May 10, 2019

***TRIGGER WARNING: ABORTION*** A lot had been building up to that moment. My mind was like a prisoner in a cage that refused to believe that it was imprisoned. My reality had been skewed, and I couldn’t see myself or my life situation clearly. The suffocating darkness of depression had first begun creeping in right after that terrible night in the ER. I had rolled my round, pregnant self out of bed at 2am after finding wet sheets all around... Read more

April 20, 2019

It’s a magnificent day in Wisconsin, all sunshine and gentle winds and temperate air. Not befitting Good Friday, I think, as I gaze down into the dregs of my teacup. I idly wonder if swallowing the tablespoon of green sludge at the bottom of my cup will calm the already-nagging emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I’m fasting today, in accordance with church teaching. I did not give up anything during Lent. I intended to pray more, but I... Read more

April 19, 2019

  I remember a few years ago, my mom talking about the priest sex abuse in our diocese. She said she almost felt there were some kind of dark presence that had long ago taken root in our town and refused to loose its hold. With the bodies of the flood victims in the ground and the sexual assault victims still living, it wasn’t hard to imagine. It felt freeing to escape it eventually, to leave memories of priest abuse... Read more

April 12, 2019

There is one thing that I really did not like about the film Unplanned. At the end of the movie, Abby (the repentant former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic) weeps and speaks to the two children she aborted, saying “I’m sorry I didn’t love you enough… I’m sorry I sacrificed you at the altar of convenience” (or something close to that). I don’t think many women or girls have abortions simply out of convenience. I think that trivializes their experience.... Read more

April 11, 2019

I swooned as I read the words: Thus amongst the blessings of marriage, the child holds the first place. And indeed the Creator of the human race Himself, Who in His goodness wishes to use men as His helpers in the propagation of life, taught this when instituting marriage in Paradise, He said to our first parents, and through them to all future spouses: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth.”[12] As St. Augustine admirably deduces from the words of... Read more

April 3, 2019

Crocus budding in snow. Source: pxhere   Editor’s note: My good friend Maiasson sent me this reflection last week, and I am so grateful she shared these words with me and has allowed me to share them with all of you. They are very relevant and necessary in any discussion of Lenten practice. -Marie Kopp     It is Spring. You really can’t tell that yet where I live. We still have the marshy mess of downed tree branches, melting... Read more

March 31, 2019

I was a college student when I first learned that St. Francis of Assisi had a meeting with a sultan. Some friends introduced me to “The Little Flowers of St. Francis,” a series of devotional legends about St. Francis and his followers. Despite not having much basis in actual history, these sentimental stories opened my eyes to a different flavor of Catholicism than what I’d been taught as a child. Catholicism wasn’t just dark and grey, musty and worn. St.... Read more

March 29, 2019

I’ve always been a Catholic. A classic “cradle” Catholic. My parents were even the archetype of cultural Catholicism, with my Mom being our rock, our family’s “Peter,” while my Dad was nominal at best. Everything else about my early years of faith was more or less textbook. I attended faith formation as a child up until I was confirmed when I was 17. I had some strong “reversions,” which I can’t call conversions since I did not even dared to... Read more

March 23, 2019

  Yesterday I wrote about speaking up as a survivor of domestic violence in a Catholic family. Well, this is an important note I wanted to add, but that post was already too long. So. Consider this a really important post script. “You Should Be Another St. Monica.” Growing up, I remember my mom being told over and over that she should just be another St. Monica. If she would just love my father better, pray more, embrace her suffering,... Read more

March 23, 2019

I’ve been thinking recently about trauma. And about writing. And about writing publicly about trauma and abuse and healing. Most of my friends at this point in my life have trauma of some sort (or have been trained, as social workers or psychologists, in trauma theory). Most of them have suffered abuse: parental abuse, spousal abuse, abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend, rape, stalking, sexual assault, spousal rape, emotional abuse, religious abuse, gaslighting, psychological abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence. The... Read more

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