How to Choose a Lenten Penance

Lent is a great experience of spiritual solidarity for Catholics. We fast together, pray together, and fall in love again with the central beauty of our faith: suffering never has the last word, and always has meaning in light of the cross.  The spiritual practice of fasting has the unique capacity to remind us of … Continue reading How to Choose a Lenten Penance

Love in a Pile of Shoes

All of my shoes have been removed from my closet. They now sit in a pile at the foot of bed. My toddler, shoe relocation engineer, beams up at me with pride, handing me the last remaining shoe. And I'm surprised by what I feel. Not frustration about the mess, or preoccupation with the burden … Continue reading Love in a Pile of Shoes

Daily Prayers for Lent

Discerning a Lenten prayer practice? Try adding one of these prayers to your daily routine. Litany of Humility I first learned the Litany of Humility as a LifeTeen Summer Staff Missionary, but its power didn't really hit me until my second year of teaching. I remember feeling overwhelmed by all the competing pressures of students, … Continue reading Daily Prayers for Lent

An Empty House

I love the quiet, the stillness before the sun rises and little feet patter down the hall. This time is my gift to myself and to God. It is the time when the coffee is still hot and my soul is more contemplative than chaotic. This time is a treasure, bought with reluctant obedience to … Continue reading An Empty House

Letting Go of Perfectionism by Embracing Weakness

Even before the age of Instagram, the impetus to present an idealized image of our lives to the world has been a pervasive temptation. Somewhere along the line, humanity bought into the lie that success and strength are products of independent self-reliance, rather than shared reliance on community. The more we buy into this lie, … Continue reading Letting Go of Perfectionism by Embracing Weakness

Dismantling the “Just a Mom” Myth

One of the hazards of bearing a baby bump is the avalanche of advice on how best to raise your children. Friends and strangers suddenly feel the impulse to touch you without warning and share harrowing stories of traumatic birth experiences. And they always want to know, “Are you going back to work?” For some … Continue reading Dismantling the “Just a Mom” Myth

The Key to a More Contemplative Advent

I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Despite my lack of skill or experience, the romance of a morning run appealed to me: simple, solitary, and powerful. I wanted to emulate that. When I finally started running, it was hard - harder than I expected. It still is sometimes. In my enthusiasm, I start out … Continue reading The Key to a More Contemplative Advent

Waiting and Wailing for Waffles

“Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.” Is. 30:18d My one-year-old eats a waffle for breakfast every morning. Despite that I have never failed to feed him, he inevitably wails for the entire two minutes it takes to pop up from the toaster. I sing and dance, trying to distract him. I explain that … Continue reading Waiting and Wailing for Waffles

The Bump as Invitation

Any woman who’s ever been visibly pregnant knows that her baby bump is an invitation. Whether she likes it or not, friends and strangers alike regard the bump as a signal. It alters the laws of social interaction, eliminating the concept of personal space surrounding the protruding area. The bump also elicits a flood of … Continue reading The Bump as Invitation

30+ Ways Parents Can Make Mass Less Stressful

The celebration of the Eucharist is the greatest miracle on earth. For parents of little kids, it can also be one of the most stressful! Of course, taking children to Mass is incredibly important and meaningful, but it hardly feels that way when yours is the child crying, laughing, screaming, or just generally being a … Continue reading 30+ Ways Parents Can Make Mass Less Stressful