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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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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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An Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

An Open Book: What I’m Reading This July

Summer has proven to be a wonderful time to catch up on one of my favorite past-times: reading. Except for one minor hiccup: I am not a fast reader. Therefore, I am never going to read all the books I hope to read in any given amount of time. If I am OK with that, and I think I am, then, yes, summer is a wonderful time to catch up on my reading! In June, I set out to read…

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An Open Book: What I’m Reading This June

An Open Book: What I’m Reading This June

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a nice chat about books. The last time I shared what I’ve been reading was back in October. For some reason, 2018 has not started out as my year for reading an impressive list of books. In fact, according to my Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge, I’ve only read three books in five months. (Yikes!) The thing is, I love books, and I love to read. And now that it is summer, and our family schedule…

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Five Mother’s Day Gifts That Keep on Giving

Five Mother’s Day Gifts That Keep on Giving

The vocation of motherhood is a beautiful one. In Mulieris Dignitatem, St. John Paul II writes, “Each and every time that motherhood is repeated in human history, it is always related to the Covenant which God established with the human race through the motherhood of the Mother of God.” Wow! To think that every pregnancy points to the Incarnation is nothing less than amazing! As beautiful as motherhood is, it also can be difficult and even painful. [Motherhood] is constituted more…

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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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