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

Reflections for Holy Week

What is Holy Week all about?

I knew there was Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.  But what about the rest of the week?  Oh yeah, I’ve heard of Spy Wednesday somewhere before.  But what do we do about Monday and Tuesday?  Not to mention Saturday, the weirdest feeling day of the year, between Christ’s death and Resurrection.

Well, Fr. Mike shares a way to enter into every single day of Holy Week. Continue reading “Reflections for Holy Week”

Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion

A reflection on Jesus’ words to the women of Jerusalem.

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 “Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion”

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 “When Lent Punches You in the Gut”

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 “Mortality and immortality, intertwined”

How to Find Big Meaning in a Mom’s Small Way of the Cross

It’s been an off kind of day.

One of those days where nothing is really going bad, but nothing is going the way I want it to either. This day has left me feeling down. Not angry or frustrated, but unfocused, unmotivated, dissatisfied.

Continue reading “How to Find Big Meaning in a Mom’s Small Way of the Cross”

The 5-Minute Sacrifice for Lent

A personal devotion that has helped me have fail-free Lents and grow in relationship with Jesus.

What to sacrifice for Lent?  I’ve tried giving up all the standard things.  Chocolate, caffeine, Facebook…

But I always worry my sacrifices aren’t good enough. So, as Lent approaches, I choose harder and harder sacrifices until suddenly, I’ve picked an acceptably impossible penance.

Because there’s nothing quite like “failing Lent,” right?  Needless to say, I’ve never cold-turkeyed something for Lent and stuck with it the whole 40 days. Continue reading “The 5-Minute Sacrifice for Lent”