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Three Ways To Make Holy Week Truly Holy

Three Ways To Make Holy Week Truly Holy

Holy Week is an extraordinary week in the life of the Church, and it’s meant to be an extraordinary week in our personal and spiritual lives, too. But from waving our palms on Palm Sunday, to being splashed with holy water on Easter Sunday, sometimes it’s hard to get into the rich liturgies of Holy Week. We may get restless during the longer services or find it hard just to get to church an extra time during the week. Sometimes, we may find it uncomfortable or depressing to focus on Jesus’ su...
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Lenten Secrets for Finding Light in Today's Darkness

Lenten Secrets for Finding Light in Today's Darkness

The night can be a scary time. As kids we might have been afraid of monsters under our bed or of sleeping in our own room. Even now as adults the “dark night”—whether it slips into our life as depression, breaks our heart with unexpected ruptures of relationships and futures, or quietly takes from us what we had most cherished—still holds hands with its sister anxiety. Just as individuals live through darkness, cultures and periods of history also can be overshadowed by fear and chaos and de...
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Complaining for Lent: Turning Gripes Into Prayer

Complaining for Lent: Turning Gripes Into Prayer

What shall I do for Lent? Maybe I’ll give up chocolate…, or maybe not. Maybe I’ll try to improve my posture or lose some weight. Probably not. Really what I should aim for is to cut the complaining. But, there is no end of things worthy of what I’ve come to call “social commentary.” Most of the time I vent with God. But, is complaining a sincere form of prayer? Maybe not a real form of prayer, but a kind of sub-form. It isn’t adoration, contrition, or thanksgiving, but definitely a part o...
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Jesus Is So Awesome

Jesus Is So Awesome

Ok, so I've been a Postulant (a.k.a. "nun-in-training") for almost two years, so maybe it doesn’t come as a big surprise that I’m a bit smitten with Jesus. To clarify, though, I mean “awesome” not in the way it's used to describe a good pizza, but in the literal sense: “inspiring wonder, awe or fear.” I have so many reasons for being in awe of Jesus, but one big reason I've been praying with lately is just how patient he is with me. Think about it. Nine times out of ten, when someone is as...
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We've Only Just Begun

We've Only Just Begun

 Wish us a happy birth-year. This June the Daughters of St. Paul will celebrate a hundred years of participating in the mission of the Church, becoming the Good News of Jesus, and communicating him through the media within the world’s cultures. Our story would not be the same without one woman who was indispensable to its first fifty years—Thecla Merlo, well on her way now to being declared “Blessed.” Our centenary appropriately begins this year and ends next year with her anniversary—Febru...
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Jesus: The Anchor That Gives Us Hope

Jesus: The Anchor That Gives Us Hope

In these days each morning at Mass I have been moved by the readings from the Letter to the Hebrews. Jesus our High Priest is the centerpiece of this masterful work from the New Testament. The writer tells us that Jesus learned “obedience from what he suffered” for us. He purchased our souls for God, and because of what Jesus did we have hope.In our coastal New England area it is easy to visualize an anchor holding a ship fast, despite the strength of the wind or waves. Jesus is the anchor tha...
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First Surprises of 2015

First Surprises of 2015

My first surprise for 2015 was not pleasant: I spent the first few days of January sick in bed!Right after Christmas, I caught a bad flu and just as I thought I was getting well, a relapse totally knocked me down on New Year’s Eve. (I’m feeling much better now, thanks to the TLC of several sisters, lots of bed rest and a surprising amount of cold medicine.)  My second surprise of the new year was much more pleasant: the time I needed to spend in bed has proven to be unexpectedly fruitful! Bein...
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Christmas Carries On Throughout the Year

Christmas Carries On Throughout the Year

Merry Christmas! (Christmas is not over!) A Blessed New Year! (For us Catholics New Year's Day is the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God!) Each day of the octave of Christmas we celebrate Christmas again. The glory, the wonder, the awe of the good news that heaven has bent down to earth to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves: rescue ourselves from the sin that plagues us and from which none of us could extricate ourselves on our own. We needed One who was the Righteousness of God in our f...
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Be It Resolved...

Be It Resolved...

There's something about New Year's that inspires hope in me. Every year, during those first seven of the Twelve Days of Christmas, I find myself actively and enthusastically contemplating the start of a new year. No matter how tattered (or forgotten) last year's resolutions are, I am confident that this year will be different. Maybe it's the glow from the Christmas lights, but snarky and cynical shadows of how well last year's resolutions went don't have a chance. It's a New Year, and in some wa...
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Advent Pilgrimage

Advent Pilgrimage

Advent holds a very special place in my heart. In the Advent liturgy we are able to experience with all our senses the haunting beauty of this time of ardent longing and waiting. The smells of pine wreaths and burning wax, the plaintive melodies of Advent hymns, the promise-filled prophecies and Old Testament readings, the great Advent figures – they all urge us to focus on what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. In four short weeks we learn to wait, to hope, to be quiet, to prepare. How appr...
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