Early last summer, I had the pleasure of hosting a mini-retreat for preteen girls and their mothers. It ahs been a long time in coming, but I finally am sharing the talks and resources from that retreat so that others can host their own.
This past weekend, I was honored to present my “Living a Virtuous Life” day retreat to my home parish. I have to admit, that I was nervous at first. I kept thinking about the biblical passage where Jesus wasn’t accepted within His own home town of Nazareth (Luke 4:14-30). Would my own parish family treat me the same? It wasn’t like I was claiming “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21), but I was proclaiming what we as followers of Christ need to do to become more Christ-like; more virtuous. I kept wondering, “why should I be treated any better than Jesus was treated?” If anything, I should be treated worse, because I don’t deserve the level of respect that Jesus deserved. He is God; I am a mere human servant.
Yet, Sunday was Pentecost Sunday; a day to celebrate when the Apostles received the power of the Holy Spirit. My pastor and I decided to... Read more...
My husband and I were watching the investigative reporting program 60 Minutes recently, and one of the segments had to do with Buddhist "mind-emptying" meditation. The reporting journalist told of how he'd decided to try to immerse himself in the practice as part of a week-long journalistic piece he was preparing, but that he'd not ever given it much thought and didn't expect much to come of it.
Awesome author Sarah Reinhard has generously agreed to donate a free copy of her book Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless to the next person to register for my online marriage enrichment retreat this February 3, 4, 10 and 11!! So be sure to join in Can We Cana?'s first major give-away by registering for the retreat here. For those of you who don't already know Sarah, she describes herself as a Catholic convert/wife/mom/reader/writer enjoying the idiosyncrasies of life on a farm with critters and kids. She blogs at the National Catholic Register and has written five books for amazing Catholic publishers like Pauline Books and Ave Maria Press. She's heavily involved with CatholicMom.com and is always ready to lend a helping hand to beginning bloggers such as yours truly. Sarah's book, Catholic Family Fun, is as great as the name suggests. It's packed with detailed instructions for nearly 50 fun activities, starting with the silliest ones. If you're looking for ways to pry your kids away from their electronic devices, Sarah's book is the best place to begin. Check out my full review of her book here. So what does Catholic family fun have to do with marriage enrichment, you might ask? Everything! Fun times with our families can help us make it over the inevitable rough spots. Fun is a terrific unifying force that shouldn't be underestimated. To learn more ways that families can grow closer to God and each other, please join the Can We Cana? online marriage enrichment retreat. Live sessions are offered at mid-day and at evening, whichever is most convenient for you, and you can also view the recorded sessions through a link we'll send you afterwards. For more information, look here. And, remember -- the next person to register here for the online retreat will win a free copy of Sarah's book. Go ahead and register today!
Join me this February 3, 4, 10, or 11 in an online marriage enrichment retreat. Spend an hour or two, just in time for Valentine's Day, to make your marriage stronger! Similar to an interactive webinar, the retreat offers talks illustrated by sacred artwork with a background of Gregorian chant. If you've never attended an online retreat before, don't worry -- the technology is easy. All you need is high-speed Internet and speakers for your computer. You can ask and answer questions simply by typing in a chatbox. But if you wish, you can purchase low-cost earbuds with a computer mike and speak directly with me and the other participants. You’ll receive a link by email to enter the online environment and a friendly tech will help you get used to all the features. You can participate as an individual or a couple, during the early afternoon or in the evening -- whatever works for you. And if you can't join live, you'll have access to the recorded session through a link we'll send you. Watch it just like you'd watch an online video. For more information on topics and times, click here.
At the Secular Carmelite retreat I
went to last weekend, I heard a message I didn't expect and it has
changed the way I'm hearing scripture, liturgy and homilies. I have
different ears somehow.
topic of our retreat was, "Rediscovering the Riches of Divine
Intimacy," with retreat master Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. I had been
wondering how to grow in intimacy with God, pondering how it was that I
had been feeling stuck for so long and even having a hard time following
through on my prayer commitments.
Robert said that Jesus loves us MOST where we are weak. He doesn't love
us DESPITE when we're weak, but loves us MOST when we are weak. It's
his preference. Whenever Jesus picks a place of encounter, it is in a
place where life is messy, shameful or overwhelming for us.
Where did Jesus choose to encounter mankind, face to face, in the flesh, for the first time? In
a dank, smelly stable, in the middle of the night. He could have chosen
any other place to meet us, but he chose there, a messy, unpleasant,
uncomfortable place. When we follow Jesus through the scriptures, where
does He meet us? He goes to where the tax collectors and prostitutes
are. He is right there when the adulterous woman is to be stoned to
death. He's there with the sick, hungry and grieving. He doesn't seek
out places where He isn't needed or where people don't realize that they
need Him, but He is, as Father Robert said, "a magnet for our
affliction." He wants with all His heart to love us there.
enemy also zones in on affliction. Like a shark smelling blood, he
moves quickly for a kill. The greatest spiritual battles of our lives
are around our wounded places and our weak places. The enemy will try to
make you run from God in shame, but where do you go when you feel
ashamed? Into the arms of the enemy instead. read more>