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I Have a Skull on My Desk. Here’s Why.

I Have a Skull on My Desk. Here’s Why.

I have a skull on my desk. It’s not a Halloween decoration. The skull sits on my desk all year round. I decided to acquire the little ceramic skull to help me meditate regularly on my death. By now, I’ve been meditating daily on my inevitable and unpredictable death for over two years.You might be thinking, “Well, that sounds unpleasant.” And you would be partly right. At first it was unpleasant. I hated thinking about my death. Like most people, I had put a lot of energy...
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Never give up seeking God: Timely lessons for today from Saint John Henry Newman

Never give up seeking God: Timely lessons for today from Saint John Henry Newman

This weekend, Blessed John Henry Newman will become Saint John Henry Newman, and few people will be happier than Sr. Mary Emmanuel Alves, FSP. She takes delight in reading—daily—from his work, and is ecstatic that his canonization will bring him into the hearts and minds of so many more people. “He is so precise and articulate,” she says. “His mind is brilliant—but the true brilliance is in it being understandable to the rest of us. That’s real brillianc...
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Introducing your children to Mary in the month of the Rosary

Introducing your children to Mary in the month of the Rosary

Mary brings us closer to Jesus—we know this from the consistent witness of the saints through the history of the Church. Since we want our children to grow close to Jesus, it makes sense to introduce them early on to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who will help them through all the difficult moments of their lives. Do as I DoSimply having a statue or picture of Mary in the house or classroom is a way to share your love for Mary with your children. Growing up, I remember several pictures o...
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How St. Gianna Teaches Complete Trust in God

How St. Gianna Teaches Complete Trust in God

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a devoted pediatrician, wife, and mother. She loved and served God in the simplest, humblest gestures of her family and professional life, juggling—as do many women today—the demands of both worlds.Her example shows how keeping our relationship with God at the center of our lives allows grace to affect all our decisions, especially difficult ones. St. Gianna exemplifies how ordinary, daily experiences are important opportunities for evangelization. As a c...
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Newman's Path to God: Interview with Ryan Marr

Newman's Path to God: Interview with Ryan Marr

We’re all excited about Ryan Marr’s new book in the Ex Libris series, John Henry Newman, about one of our newest saints! He graciously agreed to share some of his thoughts with us today. Ryan is the director of the National Institute for Newman Studies and the associate editor of the Newman Studies Journal. In what ways can reading John Henry Newman assist those who wish to develop their own prayer lives?Ryan Marr: Based on the testimony of his closest friends, we know that Newm...
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Love in the heart of the Church

Love in the heart of the Church

French singer Edith Piaf kept her picture on her bedside table. She was the reason Dorothy Day became a Catholic. Teilhard de Chardin changed his life’s course because of her. She has been an instrument of conversion as well as of comfort, and she might be just the saint needed for times like ours.She is St. Thérèse de Lisieux.The world and the Church may be said to be in distress, and when we look at the history of Christianity to try and find words of wisdom, a plan of...
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Be Brave, My Child

Be Brave, My Child

Maybe you haven’t done it yet, or maybe you’ve done it a dozen times. Either way, the day you send your child off to school can be terrifying. Are they ready? Will they be safe? Will they be kind? Will they be loved?In stepping out on their own, a child enters a new space in their life in which their mother cannot participate. And that’s scary. The only way a mom can enter into that piece of her child’s life is if, in some way, her child is brave enough to trust her with ...
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When we're struggling to understand ourselves

When we're struggling to understand ourselves

It’s easy, these days, to feel discouraged about a great many things, not least of which is our relationship with God. We move forward through the bustle of daily life, sometimes gracefully, but more often bouncing from one event or requirement or situation to the next like balls in a pinball machine. And when that happens, and we step back and look at our day-to-day lives, how can we not feel discouraged? How can we not feel that we don’t measure up to what God wants of us?“Th...
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Why Didn’t You Do It Ages Ago?

Why Didn’t You Do It Ages Ago?

In a letter to his friend Malcolm, C.S. Lewis writes: “Last week, while at prayer, I suddenly discovered—or felt as if I did—that I had really forgiven someone I have been trying to forgive for over thirty years. Trying, and praying that I might. When the thing actually happened, sudden as the longed-for cessation of one’s neighbor’s radio, my feeling was—But it’s so easy. Why didn’t you do it ages ago?” Why didn’t you do it ages a...
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God, How do I Know This is You?

God, How do I Know This is You?

I was in my last year of college when I decided to enter the convent. As I told my friends, who were also in their early twenties, about how I felt that God was calling me, many of them had the same response: “But how do you know that it’s God calling you?”This is a question that so many of us have. We want to do God’s will, we want to hear his voice, but we don’t even know what we’re listening for. And it doesn’t have an easy answer. In fact, I still as...
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