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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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Six Things I Learned This Summer

Six Things I Learned This Summer

On the last day of August, I reflect back to the beginning of the month. We started August with Vacation Bible School; my oldest daughter was on her youth group pilgrimage. Now, at the end, we are wrapping up the first week of a new school year. In many ways VBS feels like it happened ages ago, especially now that we are immersed in class schedules and new routines. But before we get too wrapped up in all-things-fall, I want…

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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 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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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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Living Out Our Destiny as Daughters of the King

Living Out Our Destiny as Daughters of the King

For much of my life, I considered myself to be fairly insignificant. As a young girl, I was shy, quiet, and often picked last for kickball games. Growing up, I was a good student, but I was not exceptional. My gifts and talents were not noticeable on the stage or soccer field. Even into my young adult years, I saw friends sparkle through their passions—music, art, fitness, you name it—and I wondered why my life didn’t shine as brightly as…

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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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Keeping the Sabbath Holy: Six Tips for Living Sunday Differently

Keeping the Sabbath Holy: Six Tips for Living Sunday Differently

Remember the sabbath day — keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh…

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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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