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Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

If I had to guess the calendar date based on my favorite store’s décor, I would get it wrong. Fall pumpkins, cornucopias, and leafy garlands are nowhere to be found. Only messy remnants of Halloween remain on the clearance racks. Instead, I see Christmas trees, twinkle lights, and stockings. Signs and symbols of December, not early November. Whenever I see Christmas coming too early, I feel rushed and anxious. Suddenly, I think I am behind, as if I’ve missed a…

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Unity: Togetherness is a Path to Heaven

Unity: Togetherness is a Path to Heaven

On Day 11 of Resetting the Rhythms of Life, we are going to get a little practical. Over the past few days, we have been really honest with ourselves and with God about why life feels so imbalanced. Whether it is overcommitting or overscheduling, this leads us to feeling overwhelmed. And then we grow weary of life, and even the things we enjoy can be too much. Perhaps God has already shown you something you can cross off your to-do…

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Our Lady of Sorrows Gives Us Cause for Joy

Our Lady of Sorrows Gives Us Cause for Joy

Do not leave the altar without first shedding tears of sorrow and love for Jesus, crucified for your eternal salvation. Our Lady of Sorrows will keep you company and inspire you. —St. Padre Pio I met Our Lady of Sorrows on my first silent retreat. The retreat was led by priests of Miles Christi, who have a special devotion to her. Every time we prayed, we invoked her intercession: Mater Dolorosa, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us. And for one of our daily…

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Mary, Queen and Mother, Shows Us How to Open Our Hearts to Jesus

Mary, Queen and Mother, Shows Us How to Open Our Hearts to Jesus

“Close your eyes after Holy Communion,” Father Andrew instructed. “Let yourself feel the loving embrace of Jesus.” The time after Holy Communion is powerful, intimate, and sacred, if we allow it to be. I always try to remain present to the presence of Jesus, believing with all my heart that His precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity now rest in me. As a mom of six, however, I often have to spend this time with one eye open, making sure…

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Standing Strong With Mary: A Woman’s Response During Devastation

Standing Strong With Mary: A Woman’s Response During Devastation

Yesterday, I opened my Magnificat and prayed Psalm 15. O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?  The Lord clearly answered: He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to…

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Learning From Mary: Saying Yes to God With Cheerful Readiness

Learning From Mary: Saying Yes to God With Cheerful Readiness

In today’s Gospel, Mary sets out to visit Elizabeth “in haste” (Luke 1:39). Just a few verses back from the Visitation account, we remember that Mary also responds to the angel’s request with a cheerful readiness. Mary does not delay in giving her “yes” to God (v. 38). When God invites me to do something, however, I am a little slower in my response than Mary is. I am grateful for His invitation to be His servant, his handmaiden. But…

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Learning Life Lessons on a Paddleboard

Learning Life Lessons on a Paddleboard

“Some of us would be surprised if they knew what God could make of them if, in the decisive moments of their lives, they gave ear to the voice of grace!” —St. Ignatius of Loyola This summer, I checked something off my bucket list. I went paddleboarding for the very first time with eight women from my running group. Many of these ladies run marathons, and all of them workout way more than I do. I have not run longer…

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Savoring Summer: 10 Things I Love About the Season

Savoring Summer: 10 Things I Love About the Season

Last week, one of my kids told me, “Summer is almost over.” Say what? When I shared this with Greg, he didn’t sound surprised. Apparently, one of his coworkers said something similar to him. Something along the lines of it being the end of July. On July 10. I returned to my child, and we counted the remaining days of summer. We discovered that we have a few more than 40 days left of summer break. I thought that would…

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Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Summer Reflections of God’s Goodness

Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Summer Reflections of God’s Goodness

It is Saturday. I sit on a bench in the garden, just after dinner. Lush trees surround me. The creek below flows freely. The cool breeze blows as the warm sun begins to set. Everything that surrounds me is full, ripe with goodness, extending up and out. The trees’ branches exhibit a fullness of green. The shining sun just celebrated its brightest day of the year. The gentle breeze rustles the grass and tickles my nose. And the colorful flowers cheerfully…

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Helping Each Other Even in Times of Struggle

Helping Each Other Even in Times of Struggle

Opening my inbox, I saw the email waiting for me. I knew what it would entail, before I even read it. Your deadline is approaching. Please submit your article ASAP. Panic set in. I could not even think about adding one more thing to my overflowing plate. In addition to the panic, I noticed that sadness set into my heart, too. I wanted to write that article. I wanted to do it, more than anything on my to-do list. And…

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