The Surest Way to Be Happy? Take the Diamond Path

Image by Renata Novackova, via Shutterstock.com

Pondering this story, yesterday, about how focusing less on your own concerns and more on the needs of others leads to happiness, I recalled a childhood episode worth revisiting*:Recently I came across two items which superficially would seem to have nothing at all to do with each other. The first was an advertisement: a religious sister was promoting a women’s retreat about “finding oneself” and “coming to a place of ‘centered’ peace.”Highlighted within the ad was a sort of inverted pyra … [Read more...]

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Motherhood and Isolation: “we need each other.”

"Motherhood" by Eurico Zimbres, via WikimediaCommons

by Sherry AntonettiMary Lou Rosien tweeted, “Married about 25 years: 19,500 loads of laundry, cooked about 10,000 meals, and scrubbed 4000 toilets. I need a Catholic conference for moms." She’s part of a group of 27 men and women who have contributed talks to this online conference designed to refresh and renew women in their vocation as mothers.These fifteen minute or less Mom “TED-type” talks are the result of a year-round effort by Tami Kiser, and some of her family and friends. I l … [Read more...]

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Answering Kyle Cupp With A Plastic Trumpet and a Scream

the scream

This morning Kyle Cupp asked people to name their favorite toys from childhood.These sorts of questions, which Kyle calls "mindless" are becoming a regular Monday feature for him -- last week he wanted to know what film adaptation of a book most disappointed us.For the record, my answer last week was the 1970's tv-movie version of In This House of Brede which took a knife to Rumer Godden's brilliant novel and chopped it into something barely recognizable. Even the great Dame Diana Rigg … [Read more...]

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General Mills finds the Smart Dads Missing on TV

derbyboys

I've been grousing for a long time about the way advertisers (and sitcom writers) portray fathers as buffoons and ignorant slobs who must be instructed by their children when they are not being utterly emasculated by their wives, to whom they must obediently kowtow.So, kudos to General Mills and whoever has their Cheerios account:How refreshing is that? A smart, easygoing dad who is involved with his family and has a sense of humor. I see a lot of my husband in that guy. And I love … [Read more...]

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When We Truly Love, We Model God to Each Other – UPDATED

psalm139 hubbel

A while back, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB about her book, and she talked of breaking off her engagement in order to enter the Abbey:He was furious. Oh, He was so upset. But he said a very unexpected thing which was, ‘you know all love relationships don’t end at the altar, and I will be faithful to you in this.’ Well, I thought that was a head-trip too. I didn’t see how in the world he could do that, but in effect, fifty years later, Don did stay with m … [Read more...]

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Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

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My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it:A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love entails … [Read more...]

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Small Steps Book Tour Ends Here!

SmallSteps300x300

Hey there! This is the final stop in the Small Steps Blog Tour, hosted at CatholicMom.com to celebrate the release of the latest CatholicMom.com book, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act, by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss.Think: "Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world that passes like a shadow."Pray: Infant Lord, the world becomes noisier and noisier as we approach your birthday. Help me to remember that infants are best appreciated in the … [Read more...]

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Francis Focuses on Family Formation Over Family Illiteracy

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Good news!Putting Families First at Top of Pope’s Curia Reform AgendaHalfway through their meetings, Pope Francis and his council of cardinals have addressed many different themes, but the formation and care of families is a top priority in upcoming discussions.Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi revealed in an Oct. 2 press briefing that, so far, the council has reflected on the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council and the upcoming Synod of Bishops.But Father L … [Read more...]

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Men on Strike: Fathers, Family, Frank Talk and First Things

Men-on-Strike-Cover (1)

Two weeks ago at First Things, I wondered what it would be like if Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) had her way and women ruled the world.This week I'm continuing on the theme of men and women and families and faith:Family illiteracy, [author Mary Eberstadt] says, “breeds religious illiteracy.”In turn, increasing our scriptural literacy is one way for Christian communities to help their members understand and form families. Eberstadt’s book...has, in tandem with Helen Smith’s Men on Strike, … [Read more...]

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Open Hand, Open Heart: Ministry to Young Mothers

shutterstock_81463102 helping mom

It occurs to me that 21st century realities for young mothers -- particularly for young mothers willing to have larger families -- are quite different than they were thirty years ago, or fifty. In "the old days" -- back when my mother had me, for instance, and my Mother-in-Law had my husband -- families were larger to start with, and extended family members lived nearby. My grandmother lived with us; my husband's grandmother lived a few blocks away; one aunt lived right up the street and another … [Read more...]

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