Catholics understand that images, scents, smells, and even gestures are holy.
Catholicism hasn’t always come easily to me. As a religion major at a liberal arts college and then a woman at a divinity school where the curriculum was designed to prepare ministers for ordination, I was constantly asked to defend and explain my faith. “But aren’t you a feminist?” people would ask. Or, “Why don’t you become Episcopalian? They’re almost like Catholics—and you could get ordained!”
Just like baking, prayer takes time, patience, and a dash of ingenuity.
Growing up, I spent one week every summer with my grandparents in upstate New York. It was a week full of traditions and rituals that were repeated year after year, immersing me not only in the love my grandparents and I shared, but also our family history. We went for walks in the woods, visited the tiny public library, and I played with giant pickle jars full of buttons. Most important, we baked molasses cookies.
A weathered and worn prayer book reveals a spiritual life well lived.
Ever since I first learned the Hail Mary, I have loved prayer. Perhaps Sister taught us the Glory Be first. It’s shorter, more repetitious; if you know the sign of the cross, you’re halfway there. But it’s the Hail Mary I remember, specifically the pleasure of the word amongst. It was the mystical heart of the prayer for me—at least when I was six. I also loved the hallowed in the Our Father, and that ignominious lurked somewhere among the stations of the cross.
The biblical Sophia is more than metaphor; she is an expression of the presence of God.
At a retreat where I referred to Sophia several times in my first presentation, a man suddenly stood up and blurted out: “Just who is this Sophia? Stop assuming that everyone here knows who you are talking about!” His interruption startled me, and it reminded me that many do not know this jewel in scripture, that Sophia is hidden from many.
Gardening isn’t just an issue of environmental sustainability. It’s also good for your soul.
The first step to developing a relationship with Jesus is figuring out which Jesus you're looking for.
There's more to praying with scripture than the words on the page.
He advised us to do this in complete silence to help our concentration and not disturb our neighbor. After the video was over, he said the correct answer was 12 straight passes and 2 bounce passes. Then he asked, “Did you see the gorilla?”
All of us are pushed in a thousand directions over the course of a single day. Spouses, children, parents, work, friends—it can be hard to find the time for daily maintenance, much less the mental space to practice any kind of spirituality.