Tag: "discernment"

Where Did You Find God Today?
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Where Did You Find God Today?

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Several years ago, I had a spiritual director who encouraged me to reflect on the following question: “Where did you find God today?” That is the question at the heart of Andy Otto’s new book, God Moments (Ave Maria Press, 2017). Otto, who has a master’s degree in theology and ministry, is a Catholic writer, […]

My Trek to Catholicism: Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual
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My Trek to Catholicism: Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual

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If you had told me seven years ago that I was on the verge of converting to Catholicism and that I would eventually work for the Church, I would have nodded politely and slowly backed away towards the nearest exit. The idea would have seemed completely crazy. On my best days, I was a loosely […]

The Narrow Way
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The Narrow Way

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The most terrifying aspect of living out Catholic sexuality is that it requires us to unflinchingly kill an entire world of potentials. In this world of dreamers, it can be very difficult to commit oneself to a given way of life simply because it entails giving up all other ways of life. It can be […]

Back-to-School Reflections From a Homeschooling Mom
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Back-to-School Reflections From a Homeschooling Mom

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The school year began in the local public schools last week. As I watched the bus drive down the street and saw all the back-to-school photos that my friends put up on Facebook, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. My kids are homeschooled. There is no big yellow school bus for us. There’s […]

No, Son, You CAN'T Be Whatever You Want
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No, Son, You CAN’T Be Whatever You Want

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One thing most loving parents say to their kids at one time or another is, “Honey, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up!” I used to think this was a wonderfully affirming statement—until I became Catholic. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. I was married and pregnant with my first child […]

Our God is a Mighty God
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Our God is a Mighty God

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I love silence. I crave it sometimes, especially in a world that seems filled with noise 24/7. Radios and TVs, alarm clocks and iPods, CD players and Youtube, telephones and cell phones and people talking-talking-talking wherever we go. It can be a challenge to hear God’s voice over all of that noise. We might try […]

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 […]

TV Review: <em>The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns</em>
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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 Choose Hell (or Heaven)
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You Choose Hell (or Heaven)

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An inner voice says“That is wrong” or “This is right” and then one makes a choice – to freely do a human act. That inner voice is God’s voice through the spiritual smartphone of conscience. The divine voice speaks in a language with the syntax and vocabulary of the Natural Law, a law mirroring the […]

The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness
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The Grace of Admitting Our Brokenness

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Even healers need to be healed. Even teachers need to learn more. And even those who advise perfection aren’t perfect. If we’re willing to admit that, then we have the grace of integrity, explains Lisa Hendey in her fourth book The Grace of Yes, released yesterday by Ave Maria Press. Integrity gives people in authority (including […]

My Son’s Discernment and His Call for Confession
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My Son’s Discernment and His Call for Confession

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The art of daily discernment is a practice and a virtue that many of us tend to forget and at times ignore. By definition the act of discernment from the Latin meaning discernere means one’s ability to distinguish what is happening around them whether positive or negative and to move toward a sound resolution of […]

A Singular Vocation
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A Singular Vocation

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When my fiancé and I were still just dating, we approached our priest and spiritual director and asked him how we might discern if we were called to marriage together. He leaned back in his chair and said, “You have to know how to pray, and what to ask when you pray.” Father went on […]

Dating and Discernment
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Dating and Discernment

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Question: Hi Mary! I’m 16, and discerning. At the moment, I feel God wants me as a sister, but I’m still unsure. There’s a guy I know who has expressed his interest in me, and I feel the same way. I’ve asked several people if it would be wrong to date if I felt drawn […]

Hearing God’s Voice: A Guide to Prayer and Discernment
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Hearing God’s Voice: A Guide to Prayer and Discernment

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Last year, I helped teach high school students at my parish’s faith formation program in St. Ignace, Michigan. We took the students to exposition, and afterward, one of them asked me how to tell when she is hearing God’s voice. This is an edited version of the letter I wrote her. Dear M., I’m glad […]

Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life
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Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life

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God does not call the equipped, he equips those he calls.  That is, if they answer his call.  Mother Angelica used to say that any dodo will do—those not worried about their lack of ability, but willing to say yes to God. She was just such a dodo who volunteered to serve him. In spite […]

Discussing Discernment
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Discussing Discernment

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In most Catholic communities, “discernment” is a buzz word. Normally when I hear this word, my mind automatically connects it with another word: vocation. To be honest, this word used to frighten me. Every time I would hear the word at Mass or at another gathering, anxiety would soon follow. The following thoughts would stream […]

The Discernment of Spirits
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The Discernment of Spirits

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In The Discernment of Spirits, an Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living,  Fr. Timothy Gallagher has endeavored to write a “how-to guide” on the reading of the Ignatian Rules.  He has broken down each rule and explained what is meant by it.  He supports his descriptions with vignettes from the lives of users of the Ignatian […]

If You Quit, You Can't Blame God
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If You Quit, You Can’t Blame God

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We all feel tempted to quit sometimes. Whether they are related to relationships, parenting, or work, there are moments in life when we simply want to throw up our arms in frustration and give up. And, sometimes, we want to blame God. After all, God allowed circumstances to be so hard. Obviously, God doesn’t want […]