“I’ve been uncomfortable speaking out against racism because it sounds like something a liberal would say.” “I’m struggling to reconcile my pro-life beliefs with ‘conservative’ policies that that deny the dignity of immigrants and the poor.” “I’m politically homeless because I think that the lives of unborn babies and black and brown people should be protected.” “I love the beauty … [Read more...]
Goodnight, Notre Dame. Easter Morning Is Still Coming.
The baby is napping and I am sitting here just sobbing my heart out over the fire engulfing the beautiful 850-year-old cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. As a Catholic, as a medievalist, as a lover of beauty and history, I am absolutely wrecked. I have always wanted to visit Europe to see the cathedrals. The reality that I will never see the architectural masterpiece of Notre Dame is … [Read more...]
Liturgical Living at a Glance: April 2019 (Holy Week Resources and More!)
I’m always trying to figure out how to make it easier for families to observe the Christian Year because we felt so overwhelmed when we first started that journey (which is why we wrote the book we wish we had then). I thought it might be helpful for our family to have resources compiled for the month ahead so that we can plan in advance which special saints days we want to … [Read more...]
When Your Weary Heart Needs Advent
I’m sitting here bouncing a sick baby to sleep for a much needed nap between two coughing kids on the couch while another sick kid sits on the floor with a puke bucket and we all watch another episode of some stupid Netflix show between breathing treatments and baths. And I am weary. Three weekends in the past month have featured sick children (who kindly shared their afflictions with me). Sore … [Read more...]
The Church, My Mother
When my husband and I were received into the Catholic Church it was 2009. The news of the sexual abuse scandals and cover ups had broken in 2002 when we were in high school. We knew before converting that the Church was full of sinners and that what makes it holy is not the behavior of its priests and bishops. We entered the Church with eyes wide open. But that doesn’t make the recent … [Read more...]
What Can *WE* Do About the Abuse Crisis?
I have several drafts of blog posts in the pipeline but I just couldn't publish any of them until speaking to the horrible clerical abuse in the PA grand jury report. I am heartbroken by it. I am sickened by it. It doesn't help to dismiss these crimes by pointing out that this doesn't just happen in the Catholic Church. That doesn't make it less awful. It doesn't help to note that most of … [Read more...]
Mystery and Motherhood: Is This Not Where Love Dwells?
The thought has crossed my mind lately that while I love the idea of pregnancy, the practical aspects feel nightmarish right now. At 36 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby, all the pregnancy discomforts are here in full force: the aches, extreme fatigue, pressure, acid reflux, feeling that I can’t take a real breath because baby is pushing up against my lungs, lightheadedness in the July Texas … [Read more...]
This Is My Body, Broken for You
I was staring up at the crucifix during Mass. I was too sick to kneel, so I was just sitting in the pew while everyone knelt around me. I was desperately trying not to throw up, the pregnancy nausea coming in waves, impossible to ignore. It was my first Mass in a month. I had been too sick with hyperemesis gravidarum to leave the house for weeks. The previous week I had tried to get out of bed … [Read more...]
“Ugh. Why don’t people leave their kids in the nursery!”
It finally happened. After years of encountering only lovely folks in Mass we finally got a negative comment about our kids. And it wasn't even about our kids behavior, just that they were THERE. We sat down in the pew and the woman behind us immediately said (loudly) "Ugh. Why don't people leave their kids in the nursery!" Boy, nothing gives a great start to Mass like knowing the person behind … [Read more...]
Stained Glass Isn’t Irrelevant (Or, Why the Beauty of the Church Matters)
I've been thinking lately about what drew us to the Catholic Church. Long before I believed that the Church was true, I had fallen in love with it's beauty. The art, the music, the architecture, the prayers, the liturgy, the traditions. It is all so rich, so beautiful. It's beauty drew me, it's truth convinced me, and it's goodness began flowing into our lives. The True, the Good, and the … [Read more...]