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Category: faith

5 Simple Ways to Encourage Vocations Within the Family

5 Simple Ways to Encourage Vocations Within the Family

O, God, we earnestly ask you to bless this archdiocese with many priests, deacons, brothers and sisters … At every Sunday Mass, my parish prays two special prayers for vocations. We begin with a prayer for marriage and family, asking St. Joseph to intercede for us. After the Prayers of the Faithful, we pray another prayer that begins with the words with which I began this blog post. It has been a long-standing tradition to pray for and foster vocations…

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Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Two and a half weeks ago, my family and I gathered around our Christmas tree. Excitement and joy mingled with the festive scents of hot coffee, cinnamon rolls, and pine needles. The kids piled their gifts next to them and eagerly wondered what was inside each wrapped box. As I sipped my coffee and breathed in Christmas goodness, I felt grateful. For the first time in forever, I felt like Christmas had arrived and I had arrived with it. I…

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Let Us Adore Him: Embracing the Babe, Embracing the Cross

Let Us Adore Him: Embracing the Babe, Embracing the Cross

As I sit in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel, I am graced with this very visual meditation of the life of Christ. As if the very heartbeat of Christ in the monstrance isn’t enough, today I also get to praise and adore the infant Jesus, who the shepherds worshiped and who the magi traveled far to find, honor, and present gifts fit for a King. There He is before me. In my prayer, I recall how I waited and watched for Him…

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Being Called Beloved: A Reflection on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Being Called Beloved: A Reflection on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“And this is the marvel of marvels, that He called me Beloved.” (C.S. Lewis) The warm sun is shining, and there is not a cloud in the sky. I wear a white robe, and I am standing in chest-deep water. It is the perfect temperature—comfortable and refreshing at the same time. I have been following John for awhile, and his message of repentance resonates deep in my heart. I wonder how I can apply his words—“Prepare the way of the…

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Joy to the World! It’s Christmas! The Lord is Come!

Joy to the World! It’s Christmas! The Lord is Come!

I just love Christmas Eve Mass. It is my favorite part of Christmas. I become overwhelmed with joy, as O Come All Ye Faithful announces the beginning of this holy day, this holy season. I cannot help but put myself—and all those weary travelers who are with me in Church—right at the manger scene. It is as if we are following the star of wonder … we are like the shepherds going to see the Baby in the stable … I pray, pray,…

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How a Little Desk Calendar Made a World of Difference

How a Little Desk Calendar Made a World of Difference

It was one of those weeks. Everything was happening within the same seven days, and I didn’t know how I was going to get through it all. In addition to my family’s regular commitments, such as school, work, and errands, I had three deadlines to meet, parent-teacher conferences to attend, and a family party to prepare for. Oh, and two of my daughters and their teams were in volleyball playoff games. I am sure you can relate to the craziness…

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Celebrating the Saints This Halloween With New Greeting Cards

Celebrating the Saints This Halloween With New Greeting Cards

As a little girl, I was always a little apprehensive about Halloween. I liked dressing up and feasting on candy, but some neighbors down the street created this haunted house experience in their front yard, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I don’t know if I just didn’t like feeling scared or if I actually sensed a type of evil in their decorations. What I do know is that it caused Halloween to be one of my least…

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The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Playground

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Playground

The invitation is real. His eyes dance with delight as He beckons me to join Him. “On a playground, Lord?” I ask. And all He does is laugh and extend His hand. The magnetic pull is strong. It’s as if one part of the magnet is Jesus’ heart, and the other is my heart. They are not meant to be separate but together. He is asking for my yes, my fiat. And He really hopes I don’t keep Him waiting…

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Five Simple Ideas for Staying Focused During Mass

Five Simple Ideas for Staying Focused During Mass

I love being Catholic, and the Holy Mass is one of the main reasons why. It is the most miraculous events of the week. To meditate on what is actually happening at every Mass could leave my head spinning for days. Think about it: God Himself enters our space and time. He comes to dwell among us—and within us. He becomes just as present to us on the altar in the form of bread and wine as He was in…

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Don’t Ask More Than God Does

Don’t Ask More Than God Does

I am preparing for my annual silent retreat weekend, and I have been thinking about my past retreat experiences. Sometimes I doubt that they are doing any good. Have I really grown spiritually in the past 2, 4, 6 years? I know that discouragement can be normal in the spiritual life, which is why I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the nagging voice. Still, as I reflect back on the post I wrote for CatholicMom.com three years…

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