Laetare Sunday and Hard Rocks

Laetare Rocks

We’ve passed Laetare Sunday, the fourth week of Lent, and still I’ve not been able to adhere to its disciplines: fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. My usual prayer and abstinence routines are securely in place. It is the extras, so important to this spiritual season of faith, that are lacking. The other morning after Lauds and [Read More...]

Gardeners Love These 16 Flowers for the 8 Beatitudes

file7181279389027 poppy

Herbaceous plants and hardwoods hold meaning in Christian art. Throughout history flowers have been used to signify personal affections. In the language of flowers there can be more than one connotation for a plant, though usually it holds the same sentiment. In my new book, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac, I share with readers how plant symbolisms [Read More...]

All the Holy is Hidden

Asian Madonna

The Blessed Mother statue is only twelve inches tall. Finding a place to store it for Lent shouldn’t have been that hard. At a Catholic Writers Guild Conference I’d bought this smaller version of the original from the Korean woman who was the sculptor. The soft light from the candles in my prayer space enhanced [Read More...]

Who Wants a Date?

shutterstock_185743793

The houseplants in the upstairs hermitage needed watering. There aren’t as many as there used to be. As I now spend more time indoors as a writer, rather than outdoors as I once did being a gardener, I wanted sunlight streaming through the windows. The numerous houseplants I once had hoarded the light, so I [Read More...]

Breaking Apart

shutterstock_25803118

Many years ago I made small stained glass windows. The vibrancy of the material—its waves, ripples, and bubbles diffusing light—was a feast of color to the eyes. In workshops I learned how a small scratch directionally drawn would allow the glass to break in desired ways. I was fascinated by this breaking apart almost more [Read More...]

Bad Seed and Contaminated Food

shutterstock_66883147

One of the small pleasures in my day is watching the birds, especially when praying a rosary. Their feeding at the window reminds me of the Bible verse about sparrows (Mt 10:29-31), and I am comforted in knowing God is at least as attentive to me as to his little brown birds. For this reason, [Read More...]

Regifting, Nobody Knows

shutterstock_149624612

By mid-January we have settled into our usual routines. The Christmas season has ended, the nativity is packed away until the next First Sunday of Advent, most of the pine needles are vacuumed out of the carpet, and the presents have been incorporated in our daily lives. The gifts I received this year were remarkably [Read More...]

Prayers and Praise Rose and Fell

shutterstock_163027622

Sitting in my oratory, I finished the Salve Regina prayer. I then looked from the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe out the window at a gray winter’s morning. I felt heavy that morning, down, and I didn’t know why. Kissing the blue millefiori rosary in my hand, I returned it to the porcelain dish, [Read More...]

Who has the Map?

Grand Teton, 1978. Image by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.

Journeys—Mary and Joseph’s, the wise men, Jesus’ cousin John, and Jesus himself. In the past few weeks everybody we read about in the Bible is on a journey following a path—and probably prayed to remain watchful on a course laden with misdirection. I was 28 in 1982. This picture was taken while we waited at the [Read More...]

Fertility God Missing the Mark

001

He was a dear friend from college and delightfully quirky. He was six foot eight, brilliant, perceptive, with a quick and witty sense of humor, and never disrespectful. He was the gentlest of souls and a devout Catholic of Polish descent. I liked to think he saw me as a little sister. Even though I [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X