My current Life Lines column from Catholic New York:
What is it about the darkness that makes normal things seem a little scarier and scary things seem downright unbearable? Maybe it has something to do with childhood memories of things that go bump in the night, of partially open closet doors that hide all sorts of imaginary monsters just waiting to catch us unaware. Maybe it has to do with the deep connection we make between darkness and evil in our faith and in our world. Whatever it is, I found myself lying awake one night recently, the creaks of our older house drowned out by the much louder and demanding “monsters” in my head. Read more
This month, I’m the featured contributor over at My Daily Visitor, a publication of Our Sunday Vistor. Every day you can find a brief reflection on the day’s readings or saint of the day, and a one-line prayer.
Here’s today’s reflection/prayer. At the end is a link so you can subscribe for the rest of the month and every month after. Read more
How are you waiting today? Are you rushing from store to store trying to finish up your shopping? Are you preparing food for a big family dinner? Are you wrapping gifts, or cleaning house? Read more
Need a little less crazy in your Christmas season? Today I’ll be talking about restoring some sanity to your life — over at Huffington Post. I’ll start you here and link you there:
Chances are that right about now the Christmas season is getting the best of you. At least that’s how it’s going at my house. Just last night I suggested to my husband and kids — amid the fighting over who opens which door on the Advent calendar and who hangs which ornament on the Christmas tree — that maybe we should just pack it in and pretend there’s no Christmas this year, which is kind of missing the whole “reason for the season” in a pretty glaring way. So we tried to regroup and declare a do-over on the lead-up to Christmas. Read more
My most recent Life Lines column, running in Catholic New York and The Catholic Spirit this month:
I don’t know about you, but I tend to approach my prayer life – my spiritual habits or “skills” – from an unrealistic place. While I easily recognize the need to practice or work out in order to keep up my basic guitar skills or my jogging endurance, I expect to settle down to prayer and reap immediate rewards with little or no effort. Or I allow myself to fall into a prayer rut that ends up leaving me on autopilot, until the words I say have about as much meaning and feeling behind them as reading a recipe out loud. Read more
About two weeks ago, I had to go for a CT-arterial scan due to a family history of heart disease and an echocardiogram that showed the possibility of a dilated artery. Having a mother who died at 47 of colon cancer, I take all health-related family history pretty seriously, which is why I go for colonoscopies the way other people go for teeth cleanings.
When I finally saw the cardiologist yesterday — after a somewhat-nervewracking wait between iodine-injected scan and results – I was a tiny bit nervous that my Advent season was going to be more about waiting in doctors’ offices and hospitals rather than waiting in silent prayer at home in front of the Advent wreath. But I lucked out. The doctor told me my scan bored him. One reading was zero, as in, can’t get any better or lower than that. At that point I think I started breathing again. It had been a long two weeks, going without breathing and all. Read more
I was sitting in my office this afternoon, trying to ignore the constant buzzing, droning sound of the neighbor’s leaf blower, when I remembered a section of Everyday Divine that focuses on the power of repetitive motion, specifically raking. So I thought I’d share it here for all those folks who will be piling and hauling and bagging leaves this weekend. And if you happen to be among those getting a little snow, there’s something for you as well. Read more
Do you need something to take you away from all the partisan sparring? A little spiritual lift to whoosh through your soul like a cleansing breeze? A bit of grounding to help you deal with the chaos of day-to-day life, not to mention Facebook? Look no further. Read more
|Sun room chapel
Last weekend we were lucky enough to have Mass celebrated at our home by Chiara’s godfather, who was up for a visit. (He’s vicar general of the Metuchen Diocese in N.J.) Olivia, Noah, and Noah’s friend were the readers, and Chiara was the altar server.
If you ever have the chance to experience Mass in such a way, grab it. The closeness of the altar and the intimacy of the liturgy really make for a powerful experience, just like it must have been for those early Christians who gathered in homes to pray and break bread.
|Godchild and Godfather