult for those of us who […]

How to to Overcome Sins and Faults of the Tongue

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

To Speak or not to Speak—That is the Question Dear Sister, There is a lot of noise around me—constantly. So much chatter. It seems to me that conversations in general are getting more superficial. I’m reminded of the title of one Shakespeare’s plays. It seems to fit what I am trying to say—Much Ado about Nothing. What are your thoughts? […]