How to Like Jesus

In college, after my faith had been through the ringer, I wasn't yet in love with the Jesus of the Gospels, but I held onto a collection of feelings I "should" be feeling towards him, and towards his Father. Frankly, the Holy Spirit wasn't anywhere on my radar."I'm just not much of a Jesus person," I told a friend of mine. "I tend to pray to a nameless deity, God the Father maybe. I'm not really sure."My friend agreed. She wasn't totally into Jesus either, though we both identified as … [Read more...]

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Forcing the Changes

Around my living room, one child is sitting very smugly sucking on a candy cane and reading 39 Clues, because he called his new friend this afternoon, "Just to talk" and ended up with an invitation to go play. He's happy. I'm happy for him, even though I wasn't excited about making any plans yet. He risked his trump card, and he won. I have respect for that.And my oldest son is on the phone with a toy company, trying to get a replacement for the RC helicopter he bought with his own money. … [Read more...]

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No One But a Mother…

Throughout the years we've been friends, Pedge has groaned through each of her pregnancies claiming she'd have her tubes tied after delivery, but she didn't, and after each of her babies was born she said, "What would our family ever have done without this baby?"Still, pregnancies are challenging, and one day she said, "If I am going to make peace with God's plan for me not to mutilate my body and get sterilized, it's going to be with the help of the Blessed Mother." So she invited me to … [Read more...]

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Lives Lived Before Sunrise

In Chicago we did a lot of walking, a lot of eating and browsing, and a lot of Churching. Saturday night during the Festival of Lights when thousands of people roamed the closed-off streets and shops, trying to catch sight of a Mickey Mouse Float on parade, my husband and I dodged into Holy Name Cathedral for Confession—to see holiness more clearly, in one another, in all of these people around us.The stores and all the walking can gradually suck a little something out of your soul, if not f … [Read more...]

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If This is a Sin, I Don’t Want to Know About It

Ever since I was a little girl, I could get chills from listening to certain librarians and sales people when they spoke in quiet voices, while smoothing a page in front of them with a dry palm. If they sucked their teeth or swallowed frequently, so much the better. Without being touched, I felt like I was receiving a scalp massage from their palmy, tactile, dry-mouthed way of talking.Gently lift the book to read. Turn the pictures toward the listeners and oscillate from right to left. Flip … [Read more...]

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When the Womb is Empty

I went to Mass this morning, and stuck around afterwards for the Rosary. There’s a group of old ladies who pray it together, and they add about a thousand additional prayers onto the end of each decade which takes forever, so I decided to say it on my own on the other side of the Sanctuary. The last time I did say it with the ladies, however, I was pregnant, and one of the ladies, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, brought some Nard to Mass and offered to anoint anyone w … [Read more...]

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The Mom Who Cares

The whole family's in the car trying to head home from my parents' after three days of parties. It is late, and we are tired.One child does not like where he's sitting in the car. He creates obstacles to our leaving, like he thinks he dropped his airsoft gun in the driveway. He wants to go back and look, but we're not doing that because we're already gone. He begins a campaign to call my parents so they can look outside in the dark for his gun."Dad, can I use your phone to call … [Read more...]

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