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Have you hugged your colon today?

Once a year — usually during March, which is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – I parade out a photo of my fine-looking colon to get your attention. (Yes, that is my actual colon above, as it appeared during my most recent colonoscopy, which was a little more than two years ago.) Read more

April 2 Connecticut event: “You Can’t Fail Lent”

“You Can’t Fail Lent: Learning to see these 40 days as  journey, not a test.” That’s what I’ll be talking about on Wednesday, April 2, when I head to Darien, Conn., to speak to the Women’s Circle of St. Thomas More Parish. The event, which is open to the public, includes a brunch and will be held at the beautiful Convent of St. Birgitta, 4 Runkenhage Road, Darien.

I’m especially looking forward to this event because I get to spend the night at the convent, which overlooks the inlets of the Long Island Sound. I’ll try to post some pictures and spiritual reflections once I’m back.

If you would like to attend the event, please call Patty at St. Thomas More Parish at 203-655-3303. Tickets for the brunch are $40 per person.


My breakup with Facebook. Why I hit “delete.”

Ever since joining Facebook a few years ago, I’ve been fairly addicted. Okay, super addicted. I loved my Facebook world. Too much. We definitely had a love-hate relationship, Facebook and I. Some sort of weird, dysfunctional co-dependency. I’d “deactivate” on occasion to give myself a brief respite from Facebook’s demand for more and more of my time and energy, but I’d always come back, usually sooner than I’d planned. I couldn’t stay away. Until this week, when I decided to leave Facebook for good. I didn’t just deactivate; I hit “delete,” which means I cut the ties completely. Read more

Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads. And how you can learn to lead like him.

After Pope Francis recently shared the story of reaching into his confessor’s casket and stealing the cross off his Rosary beads, I sent my husband, Dennis, this email message: “Every time I think I can’t love this pope more, he says something crazy and ups the ante.” And that is absolutely the truth. From the moment Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony, waved to the crowd and asked for a blessing, I knew – I think we all knew — this man was someone special. Almost every word and action after that has built on our initial hunch. I have often said that if ever I needed proof of the Holy Spirit alive and well in the Church today, the election of Pope Francis is it. Read more

Finding long-lost memories in a dresser drawer

My March “Life Lines” column running in the current issue of Catholic New York:

I decided to clean out some dresser drawers last weekend, and mixed in with the shirts I no longer wear and the silks scarves I forgot I had were little pieces of my past. Noah’s handprint in clay from when he was just a year old. A puffy foam heart necklace made by Chiara for a Mother’s Day gone by. Olivia’s old letters to Santa and one to the Tooth Fairy demanding to know what she does with all those teeth anyway. Read more

We are love, we are one…

A little musical inspiration on this first friday of March and first friday of Lent. I love this song, and when I heard it again yesterday as I was driving kids all over town, it felt like the perfect Lenten meditation. Here’s “Nothing More” by The Alternate Routes:

We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More

Lent, Day 2: It’s not too late to tweak your plan

So we’re into our second day of Lent and maybe you’re already thinking whatever you planned for Lent could use a little boost or support. Maybe the fasting part of Ash Wednesday was fine but you felt lacking in the prayer department. It’s not too late to gather up some resources to keep things moving in the right direction or to find a new direction even now, after Lent has officially begun. No one said you can’t change the plan once you’ve started on the path. You can always change the plan, especially if you’re not feeling spiritually fed by what you’re doing. This isn’t about meeting some earthly marker but about growing closer to God. Read more

Ashes to ashes: the journey begins…

I usually enter the Lenten season like gangbusters. Armed with books and plans — overly ambitious plans — I typically approach Ash Wednesday in spiritual attack mode. And by the second or third week of Lent, I’m totally deflated and disappointed. This year has been very different, and I haven’t yet figured out why. I sort of backed into Lent, still pondering my plans right up until I headed to church for Mass and ashes early this morning. Read more

Why you need Strange Gods this Lent

For I don’t know how long now, I’ve been carrying around Elizabeth Scalia’s book, Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. It’s in my purse, on my desk, in my suitcase, on my nightstand, on the coffee table, on the counter. It had become a little like a permanent appendage, and still I hadn’t read more than a few pages here and there because I wanted to wait until I could give it my undivided attention, but I don’t have undivided attention. Ever. Read more

Fasting: A Lenten primer

This story originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor in 2010, which amazes me because it was years before I had even thought about writing Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God and yet I can hear the spark of that book within this story. But I digress. Perhaps you’d like to enjoy this post with a greasy burger or a big piece of chocolate cake while you still can.

By Mary DeTurris Poust

Fasting and abstinence were once staples of Catholic life. There was a time not so long ago when you could spot Catholics in a restaurant simply by looking at what was on their plates on a Wednesday or Friday. But, with changes in Church rules and individual mindsets, fasting slowly began to fall out of fashion. Today, in popular Catholic culture at least, fasting is often considered a quaint practice of days gone by, something that pales in comparison to doing charitable works. Read more