My Fish Tail and Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Give Up Chocolate for Lent

I felt a little guilty still eating chocolate during these 40 days of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. But I’m getting in plenty of penance anyway, thank you very much! Never would I have imagined myself doing what I did today, and although it didn’t take the self-discipline of denying myself every time I crave chocolate, it did take a different kind of dying to self. The air was Florida-winter cool (high 60’s/low 70’s) with grey skies and not much wind as we started out on our afternoon walk. My elderly friend wasn’t even grumbling about the cold and I was…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

Of Returning, Brain Injuries, and the Little Way

It has been so long since I last posted here on Little Steps Along the Way that there is nothing to do but to take a giant step of courage and proceed, despite my concussion. You may not remember signing up to receive these email updates, and it has been about a year since one would have landed in your inbox. *WARNING! Read at your own risk! The Writer has a brain injury!*   My writing may not be smooth (or may not even make sense) because my brain is not always quite right while it is recovering from it’s…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

St. Therese and the Little Straws: Surviving Aridity in Prayer

Little Straws to Throw Upon the EmbersImage via Microsoft Clip Art May 2013 “In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem to me extinct I would still throw little straws…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

How to Love God’s Will

The will of God is one of my favorite subjects to read about. The Will of God in Other Words by Dom Hubert Van Zeller excited me because it was published in 1964, not too long ago really, compared to most of the spiritual “classics.” This book is out of print but you can still find it used (click on the image to buy it on Amazon or read more information about it there.)  Also keep an eye out to see if it is one that is republished by Sophia Institute Press. Van Zeller wrote: “It is important to think…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

Sanctifying My Suffering, Holy Week

I had an opportunity to begin the way of the Cross with Jesus in my own little way. I had an arthrogram MRI, which means that first they inject dye into your elbow, and then after waiting for the dye to absorb they perform the MRI. After driving alone to the very painful nerve conduction test I had a few weeks ago, I decided to ask a friend to go with me for this. I was told it would be “uncomfortable.” I just didn’t want to go through it alone, not again. I felt guilty asking a friend to take…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

Offering it Up or Sucking it Up?

The world offers us words of wisdom to help us overcome ourselves and do what must be done, to push on beyond what we enjoy or with which we are comfortable. The words “suck it upm” are to be applied when we are a little whiny, or perhaps digging in our heels to resist that which must be accomplished. Now I would never say those words of wisdom from the world to anyone else (except maybe my kids!), but I have said them to myself many times over the years. When I didn’t want to do something but had to…continued

Click Here to Continue reading

The Purpose of Penance

“The purpose of penance is to overcome evil, which under different forms lies dormant in man. Its purpose is also to strengthen goodness both in man himself and in his relationships with others and especially with God.” On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, by Pope John Paul II  Lent is a season of sacrifices, giving up something, or maybe adding an additional spiritual discipline of some type. It can be a real struggle of the will to maintain those resolutions; at least it can be for me. Sometimes I don’t quite succeed as I would like to. There are…continued

Click Here to Continue reading