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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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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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Here is Your Mother: Loving and Honoring Mary

Here is Your Mother: Loving and Honoring Mary

The Blessed Virgin is like a good mother who, not content with looking after all her children in general, watches over each one separately. —St. John Vianney I have written about Mary, Jesus’ mother, a lot. If you type “Mary” into the search engine on the right sidebar, you will find an array of blog posts about her. If you click on “31 Days” at the top of my website, you will find a 31-day series I wrote on her….

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Hail Mary: Recognizing the Mother of God as My Mother, Too

Hail Mary: Recognizing the Mother of God as My Mother, Too

“We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek—Jesus, her Son.” (St. Louis de Montfort) The seeds of my devotion to the Blessed Mother were planted years and years ago. I can look back on my 40+ years of life and see significant moments when those seeds were…

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The Genius of Women and Our Role in the Church

The Genius of Women and Our Role in the Church

Growing up, I heard all sorts of things about women and the church. Much of it was not positive. And I honestly did not understand why. As a cradle Catholic, I always felt well loved and well respected within the Catholic Church. Even before I learned the Church’s exact teaching on the dignity of women, I intuitively knew that God loved me. And as a little girl, I knew that if God loved me, than I was important. There was…

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The Kingdom of God is at Hand: Abandoning Our Nets to Follow Jesus

The Kingdom of God is at Hand: Abandoning Our Nets to Follow Jesus

“Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:18) The place looks familiar. There is a swing set in the background and a metal merry-go-round in the middle. No one is on the playground, and everything is still and quiet, like that audible quiet one hears when it is snowing. I look around, and there is Jesus, standing in the middle of the playground. His dancing eyes are on me. His smile is full of delight and joy. His arms are…

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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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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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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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