By now, everyone has seen the video of Chewbacca woman, the lady who buys a cheap Chewbacca mask and laughs hysterically at its absurdity. This video has gone uber viral and many people on my Facebook feed talked about how it brought them joy. I’ll be honest, my first reaction when I watched the video was a cynical sneer. This woman seemed, at least to me, to be demeaning herself in front of the world. She should have more self… Read more

Note: May 21 is Friedreich’s Ataxia Awareness Day. Part of me is afraid that I share about my disability too much. I don’t want to be typecast as someone who only writes about his disability. However, it is the lens through which I see, every second of every day. To write personally and meaningfully, I have to mention it. FA is the elephant in my writer’s corner, and I will not pretend it isn’t there. I will stare that pitiful… Read more

I’m seeing a healer. The woman works out of an office where she officially does something else, something totally unrelated to healthcare or spirituality, I’m not even sure what. I’m not even sure how I got here, except that a friend who goes to my church saw something in me that needed healing, and I didn’t argue. There’s so much in me that needs healing, and at this point I’d seek out a witch in a hut made of chicken… Read more

  As a kid, I grew up in the Charismatic renewal that swept its way through the Catholic Church in the late seventies and early eighties. Much of my childhood was spent at prayer meetings with nuns running up and down the aisles, priests speaking in tongues, and a two hour (!) mass healing service. I threw myself into the whole experience. I read the Bible cover to cover when I was in second grade. I tried to imitate my… Read more

—————————————————————————————————————————– For many years, my father was the only saint I’d pray to. St. Paul of West Creek, NJ, pray for me. I then proceeded to call or message him what need was most pressing. My interest in saints began with A Child’s Book of Prayer in Art, a gorgeously illustrated book written by a nun. However, it’s the images I remember more than the words. Since I was a baby, my father was in and out of doctor’s offices and… Read more

Mary, it’s not you. It’s me. I promised that this month, your month, I would try to pray the rosary every night. I know the rosary is powerful. I sense its power even if I don’t pray it. I remember sleeping with my beads under my pillow as a sick child. I still keep a rosary in my car, and my children have rosaries over their beds. For the rosary is not only a tool for cultivating the interior garden… Read more

I laugh when my Facebook feed advertises some inspirational book or other called The Way of the Viking or something like that – I imagine its probable romantic perspective – the usual “be strong and tough and persistent and good things will come to you” line, packaged this time under the image of a figure part historical and part the product of fanciful romance. I laugh because the mysterious Facebook algorithms are trying to pitch it to me who, in spite… Read more

  Once, I met a smart young woman who was very interested in what kind of a mother I was. To be honest, she had some concerns. At one point, she actually gave me a quiz of sorts: over a hundred questions covering everything from household television-viewing habits to what I did with socks that had holes in them. I sat down and answered each one carefully, in writing. None of it really bothered me that much, because I knew… Read more

Cajun Country is a unique little hub in southern Louisiana. Nestled in the steroeotyped Southeastern US culture – the Confederate flag waving, Republican-voting, diehard evangelical Protestant Christian South – Acadiana is unquestionably different from its neighbors, largely due to the Roman Catholic faith of its settlers from Canada. Catholic culture pervades, especially in the selection of godparents for a baby, despite religious affiliation. But godparents aren’t unique to Catholicism. Even Harry Potter had a godfather, Sirius Black, and Harry is… Read more

I wear a rosary around my neck and not for a fashion statement. My best friend bought it for me at the Vatican, where the Pope blesses the rosaries. Every time I visit a basilica or cathedral, I dip the beads into the Holy Water.  I glued my Pope Francis pilgrim medal from the papal mass in Philadelphia to the cross that binds the beads together. But I rarely pray the rosary. I have some pretty deep conflicts about Marian devotion…. Read more

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