Category: Vocations

The Profound Dignity of Motherhood
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The Profound Dignity of Motherhood

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Mothers are by far the most beautiful creatures in the world. There is nothing more beautiful than a mother. There has never been a beauty pageant winner more beautiful than a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman glows with the grace of God. She is one with God. Her love has borne fruit with the life […]

Devoted to Hearing His Voice
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Devoted to Hearing His Voice

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Not long ago, I did an exercise in which four words were listed horizontally and I had to rank them as they applied to me by giving a “4” to the one most descriptive of myself down to “1” for the least descriptive of me. For example, the first list of words was: independent, compassionate, […]

Another Step in a Spiritual Journey
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Another Step in a Spiritual Journey

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God guided me into the next step of my spiritual journey recently. I was accepted into formation with the St. Louis, Mo., group of the Secular Carmelites. I’m excited. I have my heart and soul open for what might be ahead. I recently completed my year of “aspirancy” with the Secular Carmelites. That stage involved […]

That They May Be One
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That They May Be One

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Marriage, being the most intimate of friendships, depends on trust. The friendship between spouses weakens if anything stands in the way of trust and, in weakening trust, the bond of marriage suffers. Each marriage is tried on the level of trust. Whether through past personal histories or present infidelities, illness or job loss, childlessness or […]

Transforming Prayer for Married Couples
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Transforming Prayer for Married Couples

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If someone told you that there was something you could do for as little as five minutes per day to virtually assure that your marriage would last unto death, wouldn’t you do it? Well this is it! Pray together daily. Marriage is not a couple, but a trinity. The third person is God. We need […]

Why Settle for Shades of Grey?
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Why Settle for Shades of Grey?

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Remember the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ when the androgynous, almost-beautiful-but-not-quite Satan character is carrying a baby, and when the face of the baby is revealed, it turns out to be old, ugly, and creepy rather than a sweet baby face? This was confusing for a lot of viewers, and when […]

God's Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives
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God’s Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives

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It can be quite tempting for husbands to misuse their authority as the head of the household in relating to their wives. Within my own therapy experience, I have seen men misquote Scripture as justification for disregarding their wives’ opinions and wishes. The fifth chapter of Ephesians is a popular source for this kind of […]

Three Keys for Couples
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Three Keys for Couples

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Years ago, I shared a memorable conversation with Catholic author Taylor Marshall while we both worked at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. Taylor told me about some advice that, in his words, an “old, crusty Episcopalian priest” had given him shortly before his wedding: “The keys to a good marriage are threefold: to […]

Blessed Mother Knows Best
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Blessed Mother Knows Best

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Passing on the faith at home with Marian piety During his installation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last November, Archbishop Blase Cupich challenged those in attendance to pass on the faith to young people through their “authenticity of life, where words match deeds.” The message was not just for Catholic teachers and youth ministers, […]

Saved Through the Flesh
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Saved Through the Flesh

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Jesus Christ didn’t save us with an idea, with an intellectual program, no. He saved us with his flesh, with the concreteness of the flesh.” -Pope Francis This quote from Pope Francis slipped across my screen as I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed. I didn’t slow down as I was looking for something […]

TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns
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TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns

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Reality TV about five young women discerning their vocation at three different convents? How could this be the proper vehicle? Won’t the cameras interfere with or even hamstring this very personal and intimate process? Will it “work”? When I heard that such an animal was coming down the pike, I had great apprehension, even when […]

You're Safe with Daddy
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You’re Safe with Daddy

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There is a prevalence of inordinate fear and anxiety in Western culture today. Yet, we are called not to live a fear-driven life, but rather a life of deeply rooted faith and trust in our loving, all powerful, caring Father in heaven. Yes, He is your Father. We all innately desire safety and security. But, […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman

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When I was a child I always said I wanted 9 children. In fact, I said I wanted 9 boys! I would tell people I wanted my own baseball team, not a softball team, a baseball team. Family was important to me and I hoped and prayed that one day I would find someone who […]

Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom
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Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom

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Milk and toothpaste. That’s all that was left on my shopping list as I maneuvered myself, two shopping carts (one of the race car variety) and my five youngest sons toward the back of our local supermarket. The oldest boy was big enough to push a cart, only occasionally racing down an aisle or bumping […]

Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis
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Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis

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Articles relating to the sanctity of marriage have been churning out from Catholic media sources recently. The identity of marriage as between a man and a woman has been outlined and explained. Volumes have been written about the sacredness of sex and the scandal of contraception. Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media […]

Vocations: All About Life
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Vocations: All About Life

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This week (November 2 – 8) is Vocations Awareness Week. Since I began my full-time work with Priests for Life over 20 years ago, one of the first things I became aware of was that many young people today are finding their vocation precisely because of the Church’s witness to the sanctity of life amidst […]

Profession of Vows: Wildflower in the Pages of an Ancient Book
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Profession of Vows: Wildflower in the Pages of an Ancient Book

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I made my first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on August 30, 2014. Visibly not much has changed. The biggest change is the veil I am wearing now. It has cleared up a lot of confusion. When I walk down the street, people now look at me and usually know what I am. In […]

The Story of a Seminarian, From a Mom's Point of View
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The Story of a Seminarian, From a Mom’s Point of View

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When I first became a mom, I was not quite 23 years old. I lived 3 hours away from my parents and my friends, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have the internet or blogs back in those days, I really felt like we were completely on our own. I […]

June 1-2: Triumph with Messenger of The Truth on PBS
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June 1-2: Triumph with Messenger of The Truth on PBS

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This Sunday, June 1, and Monday, June 2, a miracle of sorts takes place on mainstream TV as PBS affiliates broadcast a documentary about a heroic Catholic priest. Messenger of The Truth is about Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, chaplain to the Solidarity labor union that nonviolently took down the communist regime in Poland. Some efforts to […]

Stubborn Donna
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Stubborn Donna

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Donna Russell just sat there on the bench being what she was: a twelve-year-old child and as stubborn as a mule. Helen, her sister, sat beside her. They both refused to look at me. I was furious. It was late in the game and we were down ten points. This was my first year coaching […]

From Merciless Linebacker to Merciful Messenger
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From Merciless Linebacker to Merciful Messenger

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Eric Mahl has always loved a challenge. In his youth, it was the prospect of being the best football player ever. This desire drove him to bench press 450 pounds, earn an NCAA Division I football scholarship and later a place on the Cleveland Browns’ roster. The 30-year-old Ohio native’s challenge now, however, is sharing the […]

Reflections For Sunday, February 9, 2014
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Reflections For Sunday, February 9, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflectoin/Group Discussion (Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalm 112:4-9; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16) What it Means to Demonstrate the Power of God to Others … with a demonstration of spirit and power. (1 Corinthians 2:4) Christians are called to be kind and generous, to serve those in need, and to be honest and […]

United in Heart and Soul to Our Beloved
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United in Heart and Soul to Our Beloved

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Aimed at greater intimacy than the one-flesh union, married love “leads to forming one heart and soul,” states the Catechism. (Section 1643). How do married couples become one in heart and soul, especially when the demands of daily life keep getting in the way? Becoming One Heart Talk to your beloved about what’s in your […]

Why Priests Should Celebrate the Extraordinary Form
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Why Priests Should Celebrate the Extraordinary Form

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One of the things I enjoy the most about my job here is interacting with priests.  It’s really humbling to know that some of the guys who instruct the souls from the pulpit every Sunday work with me on publishing their next column, or even read my columns and take some of the advice.  Lay […]

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