It Sounds Like Home

The Mass is the heartbeat of the Church.

We called her Bamas.

She was my dad’s mom. She had a collection of unique accents in her home that I always loved as a kid. Her blown-glass balls sparkling in the windows. Her vintage Mrs. Butterworths jars lining the shelf in the foyer. Her statues of portly friars adorning the living room.

By my favorite was the tangle of brass bells hanging on her door. Continue reading

Tweak Your Holy Week – 5 simple ideas

5 Simple Ideas to bring Christ into the everyday moments of your life throughout Holy Week.

St. Paul says we make up for what’s lacking in Christ’s sufferings (see Col 1:24). This isn’t because Christ’s Passion is in any way incomplete, but because Jesus offers us an opportunity to share in His Cross. What’s “lacking” is our participation – not Christ’s deficiency, but ours.

Here are 5 simple ways we can participate in Christ’s passion, by offering everyday moments of our life in union with His suffering. Continue reading

The Mass: 2 things you know and 1 that will blow your mind

A reflection on the Mass in the context of Holy Week.

We go to Mass every Sunday or more.  We know the routine so well we sometimes go on auto-pilot.  We receive the Eucharist habitually.  And we lose our sense of awe and mystery.

I’m here to bring it back today.

Let’s start with what we know. Continue reading

Walking Holy Week with Jesus

A prayer journal for the holiest week of the year.

Imagine yourself encountering Holy Week for the first time.

Place yourself into history.

You’ll walk by His side every step of the way. You’ll experience the fear, the pain, the suffering, and finally, the joy of this pivotal week in Salvation History.

With this prayer journal, you’ll enter into Holy Week in a whole new way.

Continue reading

Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion

A reflection on Jesus’ words to the women of Jerusalem. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

A mess of tears streaked down my face the first time I watched The Passion.  My stomach churned at the horror of each torturous scene.  The unimaginable pain inflicted on Jesus weighed on my body and crushed me in my seat.

As I watched the story of the Passion unfold from the safety of my living room, I was horrified that “those people” could do “that” to an innocent man.  And I was filled with sorrow that my sins contributed to the gruesome death of my God.

I watched the crucifixion from the outside.  And it was only a story of drama, not of saving grace.

Until Jesus reeled me in. Continue reading

When Lent Punches You in the Gut

Hope for those with unexpected suffering this Lent.

You had a plan for Lent.

Whether you wanted to give up one thing for 40 days, or everything for 5 minutes at a time.  Perhaps you planned to break a sinful habit or take up daily spiritual reading.  Maybe you started small, or maybe you launched a heroic sacrifice.

And then Lent punched you in the gut.

Continue reading

Mortality and immortality, intertwined

How Ash Wednesday and the Transfiguration point us toward heaven.  A reflection on  mortality and immortality.

Whenever I need an excuse for a good cry, I add onions to the menu.

While I prepare dinner, I take time to reflect on life’s toughest problems.  As I peel back the onion’s layers with my knife, I peel back the layers holding the sorrows in my heart.  My eyes sting from the pungent mince under my knife, and my sorrow surfaces with the tears.

My pain releases, and it doesn’t take long for the healing waters to wash over me and restore my heart.

By the time dinner is complete, the bitterness of both the onion and my sorrows will turn to savory sweetness.

This week, we enter into Lent – the bitter onion that often brings me to tears.  Continue reading

Unite Your Suffering to Jesus: It’s Not a Waste of Time

*Your suffering is not a waste of time.  Unite it to Jesus’ suffering on the cross, and reciprocate His love!  I wrote this when I was down with a knock-out virus.  But I dedicate this revision to all those who are suffering any kind of illness or cross, and especially the elderly as they suffer the pains of failing health.  This reflection was read at the bedside of my dying Grandfather, and is dear to my heart.

I had our vacation week planned to the minute.

My husband is home from work, the kids are home from school, and we were GOING to have some quality family time. Continue reading