Tiny Living (also known as “live simply that all may simply live”)

Few things capture my imagination as much as this new trend of tiny living. Super cool. Fascinating. I want to have ten of them lined up on our property (we have four acres). I think it would be a fantastic idea if newly married couples who are living on a shoe-string budget could buy one of those tiny homes and park it on property like ours. Maybe that would help young people to be less afraid of the Sacrament of Matrimony…. Read more

Curly Hair–avoiding the near occasion of sin.

My grandmother loved my curls. I got them from her. Dad had them, too. But being a man, he kept his hair short. Mom came from straight-hair DNA. She didn’t know what to do with me. After I left the baby-curls stage, my hair was unruly. If I brushed through it, I looked like the SNL Rosanne Rosannadanna. So Mom talked me into short hair. Shorter than Dorothy Hamill. I washed my hair every morning. Blew it dry. When it… Read more

Why I Love Israel

Dad was a Protestant preacher. I loved and admired him. I remember watching his face as he watched Rex Humbard televised shows from the Holy Land. Dad ached to go, to walk where Jesus Christ had walked, to kneel where Christ had died, to touch the place where His body was laid and where the grip of death was broken forever. Mom loved Corrie ten Boom. She shared the story of The Hiding Place with us, and we imagined ourselves… Read more

God Is A Teaser

Sometimes, it seems like God is a bit of a teaser. A little over a year ago, I sat with a new friend. She had the best job in the world. I told her so. “If I could dream up the perfect job description, it would be your job description,” I said, laughing. And if there is holy jealousy, I felt it that day. God has spent the last 18 months teasing me. But God doesn’t tease to torment. He… Read more

Catholic Teen. Will Travel.

Some people sit in airports and watch people. Some do it at sports events or family reunions or the mall. I people watch on pilgrimage. My favorite group of people to watch are the young people.  Parents, send your sons and daughters on pilgrimage. Things happen–amazing things happen–in their souls. I can see them changing. I don’t know what God’s grace is calling them to do or become, but they hear the call. And it is fascinating to watch them… Read more

Leaving on a Jet Plane? Where would you go? And why?

Christopher West has been around as long as I can remember. I first encountered his writing when I was in RCIA class in 2004-2005. Our instructor rounded out the material on sex & marriage by supplementing the Catechism with one of West’s books. I didn’t know I would become a Catholic writer all those years ago. I didn’t know I would go on pilgrimage and work as a travel writer for Select International. But here I am in Poland on… Read more

Dandelions and Death Camps

I saw Auschwitz today. I saw a dandelion growing today at Auschwitz. And I thought about the disdain we have for a dandelion. We cut them down. We poison them. We laugh at children who think they are special and worthy for display and a drink of water. I saw a dandelion growing today at Auschwitz, and I thought of the lives lost there–where dandelions grow and grew. And the lives were treated with disdain. Cut down. Poisoned. Deemed unworthy… Read more

When A Saint Talks To You

In Warsaw, you will find this little church. It is part of the Franciscan Monastery  of Niepokalanów founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. His relics are there. Wait. How could they have relics of a man martyred at Auschwitz? A man burned up in the incinerator? Ah, those around him knew he was extraordinarily holy, so they saved some of his hair when he was shaved and got a haircut. Mother Church wanted to preserve a piece of her little son…. Read more

Lord, Have Mercy: Take One

It feels like we have been here three days already. But we landed in Warsaw earlier today. That’s pilgrimage. You pack so much into it all that the whole thing is a blur. A good blur. A gloriously grace-filled blur. We sat at the dinner table tonight and I was too chatty. I should have shut up a bit and listened more to the people around me. I find myself reflecting on the meal and kicking myself. Dang, when will… Read more

Pierogi Is Better in Poland

We had Mass today at the convert a young St. Faustina entered. We venerated her relics. Prayed a decade of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I’ll write more on that later. But for now, I just thought I’d tell you: frozen pierogi from the freezer aisle back home is ack compared to pierogi in Poland. That is all. :) Read more