Talitha Koum

New life is waking up all around me. The first spring flowers yawn open. The bees pay a visit. A pink-headed hummingbird swoops down only to pause, suspended and in motion, so close I can see its feathers glisten. The green of seedlings planted weeks ago peek up from the blackness around them. All reminders … Continue reading Talitha Koum

Five Great Novels for Lent

The human soul is moved by the beautiful. In fiction lies the unique opportunity to experience life outside of ourselves. Novels help us explore the gray areas of life and develop within us our deep and uniquely human capacity for empathy. Whatever your prayer practices or Lenten sacrifice may be, the themes in these novels will complement the spirit of the Lenten season!

Some Notes on Fasting (Or Why Doing “Something Extra” for Lent is Not Enough)

The conversation starts as Ash Wednesday approaches: “What are you giving up for Lent?” Over the years I’ve heard people respond, “I’m not giving anything up this year. I’m doing something extra.” I used to be one of them - that is, until I realized that isn’t enough. That “something extra” can be a great … Continue reading Some Notes on Fasting (Or Why Doing “Something Extra” for Lent is Not Enough)

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

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

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