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How to find Christmas joy when life is not joyful
Silence. Complete and utter silence. It filled every crevice of the stable. It stretched to the highest heavens, reverberating throughout the midnight sky. It settled quietly and peacefully in their hearts… A tiny light shone, one brave soldier in the midst of a darkness draped over the tiny shelter they were given against the winter wind. The young virgin Mother rested her arms on the side of the manger where she’d laid her tiny newborn, bundled against the cold.Behold the handmaid...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Advent-Christmas | Tags: | View Count: (542)
Welcome to Advent! God’s presence with us
And so Advent begins. Some of us are ready: our wreaths are out, our calendars prepared, our readings marked. Some of us, on the other hand, are feeling already overloaded as the year seems to accelerate toward Christmas. Ready or not, though, it’s here.I’ve recently been reading some of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s writings, and the other day I came across his homily at the First Vespers of Advent in 2009. “Advent,” he writes, “this powerful liturgical season...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Living the Faith Today, How to Share Your Faith, Advent-Christmas | Tags: | View Count: (768)
19

Thanksgiving—and Gratitude

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Thanksgiving—and Gratitude
Last week, I had one of the most frustrating days ever. I was supposed to pick up a prescription, then do a series of errands that would take up an hour or so of my time. My prescription wasn’t ready; the office-supply place had to order my printer-ink refill, the grocery store had to give me a raincheck for the eggs that were supposed to be on sale, and I was feeling like life just shouldn’t be this difficult. Then, when I came home, I happened upon an article about a man in Mexico ...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Living the Faith Today, How to Share Your Faith | Tags: | View Count: (722)
Favorite Pumpkin Recipes from our Kitchen
For many of us, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. But there are so many other things we can do with pumpkins, and they’re all delicious! Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking, and most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers!Here at the convent, we have the opportunity to try many wonderful and varied dishes, as each sister brings her own family recipes into the bigger family ...
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02

Could You Be a Saint?

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Could You Be a Saint?
Have you ever looked at the life of a saint and thought, I could never do that—I’m nothing like them? Have you ever felt like sainthood was challenging you to a stare-down, and you couldn’t hold your gaze steady?Some days, the thought of being called to be holy seems about as achievable as making it up Mount Everest without an oxygen tank!We all know that we’re called to sainthood—and that we all fall short. How many times have you heard questions or insecurities, w...
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01

Purgatory, Candy, and All Saints

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Purgatory, Candy, and All Saints
On Wednesday night I waited forlornly for someone to come to my door trick-or-treating. I live in a cottage community that’s largely seasonal in nature, and by now nearly everyone’s left and gone “home,” but I hoped there were still some kids in the neighborhood who might stop by.No one came. I ate a lot of chocolate.I was wondering later why I felt so deflated, until I realized it had a lot to do with homesickness. I grew up in France, and I listen to a French radio stat...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Prayer and Holiness | Tags: All saints, all souls, la toussaint, day of the dead, ofranda | View Count: (702)
30

Why Passing on the Good News Matters

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Why Passing on the Good News Matters
It was late on a Sunday afternoon, and I was sitting in the chapel of a hospice care facility, waiting for Cherry to die.Cherry and I weren’t related by blood, but as her dementia increased—she was in her nineties when we met—I was asked to take on legal and other responsibilities around her care. It was my honor and my delight: I never knew my grandparents, and she became in many ways the Nana I would have loved to have. She was still smart, still funny, still kind.Even before...
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| Categories: Prayer and Holiness, Living the Faith Today, How to Share Your Faith, Inspiration | Tags: | View Count: (1322)
Seeking a Teacher for Prayer? Turn to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
I still remember the moment I first heard the prayer of St Elizabeth of the Trinity. In the quiet of our convent chapel on Staten Island, New York, Father Bruno Forte—Italian theologian and now Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto—led our community in a profound meditation on silence and prayer. We each had a small copy of the famous prayer of Elizabeth of the Trinity. Bruno Forte opened up the treasures of each phrase one by one, leading us deeper and deeper into interior recollection. It was...
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Elizabeth of the Trinity Can Help if You Feel Spiritually Empty
Today, more than ever, we need navigators of the spiritual life who can teach us to pray. The contemporary soul is not just spiritually empty—it suffers a ferocious vacuum as unrelenting winds of change and undercurrents of uncertainty threaten. Here the contemporary Catholic attempts to swim, but with little confidence that Church doctrine can fill this painful emptiness.What we face today is not very different from what Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, a young Carmelite nun, faced in earl...
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How Does a Person Become a Saint, Anyway?
We’re all called to sainthood—or to try for it, anyway! Scripture and the Church both make that clear: we’re all called to seek holiness and sainthood, whatever our state in life. The Church expresses this Universal Call to Holiness over and over again, most recently in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate. The vocation, the calling, to holiness is universal; God is speaking to all Christians when he says, “Be holy because I [am] holy”...
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| Categories: Prayer and Holiness, Living the Faith Today, Miracle of Hope, Inspiration | Tags: saints, canonization, Pope Francis, Saint Oscar Romero, Saint Pope Paul VI | View Count: (826)
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