• Lent: Sixth Friday

    I really don’t know where to begin this week. My brain is definitely all over the map and I can’t quite settle on one thread to put into words for this week’s Lent posting. I suppose then I’ll simply babble. Maybe in some way I cannot yet see, it will all make sense in the end. Dear Reader, I am fresh off of my annual weekend parish retreat and as always it did not dissapoint. I took copious notes on my thoughts, feelings, and insights so that I might hopefully hang on to the peaceful aura that envelopes me over the course of the weekend. For six years straight I…

  • Lent: Fifth Friday – Already?

    For many of you, this may be the point where your Lenten devotions begin to waiver, or maybe even fall by the wayside.  The initial furor with which we dedicated ourselves to reform, spirituality, and holiness appears to have been swallowed up by the ever present distractions over the past handful of weeks.  It may be subtle.  You suddenly recall that prayer you were committed to saying each day has been forgotten for the last three.  The snacks you’ve forsaken have finally managed to wiggle through your (initially) firmly closed lips, even for just a ‘taste’ – after all, what’s the harm in that?  The social media you’ve turned your…

  • Lent: Fourth Friday – Mercy

    There seems (at least to me) to be this sort of gathering storm – you can see the clouds roiling in the distance, sense the change in the air, the stiffening of the breeze – and as the storm approaches, it becomes harder to ignore.  It grows louder.  It is inevitable.  This Lent, (and if I am honest, even in the weeks leading up to it) that gathering storm has been the theme of Mercy.  Mercy.  Over and over again.  Mercy.  In our retreats, our reflections, in books we pick up, passages of Scripture that catch our attention, programs we are a part of, talks we listen to.  Mercy. If…

  • Lent: Third Friday |OR| Warning: Don’t do Lent under-cover.

    Now is a good time to review how your Lent is progressing.  We are rapidly approaching the midway point of this time of preparation for Easter.  I am happy to report – so far so good on my end!  There have been a few times when one or two little items have been neglected or forgotten, but for the most part, having had the foresight to fine-tune my Lent Plan on day two, I’ve been managing it pretty well.  Even better, this year feels more like life changes rather than 40 days.  I can feel some of these prayerful additions to my day becoming habit rather than simply an item…

  • Lent: Second Friday

    Week number 2 felt like one of extremes. On one side was the flailing attempt to wrestle my Lent practices into submission – the distractions were really creating obstacles that were frustrating me to no end. I am still not entirely sure I have it back under wraps! But that’s another story for another day. The other extreme – a surprise as well – was the sense of the Spirit hard at work over the last 36 hours. Between the unexpected fruitfulness of the Faith Formation Symposium and the incredible sense of connection and peace at my evening talk (at the retreat center) – I found myself this afternoon in…

  • Lent: First Friday

    Day 3 – How’s your Lent going?  I think it might be a good idea for me to post weekly throughout Lent (at a minimum) in order to hold myself accountable.  We know that I love Lent and I do revel in the sensation of gathering mastery over various aspects of my life that perhaps have become a bit out of control or neglected when they shouldn’t be — and I did have my plan all laid out and ready to go the night before the season began, but I’ve found that I’m in need of a fine-tuning already.  Now wait a second, don’t get carried away, I am fine-tuning…

  • Are You Ready for Lent?

    If you aren’t … uh-oh!  It’s Ash Wednesday! Your time to prepare is up!  Today while doing Morning Prayer, the scripture reading came from Zechariah 7 and I found it to be a succinct and efficient summary of what our Lenten attitude should be.  Let me share with you a few thoughts for your own personal meditation.  This reading began with a question being  put to the people, asking whether the fasts of the past had really been practiced for God.  That caught my attention right away and I think it is a good question we need to ask ourselves today.  Are we just going through the motions?  Why are…

  • Happy Baptism Day!

    Do you know the specific date of your baptism? If you are a parent, do you recall the dates of the baptisms of your children? And more importantly, do you celebrate these dates? If you don’t, keep on reading and learn why you should and how to do. There are many ways that you can make your baptism day ‘special’. After all, it’s already special! It’s the anniversary of your welcome into the Christian community. It was the beginning of a relationship with the Spirit of God! On that day the Holy Spirit removed Original Sin and restored the soul to a state of grace. It marked the beginning of…

  • Truly LOL

    My birthday was not that long ago and on that day, I received a package in the mail which contained a few little spiritual handbooks that I had ordered to add to my ‘collection’. I own several and love them all. You have probably seen these little gems here or there, perhaps even a parent or a grandparent used to have one lying around. They look something like the one in this photograph. There are many available through the Catholic Book Publishing Company, which you can visit by clicking HERE. Now, I really enjoy these. They help keep me grounded and are great aides when I feel that I have…

  • New Year? How did that happen?

    As I grow older, I am frequently reminded how quickly time goes by. The passing of Advent and the onset of a new year are just two of many examples. Suddenly it’s time for resolutions and changes — yet for me personally, I believe that this little tradition went by the wayside several years back. My liturgical calendar inspires my resolutions, not the turning over of a new year. The liturgical seasons offer us a variety of opportunities to get our spiritual house in order. And that’s not a bad thing. If you’ve read other posts that I’ve written or attended any of my workshops, you know that I emphasize…