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How to make every day holy—even during a pandemic

How to make every day holy—even during a pandemic

We are the children of God, called to be holy. But it’s often difficult to feel that holiness in the midst of daily life—and that’s even more true now, as we adjust our lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, than it was even a mere two weeks ago. Before, it was merely easy to get caught up in the minutiae of things—the dry cleaning, the coworker talking loudly on the phone, soccer practice, forgetting to buy tomatoes at the market; these days, it’s easy to get caught up in...
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How Saint Joseph Can Help Us in a Time of Crisis

How Saint Joseph Can Help Us in a Time of Crisis

Covid-19 is on everyone’s mind these days. What saint can better help us than Joseph, whose feast is March 19? Saint Teresa of Avila wrote about him, “I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to the glorious Saint Joseph, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of him that he has failed to grant.”Saint Joseph can help us especially in these areas:1. Overcoming fearIn a crisis people ...
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Epiphany: When God Revealed His Heart for the Whole World

Epiphany: When God Revealed His Heart for the Whole World

Sometimes I wonder how Mary and Joseph reacted when the Magi showed up.I can imagine them, finally settled, still processing all that's happened with angels and shepherds and this baby in their arms, when there is a knock at the door. Joseph signals to Mary that he will get it, quiet so as not to wake the baby she finally got to sleep, assuming it to be a relative or neighbor. But opening the door, he is met with the startling sight of a dusty, strangely dressed group of foreign, rich, Genti...
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A Treasure for the Taking: 3 Easy Ways to Help the Holy Souls

A Treasure for the Taking: 3 Easy Ways to Help the Holy Souls

Have you ever heard of the Church’s treasury? It’s not money or the precious artwork in the Vatican museums. No, the Church’s treasury is of infinite value because it contains all the spiritual goods and grace that Jesus himself merited for us. And we can draw from this treasure to help the holy souls! But how?First let’s look at a couple key ideas from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: As members of the Church we belong to the communion of saints. We profess this in ...
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 How Meditation on Death Can Change Your Life

How Meditation on Death Can Change Your Life

Several years after joining the convent, I decided to take up the practice of regular meditation on death. As a reminder to meditate on my death, I acquired a small ceramic skull for my desk. I was inspired by Blessed James Alberione, the founder of my religious order, the Daughters of Saint Paul. He kept a skull on his desk as a memento mori to remind him of his death. Every day I would simply look at the skull on my desk and remember that death could come at any time. Then I would bring to pra...
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A Mother for all of us

A Mother for all of us

For most of us, understanding something means articulating it, putting words to it. We feel we can understand (or at least try to understand) something once we can name it.That only goes so far, of course. I can name “physics,” I realize something called physics exists and is actually quite a useful thing, but I’m very glad there are others around to grapple with it so I don’t need to. We agonize over coming up with the right names for our children, because naming carries...
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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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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 to Help Kids Pray with Scripture

How to Help Kids Pray with Scripture

It's important to remember that there are many ways to pray. Memorizing and praying the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, or any other beloved prayers are wonderful ways to pray, but so are praying with Scripture and even just thinking about God. The purpose of prayer is continuing and strengthening our relationship with God. Just like we can share with a close friend all the ups and downs of life, we can do that with God and we should teach our children to do the same. I love telling childr...
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Pray It Through: How to Pray when It's Hard to Forgive

Pray It Through: How to Pray when It's Hard to Forgive

A graduate school classmate of mine was once a greengrocer in a small English village. If you wanted fresh fruits and vegetables, and you happened to live in that village, you had to visit him. The problem was, he was usually cranky and sometimes downright mean. One day, three of his regular customers—all older, retired women—decided to do something about his behavior. They didn’t chew him out, and they didn’t decide to go to the next village to buy their produce. Instead...
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