It’s our anniversary!

My husband and I are celebrating 7 years together.  So, as promised, I have something special to share with you…

Our wedding photos!

You don’t want to miss these photos.

From the moment I walked out of my parents’ house, for my teary-eyed dad to drive me to the wedding in his antique Mustang…

…to the moment my mom and mother-in-law crowned Mary as the new mother of our marriage…

…to the wedding party’s race on the beach complete with my special bridesmaid (my Grammie)… Continue reading “It’s our anniversary!”

A shower prayer (just for fun)

Have you ever heard of the shower prayer?  I pray it every day.  It goes something like this:

Lord, wash my feet that they may follow Your path.  Wash my hands that they may do Your work in this world.  Cleanse my head of all distractions and fill it with thoughts of You –

JUST KIDDING!

I wish I prayed like that in the shower every morning.  I probably should.  But my shower prayer (and I don’t pray it every day, only every-day-I-shower) goes more like this… Continue reading “A shower prayer (just for fun)”

The softer side of justice

A modern examination of conscience.  (But not too modern… we’re loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church here!)

When I see that wrong has been done, my heart pounds and anger rises to my cheeks.  I’m eager for “justice to be served.”  To dole out punishments, to right wrongs.  That’s just anger at its finest.

But justice is more than a punitive virtue.  It’s not all about laws and rules and rigid enforcement.  Justice means giving each person what they deserve, in both a positive and a negative way. Continue reading “The softer side of justice”

5 ways to see Christ in a stranger

Jesus said, “What good is it to love your friend?  Even gangs members do that.”  Okay, He really said tax collectors… but I figured gang members would be a modern day equivalent of the cliché bad guy.

Jesus routinely calls us to do more than love our friends.  In Matthew 25 He tells us, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.”  We have to go beyond our comfort zone.  We have to have charity that’s wider than our social circles.  It doesn’t do us any good to only love the people we know.

We also have to love the stranger. Continue reading “5 ways to see Christ in a stranger”

Joy: the hidden gift I found in depression

I’m not a doctor or a therapist.  I can’t diagnose or treat depression.  I can only offer you encouragement and thoughts from my own personal experiences.   If you’re suffering from depression, please seek professional help (I highly recommend Pastoral Solutions Institute tele-counseling services).  If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 immediately.

 

It was hard for me to explain all the feelings I felt.

I tried to tell my husband I wasn’t unhappy.  But the tears and shouting that streamed from me every day said otherwise.  I was unhappy.  But I knew I shouldn’t be. Continue reading “Joy: the hidden gift I found in depression”

It would’ve been enough

A prayer modeled after the Dayenu: an ancient Passover prayer celebrating God’s blessings.

God my Father, in Your infinite Goodness You created me out of nothing.  You didn’t have to do that.  But You did it anyways, because You love me.  If You had created me and done nothing more, that would have been enough.

But in Your generosity, You did more.  You created this beautiful world and all things in it for my delight.  You filled it with incredible sights and sounds.  You gave me the changing seasons so I would never get bored. If you had done that and nothing more, it would have been enough.

But You didn’t stop there.  Continue reading “It would’ve been enough”

Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit

Mary is the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary teaches me how to love You, God the Holy Spirit, as the perfect spouse, the perfect wife.

The love between a husband and wife is total giving paired with total receiving. It’s a life-giving gift embodied by the marital embrace.

This type of love parallels the Annunciation. You my God, sent Your angel messenger with a proposal for Mary. Will she be Your bride? The mother of Your Son? Unfettered by commitment to any man, Mary humbly accepts.

You, God the Holy Spirit, came upon her.  She conceived Jesus in her womb.

Mary’s love for You was truly a spousal love. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit”

Mary: the perfect mother of God the Son

Mary is the perfect mother of God the Son.

Hail Mary mother of God the Son, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary teaches me to have perfect love for You, Jesus, the Messiah, the Redeemer.

She first gave herself to love you totally with a vow of virginity. She didn’t let any other person come first in her life, so when the Messiah came she was ready to serve You alone. When the angel Gabriel appeared to announce Your Incarnation, Mary’s faith in Your ability to save mankind from our sins made her willing to believe the impossible. She, a virgin, would bear a Son.

She accepted this without hesitation. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect mother of God the Son”

Mary: the perfect daughter of God the Father

Mary is the perfect daughter of God the Father.  Part one of a series of three reflections on Mary’s love for the Holy Trinity.

I was in high school when I first heard a beautiful rendition of the Hail Mary that made my jaw drop in realization of how perfect Mary’s love for God is.

The Rosary started as usual.  Sign of the Cross.  The Creed.  Our Father.  But when we got to the three Hail Mary’s, the leader added something special:

  • Hail Mary, daughter of God the Father…
  • Hail Mary, mother of God the Son…
  • Hail Mary, spouse of God the Holy Spirit…

I was caught off guard.  My eyes were opened to the depth of the relationship between Mary and God.

This week, I want to share with you three meditations inspired by these three special prayers.

Today’s meditation reflects on Mary’s love as a daughter of God. Continue reading “Mary: the perfect daughter of God the Father”

Prudence: how to make choices you’ll never regret

We all know the pain of regret: the sinking feeling in your stomach, the fire of embarrassment in your cheeks, the emotion and energy sapped from your limbs.  It comes when you’ve made a hasty decision you can’t take back.  When you’ve blurted out unthinking words that hurt your dearest friend.  When you blew off your last chance to see your grandma before she passed away.

Our regret often results from a failure to act prudently.  If only we’d made a better decision. Continue reading “Prudence: how to make choices you’ll never regret”