Category: Columns

Lessons from a Marriage

Perhaps it is the presence of Valentine’s Day: February is widely recognized as the month in which people fall in love. (I know this was true for my late husband and me!) Love has many lessons. Some can only be learned in retrospect. I wrote this reflection for a beautiful...

Auditing Racism

The company that manages our electrical service called our parish one day. The agent said the company would do a free energy audit. The audit would produce a report detailing the ways we could save energy and lower our bill. The company also offered us energy-saving light bulbs, free. We’ve...

A Prayer for Anxiety

In the tradition of the Church, we have many forms of liturgical prayers that honor Mary. Litanies, among the oldest forms of prayer, incorporate petitions and titles for God or a saint. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the most well-known of this...

Confessions of a Southern White Man

“Tell about the South,” writes William Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! “What’s it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.” As a Southerner, my skin likes the feel of seersucker, and my ears, the sound of “y’all.” Even at my...

Shifting Smoothly

Have you ever been in a relationship—professional, personal, or familial—in which you felt as if you couldn’t do anything right? When faced with overbearing personalities who tend to critique/criticize every minute detail of my actions, I become hypersensitive. Nerves take over. Common sense flies out the window. I become so...

Our Prayers Matter

Though we’ve experienced much uncertainty recently—particularly in relation to the spread of the Coronavirus—when it comes to our faith, there is always one certainty. We can always come together in prayer. Prayer is possible so often…as we walk, as we shop, as we wash our hands, and even as we...

Post-lockdown Liturgies

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said he would rather know what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease has a person. If the “sort of disease that has a person” is COVID-19, we’re painfully aware that more than six million people worldwide—and counting—have contracted it while...

The Cherished Familiar

People tend to take things for granted. Americans in particular exhibit an orientation to life that can become so ingrained that it provides the lens through which we understand ourselves and evaluate others. If we fail to widen our focus, we risk becoming ethnocentric, a trait that can be positive...

Quenching Our Thirst for Peace

A ton of turmoil abounds around the globe. From navigating the uncharted waters of the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, to the economic and social hardships the threat of the virus has wrought, to the numerous other challenges people face, many find it difficult, if not impossible, to attain...

A Day of Thanksgiving

June 27 is a special day during which we can especially celebrate a great source of consolation for so many. The annual feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help enables us to reflect on our veneration of our beloved icon. On this feast day, let us express our gratitude to...

On Eagles’ Wings

On the Sabbath, people in the synagogue were astonished, for Jesus “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). How did Jesus’ teaching differ from the lessons of the scribes? Personal character. His authority and integrity were apparent from his authentic relationship with God. Unlike...

Unsurprising Imperfections

Mark Twain quipped, “Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.” On the other hand, to rephrase Shakespeare, “The fault is not in our Creator but in ourselves.” Clearly the Bard was closer to the mark, for our first parents were unable to resist...

Lucy Moments

According to my husband and others close to me, I have difficulty accepting or acknowledging if and when I need help. I admit there is more than a morsel of truth to my tendency to do it all myself. On too many occasions, I’ve gotten myself into jams because I...

Promises Made, Promises Kept

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the path to a  better life on earth for the sake of our eternal life in heaven. His resurrection fulfills God’s promises and confirms Christ’s teachings and works. Do we believe in those promises or do we allow doubts to steer us from...

Oneness in Divine Love

One can be a lonely number. According to the US Health Resources and Services Administration, loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to one’s health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. Contrary to what some might think, research shows suicide rates are highest in the spring and summer. Clearly...

Sacraments on Life Support

Imagine that a retired couple in the not-too-distant future embarks on a treasure hunt with their metal detectors. While the wife unearths a Buffalo nickel and a few battlefield musket balls, her husband discovers a rusty chain and religious medal with the curious inscription, “In case of an emergency, call...

Calling All Generations

Several months ago while sitting around the supper table, the youngest in our family blurted out what sounded like an innocent question: “What does ‘OK, boomer’ mean?” Everyone looked at one another bewildered, not even sure if we heard his question accurately. Then my middle daughter, who’s twenty-three, began to...

Mary, Our Queen

We live in an environment fraught with tension, which has the potential to take a toll on our faith life. Our Blessed Mother has always walked with the people of God and shed light upon the signs of the times. Is there an image of Mary for our modern times...

An Antidote for Loneliness

In Piano Man, Billy Joel sings about a waitress and a businessman at a bar “sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.” However, far worse than drinking solo is what the Japanese call kodokushi: dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a lengthy period of time....

Transformative Care

Lately, I feel like I’ve been bombarded with requests to analyze my “former self.” You know, questions that ask: “Based on what you’ve learned, what advice would you give yourself at age twenty, thirty, forty, etc.” I have had many “relevations.” (Please don’t call out our editor; that’s an intentional...