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Changing your meals from mindless to mindful

It’s not just what we eat but how we eat. During Lent, when so many of us are making food-related sacrifices, from fasting regularly to giving up favorite treats, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the method to our mealtime madness. Do we watch TV while we eat? Check email or Facebook? Argue with our kids? Stand at the counter? Fish our hand into a take-out bag as we drive? Read more

sledding Mary
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Manic Monday: Our main goal is staying warm

It’s a Lenten Manic Monday, and it’s going to be a cold one. We’re starting at 12 degrees and working our way down to -11 by end of today. That’s -11 without any windchill. Why did we leave Texas again? It will be a busy week here at the Poust House both personally and professionally, but here’s what went down over the past few days. Hint: It included lots of sledding, as you tell by the photo over there on the left. That’s me coming down the big hill near our house. Read more

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Lent: It’s not all about giving up chocolate and beer

So, I walked into my bathroom last night and found this message on my make-up mirror: “You’re beautiful!” I smiled because this wasn’t just any random note, this was the work of the Masked Lenten Post-It Bandit. Okay, that’s not what she calls herself, but that’s how I’m starting to think of her. Read more

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My CRS Rice Bowl has arrived! Lent now feels official.

Every year our family looks forward to participating in the CRS Rice Bowl program, but for the past couple of years our local parish hasn’t made the cardboard bowls and accompanying calendar available to parishioners. So I have to get creative to get my Rice Bowl. One year I called CRS directly and had some shipped to our home in record time. This year I found a friend (Thanks, Theresa!) in a nearby parish and had her bring some Rice Bowls across county lines. Contraband Rice Bowls. That’s how we roll at the Poust House. Read more

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You Can’t Fail Lent: 5 tips learned the hard way

My Lenten post over at HuffPost Religion:

Lent is one of those seasons that always begins with the best of intentions and rapidly goes downhill, at least that’s how it usually plays out for me. I plan to pray more, eat less, and find creative ways to make my favorite time in the Church year more meaningful. Unfortunately, the ashes hardly have time to settle into the wrinkles on my forehead before I’m feeling like I’ve already failed.

But Lent is a journey, not a pass-fail test. Trust me, if it were at all possible to fail Lent, I would have long ago been expelled from this spiritual school. Fortunately, the goal here is not a perfect score at the end of 40 days. In fact, let’s throw out the word “goal” and focus instead on practice — spiritual practice.

Here are five tips for shifting your Lenten journey from total spiritual makeover to subtle interior transformation:

Read more HERE.

 

#ashtag 2015
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A new twist on the Ash Wednesday #ashtag

If you scroll through Facebook or Twitter today (if you haven’t given up social media for Lent), you’ll find a minor debate on the blogosphere over whether Ash Wednesday selfies are appropriate or in direct opposition to today’s Gospel reading about not standing on street corners so everyone can see how holy you are. Of course, we could ask the same question about the very act of walking around in public with ashes on your forehead, with or without a selfie, but that’s a blog post for another day. As for Ash Wednesday selfies, my husband, Dennis, and I have come up with a really great twist on the current trend toward the #ashtag. (Updated to show our double selfie because what’s good for the students is good for the teachers!)

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Holy Saturday: waiting in the shadows

Peter never really used to be one of my favorites from Scripture, but the older I get, the more beloved he becomes. He gives me comfort because I identify with him, especially lately. At this point in our faith story, Peter is locked away — afraid, ashamed, alone. He doubted, he denied, he ran away. Even before the crucifixion, he often seemed to get it wrong. Imagine for a moment that Jesus says to you, “Get behind me, Satan.” Yeah, that’s pretty bad. And yet Jesus saw fit to call him the “rock,” the one who would go on to lead his church, or, at that point, his band of disciples. Maybe, just maybe then, Jesus sees some shred of worth beneath my many failings, behind my own doubts and fears. Read more

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Seven Last Words: a Good Friday reflection

Father forgive them, they know not what they do…

We see Jesus on the cross today and hear him forgiving his persecutors, forgiving us. It is a powerful scene, but it is more than just a scene out of our faith history. Jesus’ way is supposed to be our way. Forgive, forgive, forgive, even in the face of the most unreasonable suffering and injustice. Are we willing to forgive as Jesus did? Read more

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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.