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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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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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A Mother's Journey

A Mother's Journey

Maybe you’re a mom.Biological, adoptive, foster, spiritual, school-mom, hospital-mom, mother-figure… however your motherhood is expressed.Maybe you’re a mom.And maybe you remember taking your mom for granted.I know I did. I saw my mom work for me, care for me, fight for me, and love me every day. And sure, I was grateful, but I didn’t realize just how much it all cost her… or how much joy I brought her.And that’s the heart of a mother.We tend to think o...
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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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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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Saint Monica: The Mother Who Never Gave Up

Saint Monica: The Mother Who Never Gave Up

The dignified woman opened the door and stiffly walked into the room at the seaside inn. As she looked at the drab, empty, ordinary room, she thought, “Nothing special about it.” It was simply supposed to be a stopover; it wasn’t supposed to be the place where her heart would be broken…again.She managed to hold in her tears until she closed the door behind her. Then, Monica collapsed on her knees beside the bed, burying her face in the cheap pillows and letting them abso...
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