Book Review: The Peace of Christmas, Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis

  If you are like me, this short Advent doesn’t seem like it is enough time. I don’t really know what I need more time for but I just feel like I need it. This is a very short Advent so I have already failed at most of it. I have done a great job at staying out of the busyness of secular Christmas with all the hustle and bustle that makes it difficult to be Catholic during Advent while everyone… Read more

I am Mourning

Mourning is something that is avoided at every cost. Part of it is our brain protecting us from feeling the total loss of someone we love or even something we lost. But part of it is also our culture. In America 2017 the idol of positive vibes and positive thinking is worshiped at every level. We do not want to suffer and we do not want to witness suffering. We turn a blind eye to it, justify it, or just… Read more

All Souls Day as a Grieving Mother: Year 1

When I walked around the cemetery in Rome and came across this headstone I thought about the kind of love and grief that would inspire a man to have it made for his wife’s grave. I never imagined that seven years later I would understand that kind of love and grief on such a personal level as I do now. Today is All Souls Day, a day that I have used to show how Catholic I am for the last… Read more

Faith After Tragedy

I have had a lot of people tell me that my faith in the aftermath of my son’s suicide inspires them. When people tell me that I always assume I must be putting on some kind of image of myself that is not true because I do not feel like I have strong faith at all. I have doubted everything I came to believe in the last eight years of being Catholic since the day that I buried my son…. Read more

Keeping Hope Alive

I never sold or did drugs but I dated drug dealers. I hung out in bootleg bars and played craps with drug dealers and drug addicts. My first husband was a crack addict. I got pregnant at 16 years old by a man who was 21. That is statutory rape, which I didn’t even consider until I was in my 30’s. But more than anything, I have been the nice little kid turned hard because that is the only way… Read more

Book Review: Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace by Brian Doyle

  I was asked to review Eight Whopping Lies by Brian Doyle and I knew nothing about him. I just cracked open the book on my Kindle app one night and started reading it. I was amazed. It is amazing writing that makes you feel connected to the writer as a Catholic even when you don’t agree with what he is saying or even have the memories that he has about growing up Catholic. The essays are each amazing in… Read more

If I Can Give One Piece of Parenting Advice

I see discussions where parents are all trying to figure out how to keep their children safe. Safe from drugs, addictions, porn, etc. etc. and I just have an entirely new perspective of those things these days. I obviously do think it’s important for parents to guide their children and to try and mold them into decent, moral and kind people but the thing I think we parents often forget is how we need to have a relationship with our… Read more

Book Review: Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

  Edward Sri’s new book titled “Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth” is a miracle worker. I have not found a book that is as honest, realistic and inspiring as this book is on the topic of praying the rosary. What I usually find are books written for people who already love the rosary and are good at praying it. That is not the case for me. I get distracted, I am bored,… Read more

Interview With Shaun Morgan From Seether About Suicide

I met Shaun Morgan, the lead singer of Seether, in 2005 at Hooters in Amarillo, when I enlisted him in helping me with a surprise for my best friend (from South Africa, like the band) who survived cancer. And by “enlist,” I mean I stalked him and weirdly just sat next to him as he drank a beer. Not only did he make my friend’s night by dedicating “Broken” to us, but he was a genuinely great guy. He was… Read more

Broken

My best friend Candie Flores and my husband do not read books. They just don’t. So when one of them says “hey, I’m reading this book and it’s really good”, I listen. Last week Candie texted me about this book called “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion and told me that it was really good. It’s about grief and how so many people feel the need to shove their grief down for the sake of others’ happiness. Also… Read more

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