No One Laughed at My Undercover Mass

I’ve missed Mass more times in the last year and a half then I have the entire 30 years that I’ve been Catholic. I went to Mass when I was tired, sick, depressed, and when I had a little kid who wouldn’t sit still or always had to urgently go to the bathroom during the epiclesis. I LOVED Mass, even when I would have rather slept in then to get out of bed. But I did because it was important to me because I loved God, I wanted to go be with Him. And I wanted to fix my hair,…continued

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When Life is Messy

depression, despair, hope

Sometimes There’s No Happy Endings I have serious issues with unhappy endings, especially those based on real events.  I never even watched the Titanic  because I knew it was just going to make me like characters that would all be killed off at the end. I couldn’t bear it. Maybe because I’ve always struggled with depression and that type of movie doesn’t exactly add to my perkiness factor. I did, unfortunately, watch A Perfect Storm because my mother-in-law raved about how wonderful it was and that it was based on true events. My husband I watched it after the kids had…continued

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Catholic Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is not a concept we hear much about. Spiritual warfare, or spiritual combat, is simply our struggle against the enemy of our soul. He attacks, and with the grace of God we defend. This is part of our normal spiritual life as we grow in faith and virtue.     This book was recommended to me when I asked about a simple book on spiritual warfare – I didn’t want anything scary, nothing that would be too complicated. I just needed something that would give me some tips and courage. I was experiencing some deep struggles, and knew…continued

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Prayer, Hope, and Mercy

Prayer isn’t always easy. Sometimes it seems as though our prayers aren’t answered despite our insistence. We may feel discouraged, abandoned by God. Other times the prayers become mere obligations to fulfill, and we drag ourselves through saying the simple few that we can. It can be easy to forget what our prayer really means when our feelings are darkened by anxiety or depression and our heart feels unable to respond to God’s love in the ways it has in the past, in the ways it may long to. But we have to remember that our feelings are not facts. Prayer is more than how we feel,…continued

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Precious Little Gifts

Our sufferings and pains can become little gifts for God if we wrap them in our love for Him, decorate them with our trust in Him, and then approach the foot of the cross to present them to Him with humility. We ask Him to accept these precious little gifts from our small hands as we gaze upon Him in adoration. This may not lessen our pain, but it does sanctify the pain, giving meaning to what we must endure anyway. Whether the pain is physical or emotional – chronic pain, struggles with depression, a broken heart – we can take something that appears ugly and allow…continued

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The Ache of Loneliness

Sometimes the loneliness is so deep that it feels as though it emanates from within my bones and bores through me with a painful longing. I am assailed by the feeling of being broken, parts of me missing, a huge hole in my heart and soul. The longing aches even sometimes to the point of physical pain, and yet more and more I realize it is a longing that only One can fulfill, only One can alleviate. There is only One who can consume this loneliness. I desire what I know, that which is familiar to me. I desire friendship,…continued

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Dancing with Despair

It is so easy to lose hope. I see so easily all the misery in the world, the painful or broken marriages, the mothers who mourn as their children make poor life choices, shocking violence and profanity, the degradation of human life. The natural response is to wonder “how could a loving and merciful God permit this to happen?” These things can and should drive us to our knees in prayer. Although that may be one of my responses, so often my other reaction is to dance with despair, to allow the pain I see to fill my heart and push…continued

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