Category: Spirituality

Advent Wreath

Resources for the Beginning of Advent

Advent is upon us, our annual invitation to living with hope and expectation. As we begin this sacred time of waiting and watching, here are some resources to help us in our preparations for Christmas: America Magazine offers An (Unconventional) Advent Playlist for those who like to wait until the actual Christmas season to play Christmas music. Busted Halo has updated their Advent in 2 Minutes video: Dynamic Catholic is once again offering their daily video mediations, The Best Advent Ever. And if you’re looking for a good...

Spiritual Reading Recommendations

Nonfiction November 2017 Week 3: Be the Expert – Spiritual Reading

This week for Nonfiction November 2017, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness invites readers to either Be the Expert, Ask the Expert, or Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic...

All Saints Day

These Are the Saints – An All Saints Day Meditation

When a loved one dies their life is changed not ended. This is a truth of Faith, it is not wishful thinking. Those who have gone before us are still alive, but in a new way. Some of them now dwell forever in heaven. Not a boring heaven where people recline on clouds, strumming harps; but a vibrant, joyful heaven, where there is fun, laughter, and friendships deeper than one can imagine. Where they live there is no fear, no prejudice, no division, no aching bones or illness....

Holy Saturday Cross

Something Strange Is Happening – A Holy Saturday Meditation

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live...

The Lord of the Rings and Lent

  It’s March 1st which means it’s time to begin reading The Fellowship of the Ring for Brona’s Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Readalong. In yet another interesting coincidence, today also happens to be the beginning of Lent. The synchronicity of those two events is too intriguing to ignore, and as I reflect on both The Fellowship of the Ring and Lent, I find several significant ways they are related. Both Are Journeys First, journey is at the heart of them both. Frodo and Sam set out on a long journey,...

St. Luke icon

Life without St. Luke?

As I was thinking about today’s Feast of St. Luke, I began noting all the events we wouldn’t know about if not for his writings. Imagine what would be missing from our understanding of the Faith if we didn’t have The Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles: The Birth of John the Baptist The Annunciation and the Visitation The Magnifcat and the Canticle of Zechariah The Parable of the Good Samaritan The Parable of the Prodigal Son The Emmaus Encounter Pentecost The Martyrdom of St. Stephen...

Sunset

Stylish Prayer

Some people are naturally stylish. Their clothes, their hair–their entire manner–exude style, a magical word that blends elegance, originality, and visual appeal. While I am most certainly not stylish, I appreciate my stylish family and friends. Whenever I try to be stylish, either in my appearance or in my writing, I come off artificial, stilted, and phony. The same thing happens when I try to be stylish in prayer. Oh, I don’t intentionally try to be stylish, but that’s what it is when I’m not myself in prayer, when...

sunset

Why Silence?

Silence is God’s invitation to communion. We enter into silence to be transformed, to be raised up, to be loved. In silence, God whispers to the heart and the heart whispers back. Why a whisper? Why silence? If the great God of the universe were to speak in full voice we would be overpowered. But God meets us gently, softly. In silence we discover that God does not yell, but speaks instead with tenderness and care. Silence with God is an island of peace, a refuge from the...

Redwood Forest

Hiking Through Life

I have been trying to hike through life lately, instead of walking. And this despite the fact that I much prefer a walk to a hike. A hike is a task-oriented foray into the world that says “I am in control; I make my own destiny.” It requires preparation and foresight–a rigid jaw and a firm step. A walk on the other hand, is all leisure. Walking says, “Holy Spirit, come and take my hand and lead me where Thou will.” One never knows where a walk will...

Elisabeth Leseur

Not One of Our Prayers Is Lost – Elisabeth Leseur on All Saints Day

From Elisabeth Leseur, Selected Writings, as quoted in today’s Give Us This Day: This is a lovely feast, the feast of those who already live in God, those whom we have loved and who have obtained happiness and light; it is the feast of eternity. And what a fine idea to make the feast of the dead follow so soon! During these two days a vast stream of prayer and love flows through the three worlds: between the church in heaven, the church one earth, and the church...

The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner

Discovering Yourself by Getting to Know Jesus Better

The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner was one of my favorite books from last year. and I’ve been slowly rereading it, trying to taking in all he has to say and put it into practice. One of the best chapters explains how to get to know Jesus better. He strongly encourages daily meditation on the gospel and on life experiences in the Ignatian style: “First, take a moment to quiet yourself in God’s presence. Close your eyes and ask God to take the words of Scripture...

Thanksgiving - Brownscombe

How to Make Thanksgiving “A Good Day”

The five minutes it takes to watch this video meditation by Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast can make all the difference on the remaining 23 hours and 55 minutes. I hope it blesses your Thanksgiving Day.

Catholic School Classroom Desks

Genesis of the Catholic School Year

This year I was asked to lead our school’s retreat. This was the opening I wrote for it. Genesis of the Catholic School Year In the beginning God created the school year. The school year was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the classroom; and the Spirit of God was moving over the summer vacation. And God said, “Let there be fluorescent lights”; and there were fluorescent lights. And God saw that the light was good. And there was evening and there was...