Beginning as I’ll Go On in 2015

Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy (and cause of my Halloween costume) is running a series of creativity sprints, starting at noon today.  The goal is to "Begin as You Mean to Go On" in the new year (she has a FAQ here).This doesn't necessarily mean, if you plan to clean your garage this year, that you'll go out and clean the whole thing, or even spend two hours on it, to really make a good start today.  Even spending five minutes counts.Why?  Because now cleaning your garage is … [Read more...]

So, where should a gal go to meet some saints?

A new month has begun, so I've popped over to Jen Fulwiler's saint generator and spun up my final randomly chosen saint for 2014.But, before I do this again in 2015, I'd like to rejigger my approach, and I'd appreciate any advice, O Readers.The nice thing about using a random saint generator is that I keep finding saints I might otherwise not have run into and/or challenging myself to think about parts of the spiritual life that I might otherwise let lie fallow.  Doing this once a month … [Read more...]

Breaking my Randomized Saint Pattern

This month, instead of firing up Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator to choose a random saint for the month, I feel like this month's saint has already been chosen for me.  Last night, I had the pleasure of going to the Dominican House of Studies for their All Saints Vigil.  The service was beautiful, and, as is always the case when I go to the priory, I ran into a great number of my friends.But, the big surprise was that the Dominicans brought out a first class relic of Pope St. John Paul II and … [Read more...]

Economizing Not to Save but to Spend *Differently*

Yesterday, I was writing about ways to build mixed-age community in my large apartment building, and, today, the first day of a new month, I pulled out Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator and drew St. Paul of Thebes, believed to be the first Christian hermit.  His life was recorded by St. Jerome (who had his own feast day yesterday).Jerome's life of Paul closes with these words: I may be permitted at the end of this little treatise to ask those who do not know the extent of their possessions, w … [Read more...]

Enemies of the Sacred Heart

I've never encountered Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque before her name came up for me today on Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator.  It looks like she is best known for her devotion to Christ's Sacred Heart (and for pioneering that devotion before it was general Catholic practice).  But, when I looked over her saint's page, I was most struck by this line: Received a revelation from Our Lord in 1675, which included 12 promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whos … [Read more...]

A Countervailing Saint for My Comfortable Month

This time, when I went to Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator, the man I pulled turned out to be a veritable Jean Valjean.  Here's what happened in the life of Saint Conrad of Piacenza. One day while hunting, Conrad ordered attendants to set fire to some brush in order to flush out the game. A strong wind carried the flames to nearby fields, forests, towns and villages, and Conrad fled in panic. An innocent peasant was imprisoned, tortured into a confession and condemned to death for the fire. R … [Read more...]

Reworking my relationship with John the Baptist

Since I was on holiday in Ireland, I prorogued picking my next Saint for the month until now, and, this time, I drew a familiar face: John the Baptist.I knew this saint from before my conversion (unlike poor Blessed Scammacca who I'd never heard of before drawing him from Jen's generator), and he's already helped me out once.  When I was on College Jeopardy, one of the categories in the first round was "New Testament Places" and I deliberately avoided the column, figuring I knew nothing … [Read more...]