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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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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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Jesus Approaches Review: Learning From Women in the New Testament

Jesus Approaches Review: Learning From Women in the New Testament

If my bookshelves could talk, they would tell you of my love of books. Yes, I am a bit of a bibliophile, and I enjoy reading a good book with a steaming cup of tea. And while I have read many good books over the years, very few enter the category of “best books.” You know the ones. The books that are more highlighted than not, the ones you return to again and again, the ones you praise from the rooftops. When…

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Five Simple Ways to Savor the Last 10 Days of Advent

Five Simple Ways to Savor the Last 10 Days of Advent

Ten more days! Are you feeling overwhelmed about getting it all done? Do you feel like there is still too much to do? Is there an internal struggle between getting things done and remaining prayerful and focused on Jesus? This reminder that there are only 10 days until Christmas Day is not meant to make you more stressed out or anxious than you already feel. No, this reminder is to encourage you (and me) to take a breath, to pause,…

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Advent’s Gift of Silence and Stillness … Open It and Receive

Advent’s Gift of Silence and Stillness … Open It and Receive

Today’s post is the second in a four-part Advent series. To read the first post in the series, click HERE. *** I open my planner and see all of the “to-dos” on my list, many more than usual. Each task, in and of itself, is a delightful privilege to do for my family. As a mom, I know I am instrumental in making the magic of Christmas come alive in our home. What an honor! The joy on my kids’ faces,…

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Waiting and Watching With Mary This Advent

Waiting and Watching With Mary This Advent

This article was originally published on the WINE: Women In the New Evangelization blog, as a reflection on the readings for the first Sunday of Advent. Since that was just a few days ago, I thought I would share it here, too, as part of the #WorthRevisit series. Seven years ago, I had the beautiful privilege of being pregnant during the Advent season. I was anticipating a Christmas baby, so I couldn’t help but think a lot about the Blessed…

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Jesus Invites the Weary to Find Rest in Him This Advent

Jesus Invites the Weary to Find Rest in Him This Advent

This summer, I attended a three-day silent retreat. I entered into the retreat with an agenda! I anticipated receiving very clear direction for the next phase of my life as a wife and mom. You see, my family was about to begin a new school year, and it was going to be the first time in 14 years that all six of my children would be in school. I was going to be a stay-at-home mom with no kids at home, and I…

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Be Still: A Free Advent Prayer Journal for the Weary Woman

Be Still: A Free Advent Prayer Journal for the Weary Woman

It is midway through this week of limbo. This week that feels like I am on hold. Thanksgiving is over, but Advent hasn’t begun. I wanted this week to be a time to prayerfully consider how I wanted to enter into the four weeks of Advent. But like so often it does, life hijacked that prayerful plan. Some of it was out of my control, like my husband coming down with the flu. But other things were definitely in my control,…

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