Gratitude for the people who fostered my faith

My parents converted to Catholicism only a year or two before my First Communion, and I think they believed that I would learn everything I needed to know about it in my CCD classes. But the first time I learned that Catholics believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, I was close to graduating from college. I had lectored at the 10:30 A.M. Mass all through high school; I had played my cello with the church choir; I had taught a Confirmation class to kids only two years younger than … [Read more...]

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The Privilege of Distraction

I'm an insulin dependent gestational diabetic, which means that this stage of my pregnancy often finds me spending lots of time at the hospital for weekly non-stress tests, for more frequent ultrasounds, and for analysis of my diet and blood sugars. I don't like the risk to the baby, but I do feel a little bit of comfort in these last weeks at having something "to do."The rolling of the vial, the flicking of the needle, the pricking fingertips and stabbing of my abdomen with the shot of … [Read more...]

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My Sisters the Saints

A review of Colleen Carroll Campbell's new book. When I was going through confirmation, I chose Saint Teresa of Avila for my patron saint because I liked her name, and that she was a Doctor of the Church. I'm pretty sure that when I was fifteen, I still sort of wanted to be the first woman president, and while saints--almost--excited me at the time, what I really liked seeing was a woman getting ahead in a man's world.Since then, I've observed that while it's easy to admire … [Read more...]

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The worst articles I’ve read all week

Something's gotten into me. I didn't feel like fighting all week long, but today...I'm jumpy. So here are the worst articles I've read this week: 1.Breastfeeding baby doll: creepy or groundbreaking?Mostly, I can't believe anyone would take issue with a baby doll that "eats" in the fashion in which babies have taken their nourishment since the beginning of time. "I just want the kids to be kids," Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News show when he learned of the Breast Milk Baby. "And this … [Read more...]

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I have no comment on the election

I'm glad it's over, and hope and pray that the barking dogs will stop barking very soon.In its aftermath, I'm left with an overwhelming desire to go on a pilgrimage.I want to see beautiful things. Not just see them, actually, I want to eat, breathe, and drink in beauty. And by beauty, I don't just mean good pasta and ice-cream, or a lovely slice of peach in the evening sun. I mean something that's been touched by grace--a drop of God's blood on the steps he walked to Calvary, a fiber … [Read more...]

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The Grace of Subordination

*Before bedtime, I make rounds to find out where all of my children have landed. They have a distinct bedtime, but there's still a lot of shifting that occurs once the lights are out. I've found children bundled up in a nest in the closet, lying horizontally across a shelf with the linens, crouched down in the narrow space between the wall and their beds, and occasionally, nestled up with each other.How do they do this? I always wonder at the seeming effortlessness with which they sleep, … [Read more...]

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Indecency: In the eye of the beholder?

My extended family is half Catholic, half Protestant. When the Catholics get together, there are numerous children and babies. As a consequence, there's a lot of breastfeeding going on. A couple of the women have mastered the art of breastfeeding with one arm while walking around the kitchen preparing food. Others prefer to sit around talking, often with the men, while nursing a child. We're discrete about it--not exposing more than necessary to get the job done, but most of us have lost … [Read more...]

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