Category: Just Live It

In her column Just Live It, KATHLEEN M. BASI speaks to the idea that, although we can’t change the world—how we choose to live in it is a reflection of our faith.

Stealth Witnesses

My paternal grandmother used to pray the rosary every morning before Mass. On Sundays, when my sisters and I would file into the pew, she would greet us with hugs and kisses, her beads swaying, and then return to her prayer. In adulthood, I learned that she began this practice...

Being Authentic to God

I have a theory about nurturing faith in the family. It goes like this: If a child’s faith is an integral part of his or her everyday life—not just the overtly religious parts—it will become so central to that person’s identity that he or she could never leave the Church because...

Wait! Don’t Skip Advent

Waiting is a pain in the neck. Throughout history, humanity has steadily progressed toward ways to make our lives faster and easier. We now can access information instantaneously in virtual worlds of this and that and have virtually forgotten that patience is still a virtue. Also falling by the wayside are the...

A Profound Connection

I was young when my great-grandparents passed away. I remember being afraid of them. I was intimidated by their vast age and had difficulty communicating with them. So it has been a beautiful thing for me to see my children developing relationships with their great grandmothers—relationships that cross the boundaries...

Joy Can Shape Our Future

It’s no secret that the idea of dedicating one’s life totally to God is deeply countercultural. It can be disheartening to see the nearly universal depiction of priests and religious on prime-time TV as people who have failed to live up to their vocations. When we see the aging face...

Infinite Layers of Mystery

We live in a world where science reveals wonders as distant as the far reaches of the universe and as intimate as the center of our own DNA. We prize knowledge and revere those who help us reach greater understanding of the world and ourselves. It is a good thing...

“Be Not Afraid”

A director of religious education once told me that as grade-school children begin to process the world, they come to their parents and teachers with questions. We need to answer those questions, she said, because the window isn’t open all that long. If you don’t answer their questions honestly, somewhere around...

Treasures of the Heart

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart (Luke 2:19). The most familiar translation of that verse invokes the word  treasured: Mary treasured these things and pondered on them in her heart. It’s a particularly poignant phrase because it resonates in the human experience. No doubt...

What Kind of Christian Are You?

In my freshman year of high school, I attended a talk hosted by an evangelical youth group. The topic was about “almost-ers”—people who weren’t quite good enough to get into heaven and who would therefore burn in hell forever. I was fourteen! It terrified me! Who is ever good enough?...

Seeing the Faces of God

September 2014 Every so often when I read a Gospel story, I stop and say, “Huh?” Itseems like some crucial piece of information is missing. I get one of those inklings when I read the story of the disciples walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. It’s difficult to...

Remembering the Pillars

July-August 2014 Prayer is the glue that binds the body of Christ to its head and its members to each other. My grandmother looms large in my childhood memories. She spent her summers out on the farm, helping us pick and prepare, can and freeze a year’s worth of produce....

How Are We Called?

 May-June 2014  Faith grows only when it is stretched. Since the moment Pope Francis first appeared on the balcony at St. Peter’s, he has been engaging the world. He energizes us and at the same time challenges us to actively participate in our faith. Most of us would rather practice...

Words That Change Hearts

April 2014 It’s really hard to say “I’m sorry.” Maybe it’s a pride thing. We want to believe we’re good people, and rightly or wrongly, admitting fault calls that into question. Plus, it leaves us vulnerable. There’s always a chance that the other person won’t accept our apology. We no...

Just Jesus?

March 2014 "Jesus didn’t just sit on a mountainside telling nice stories".   A popular Christian blogger once wrote that we need one thing and one thing only: Jesus. At first blush, the catch phrase “just Jesus” makes a lot of sense. Christianity is, after all, a lifelong pursuit of...

Fill the Well

February 2014 "Modern life imposes a brutal set of expectations." A few years ago, a poem made the rounds of the music ministry community. In essence, it said that to be a minister is to give even when it hurts, when you yourself are in need, and perhaps even when...

Beautiful Diversity

January 2014   "We must create unity, not division, within the body of Christ." The term “relativism” gets a lot of attention in Catholic circles these days. The idea of not drawing a distinct line between right and wrong contradicts everything we believe as Christians. It’s a dangerous threat. But...

Embracing the Tough Message

December 2013 "Christ is there whether we’re preoccupied or not." When I was little and attended Mass, I dreaded the homily every week—and the Eucharistic Prayer, and usually the readings. In fact, I think I dreaded all of Mass except the songs. Because at least during those, I knew what...

Vessels of Grace

November 2013 "The lives of those we encounter offer a potent example for us to live by." Shortly after the birth of my second child, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome in the delivery room, my husband and I received a letter. It was written by a man from our...

Room for Error?

October 2013 "We live in a messy world in which clear-cut answers are hard to come by." I don’t know about you, but I find the word discernment a little intimidating. It’s my responsibility as a Christian to do God’s will, but figuring out what that means in every situation...

God’s Call Doesn’t Wait

September 2013 "Conversion doesn’t happen according to a schedule." Occasions like New Year’s, Ash Wednesday, and birthdays seem custom-made for adopting new life goals. It’s neat and tidy to say, “As of January 1, I will no longer lose my temper with my children.” “Beginning Ash Wednesday, I will stop...