Holy Pondering

“Mary’s Memories” is a spiritual concept that encompasses more than our Blessed Mother remembering the past. Saint John Paul II used the concept in his apostolic letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae). In the section titled “Mary, Model of Contemplation,” he writes: “The contemplation of Christ has...

“Criss-cross Applesauce,” with God’s Help

As the summer comes to a close, many will relish in the memories they made—hopefully fond ones that involve sun and sand—and quality time with family and friends. The memory that sticks out in my mind elicits feelings of distress, with a smidgen of pride—the good kind. First let me...

Bringing Home the “Nones”

For twenty-one-year-old Georgetown University student Michael Ginsberg, organized religion seemed to be associated with bad news. More often than not, religion became synonymous with scandalous headlines, corruption, and hypocrisy. “It just wasn’t for me. I thought it was bogus, and I had no interest in wasting my time by getting...

Turning Another Page

In a few days I’ll be moving my youngest daughter to Denver. The anticipation of the nearly 1,000-mile trek has essentially paralyzed me, emotionally speaking. I never thought I would be one of those mothers who would become distraught when my baby birds flew the coop. In fact, I envisioned...

Conformity as Our Way of Life

Upon the completion of her earthly life, Mary, the Mother of God, was taken to heaven, body and soul. Mary’s assumption into heaven in her entirety is inspirational and relates God’s desire for us—to be united with our Lord, in body and soul, for eternity.  To join God in heaven’s...

A Lesson in Less

It took a mind-shifting experience in Costa Rica to make me realize just how skewed our priorities are in the States—mine included. In March my husband and I vacationed in areas surrounding Tamarindo in the provinces of Guanacaste and Alajuela, the canton of San Carlos, and the district of La...

The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

June 27, the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, is an opportunity for us to spend time reflecting on Mary’s place in our Catholic tradition, especially her role in the life of the Church. The icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, in its highly developed symbolism, reveals...

Vive la Différence

Several weeks ago, I attended a coed baby shower. Such couples parties were uncommon when I had my children. Then, it was a women-only event, which (in my experience) most men appreciated. Am I validating gender bias to assume that many men would rather, say, watch sports than check out...

Our Passion

What is passion? Dictionary definitions include “ardent affection, devotion to an activity or concept, overmastering feeling or conviction,” and yes, “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death.” Truly, Christ’s was—and is—the greatest passion because it is driven by love of God and humanity....

The Maternal Tenderness of God

The image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a manifestation of the tenderness of God—demonstrated in how the icon is painted (written). I’ve often discussed Mary’s gaze in this column and received many letters relating the effect Mary’s look has had on people as they pray before the icon. ...

Bring Back Common Sense

Things I never thought I’d see: Reports on the prime-time nightly news cautioning viewers not to drive or perform other daily tasks while blindfolded (search “bird box challenge” online if you’re unfamiliar). A warning on a hair dryer that reads: “Do Not Use While Sleeping.” A public-service announcement by a...

Building a Culture of Love and Life

We’ve known all our lives that February 14 is Valentine’s Day, a time when we honor those we love. But arguably more significant and lesser-known celebratory dates about love precede the 14th, when roses and candy fly from shops into loved ones’ arms.  February 7-14 marks the annual celebration of...

A Sacred Space for the Holy Spirit

The power of intercession we experience from Mary’s prayers for us is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that lives in Mary because of the Incarnation. In Luke 1:26-36, we read Mary’s dialogue with the angel Gabriel in which Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her...

Gaining a New Perspective

I’ve never been a proponent of procrastination. In fact, the more I detest a chore or activity, the quicker I’m likely to attack it with gusto. I reason that the relief I’ll feel once it’s completed will far outweigh the displeasure of performing the task at hand. If there are...

Let Us Promise

At prayer, take care that the words don’t become rote and lose their meaning. Consider the text in the Angelus: “Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” That is something to ponder. Christ promises us peace, refuge, mercy,...

Our Mission in a Wounded World

Each new year, we’re bombarded with sentiments of encouragement and hope, called to new aspirations, and filled with vigor to achieve an improved sense of self. Benjamin Franklin may have said it best: “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year...

Timeless Wisdom

Timeless Wisdom for Troubled Times

Part One of Five We live in curious, troubled times. Rather than enjoying this relatively peaceful and prosperous era in our nation, citizens feel unsettled. We’re at odds with one another, and we distrust political and religious leaders. Looking for stability and reason, we turn to original documents like the...

Celebrating Mary: Our Perfect Guide to Jesus

Now imagine being the giver of this gift and, despite all the help you are willing to give to care for this treasure, the recipient takes the gift and rejects all of your guidance. How would you feel if you saw your gift slowly deteriorate and fall to pieces due...

The Icon Speaks with Colors

When I took piano lessons as a boy, the teacher reminded me that music was a language that’s read and spoken by the performers. She said that through the notes they play and how they play them, musicians reveal the underlying meaning of the written text. The same idea exists...

Our Investment in All Lives

My ninety-mile round-trip commute to work each day enables me to listen to podcasts, those audio narratives that offer a variety of content. I dabble in everything from true crime to humor, welcoming the chance to mull over what’s said, delve deep into my heart and mind, and respond. While...