Six Months ‘Till Christmas: Feast of John the Baptist

I had this long rocky relationship with the Liturgy of the Hours, which finally came to a peaceful resolution when the breviary and I admitted that really what I want is the Office of Readings.  Turns out it doesn't matter how many helpful people suggest Morning, Evening, or Night prayer as the ideal place for beginners to start, what I need is the Geek Hour.  Some people use their feelings to stir up their intellect, I use my intellect to stir up my feelings.  I'm backwards that way.So last … [Read more...]

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That Perpetually Lost and Confused Feeling is not a Bug, it’s a Feature

The headline sets aside the question of pre-Fall living, which none of us are doing.  It's the 16th of the month, which means I'm pre-prayed.  Naturally I completely forgot and re-prayed this morning, which you're allowed to do.  I can't remember what thoughts I had this morning, but here's where my thinking went last time I reflected on today's Gospel: Lord, I don’t understand everything. I’m struggling with difficulties that are leaving me feeling completely lost and maybe even abandoned. Help … [Read more...]

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Three Reasons I Hate Mothers Day, and the Holidays We Need Instead

 It's that weekend again, and people, nice people, have already started wishing me happy Mothers Day.  I'm generally a good sport, but if this holiday fell off a cliff into the abyss, I'd be okay with that.  Specifically, I'd like it to fall off a cliff and be replaced with of multitude of much better holidays. MD Evil #1: People expect you to do things. I have four children.  I am expected to do things all the time.  The last thing I need is a holiday that comes with a to-do list.  I … [Read more...]

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Three Great Ways to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Faith

In a follow-up on the topic of getting the parent-Church relationship right, here are three best practices to add to your arsenal: 1. Peanut Butter and Grace Susan Windley-Daoust writes: Jen, thanks for the Patheos article on what's wrong with parishes doing religious ed as first responders. A number of people have forwarded it to me, saying, PB and Grace is addressing this!Well, we hope so. If you want to take a look, its a new small Catholic press dedicated to making family faith … [Read more...]

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The Kissable God

The feasts of the liturgical year intertwine.  At Christmas we adore the baby Jesus, cuddly, but it's on Good Friday that the liturgy invites us to come forward and give that grown-up baby a kiss.  God become man, a man we can hold, and touch, and thank.  And then on Easter, Mary Magdalene, apostle to the Apostles, mistress of tenderness, embraces that Man and is told to let go: There is more still coming.There is still more coming.  From the God who can be kissed.Happy Eas … [Read more...]

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Case Study: Best Practices in Parish Logistics

This is a follow-on to yesterday's post, in which I pointed out problems.  Big ones.  Today let's talk solutions.  Before I get on to the case study I want to share, here are a couple  links to the Jesus is Lord adult-discipleship program:Martina Kreitzer shares the first semester's experience at the parish-of-origin for Jesus is Lord. Marcel LeJeune has adapted it for campus ministry.This works.  If you want a parish full of adult disciples, click through and take notes.Something … [Read more...]

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New from Margaret Rose Realy: A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac

 I just received Margaret Rose Realy's latest book, A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac. I've had a chance to thumb through it, and want to go ahead and mention it now, since it has excellent Easter-basket potential.What it is:  A month-by-month tour of the Catholic garden.  For each month there are notes on the seasons, the feasts, a selection of saints, spiritual reflections, and practical gardening notes.  If you took the pure practicality of A Garden of Visible Prayer, the li … [Read more...]

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