Evangelii Gaudium Day One: A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED

Happy New Year! If you’re Catholic and you’re reading this, my greeting makes sense as we find one another on the eve of the first day of a new liturgical year and celebrating the dawn of a new Advent. I love Advent. That wasn’t always the case… In my younger years, Advent’s seemingly penitential nature [Read More...]

Can There Possibly Be Joy amidst the Pain?

Today is a challenge. We crowd into our churches to celebrate the Mass. We light a rose colored candle on this third Sunday of Advent — Gaudete Sunday — and “rejoice” as our hearts journey closer to Christ and the celebration of Christmas. Today is a moment set aside in the midst of Advent to [Read More...]

How Sweet It Is!

Elsa celebrates her first birthday!

Let me introduce my friends here to one of the most precious joys of my life: my niece Elsa Beatrice. The first girl baby born to my family in her generation (after enough boys that we’d given up), she’s been the pride and joy of our family. This past weekend, little Elsa celebrated her first [Read More...]

On Blindness: Anderson Cooper & Me

Occasionally, a weird thing happens to bloggers. We surround ourselves with words day in a day out, reading them, writing them, critiquing them, envying them. They mount up in our heads, pour out on our keyboards, and are more often than you’d expect deleted in fits of despair. Ask my editor Eileen and she’ll tell [Read More...]

Christmas Cheer: Do You Save It for the Season?

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This morning, I sat watching this video from my friend Father Roderick Vonhögen of SQPN.com and pondering the current — undecorated — state of my home. Honestly, in most years my home would have been decorated for Christmas by now. We typically host my husband’s work Christmas party in early December (it’s actually, of course, [Read More...]

The History of the Advent Wreath — Or At Least One Version…

We are only less than halfway into the first week of the season of Advent and I already feel like Charlie Brown’s Teacher every time I open my mouth to speak about it. Perhaps this is one of the occupational hazards of writing an Advent-related resource! Today, I was blessed to be a guest on [Read More...]

Are Peace and Advent Incompatible?

As I was praying with my Advent wreath this morning, it occurred to me first of all how odd it is to pray with an Advent resource I wrote myself. This year, as part of my devotions for the season, I’ll be using my own little O Radiant Dawn. Since it’s been well over a [Read More...]

On Being “Ready” for Advent

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Tonight, I am experiencing an odd experience — incredible anticipation for the start of the Advent season and our new liturgical year. Why is that odd? Well, I’ll admit to often having been an Advent slacker. Too many years, I didn’t truly embrace the season until well into the second — or sometimes even third [Read More...]

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Friday

The view from my office today: Soggy!

True confessions time: rain depresses me. Actually, “depresses” is not really the right word — but “dampens my spirits” seems too silly to say. Regardless, unlike others in my family who love the lack of Fresno heat and her sun that withers our raisins, when it starts raining I feel like curling up in bed [Read More...]

O Radiant Dawn Giveaway – Comment to Enter

O Radiant Dawn Large

As you read this, I’m driving home from my Thanksgiving vacation. Even though I’m pre-posting this on Tuesday night, I already know that when Sunday morning rolls around I am bound to be cranky. I’ll have said goodbye to my precious son Eric and shipped him back off to college, and Adam, Greg and I [Read More...]


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