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Redemption

Fifteen Years of Yearning for Hope

November 11, AD2017 2 Comments
Fifteen Years of Yearning for Hope

November 11, 2017 marks the fifteenth (15th) anniversary of the shooting death of my son, Aaron Dougherty. More essentially, this date also marks the 15th anniversary of my yearning for hope for Aaron in the Resurrection of the Paschal Mystery. Aaron had been severely depressed for most of his 26-year-old life. He died in a […]

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Eat, Drink And Be Merry

November 10, AD2017 0 Comments
Eat, Drink And Be Merry

Eat Drink And Be Merry Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. There are several places in holy Scripture where this sentiment is expressed. The one that has been bouncing around my mind since I heard it at Sunday Mass a few weeks ago pertains to the parable of the rich man who […]

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From Panic Attacks to Freedom in God- Part II

October 10, AD2017 7 Comments
From Panic Attacks to Freedom in God- Part II

This is the second part of the hardest story I have ever told. It is my story of struggling with anxiety, panic attacks anxiety and depression. To read Part I. Soon after my ectopic pregnancy, I became pregnant with my second child. I followed all the medical advice to keep postpartum at bay. I gave birth […]

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From Panic Attacks to Freedom in God- Part I

October 9, AD2017 4 Comments
From Panic Attacks to Freedom in God- Part I

This is the hardest story I have ever told. It is my story of struggling with anxiety, panic attacks anxiety and depression. My story will contain references to counseling and medical care and I want to be clear- I am not here to tell you to change any protocol with counselors or doctors because we […]

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Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

September 27, AD2017 3 Comments
Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery which questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change and to live in mystical union with Christ.  Although many Carmelites might not recommend this book as a valid description of pure […]

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Commands Are Not Ideals

September 19, AD2017 8 Comments
Commands Are Not Ideals

“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (John 13:15). Our Lord told the apostles this at the Last Supper. Later on Jesus tells the apostles that they are to love one another as He has loved them (John 13:34), that if they truly love Him they […]

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The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

September 9, AD2017 12 Comments
The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

Full disclosure: I did not actually read the book “The Benedict Option”. Spiritdaily and a NY Times article is where I gleaned information about this movement in the Church. I did, however, have limited exposure to the idea of Covenant Communities in my parish. About years ago, a very holy, sincere parish priest and several parish families were trying to form a […]

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Hanoi Jane Excepted, Ora Pro Nobis

June 17, AD2017 16 Comments
Hanoi Jane Excepted, Ora Pro Nobis

Is a prayer like this Okay? Hanoi Jane Excepted, Ora Pro Nobis My good friend, Captain Ronald Bliss (may he rest in peace now), on his 35th combat mission over North Vietnam in 1966, after his F-105 Thunderchief was shot down, was incarcerated in the Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”  He was there […]

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The Third Beatitude: Blessed are the Meek

May 5, AD2017 0 Comments
The Third Beatitude: Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Heartland Each workday I drive thirty miles to and from my teaching job. It’s a pleasant commute, though. Thirty miles of corn, soybean, and wheat fields, with an occasional cattle lot. This time of year, the newly sprouted yellow-green corn blades are beginning to show […]

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Dark Night or Spiritual Sloth?… Maybe Both!

April 30, AD2017 6 Comments
Dark Night or Spiritual Sloth?… Maybe Both!

I started off Lent with lofty plans on boosting my prayer life, a firm purpose of amendment to avoid sin and to fast. I failed miserably on every level, sinking into the comforting thought that I am simply enduring the dark night of the soul. I reasoned that I am experiencing what St. John of […]

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Our Lady Healer of Families Heal My Broken Family

March 29, AD2017 10 Comments
Our Lady Healer of Families Heal My Broken Family

I work in RCIA and Adult Faith Formation ministry in my local parish. This role enables me to welcome people into the church, and to help people delve deeper into their relationship with our Lord. Because of this role, I listen to many stories of suffering from people who come into our door. We truly […]

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God’s Gotcha

March 6, AD2017 2 Comments
God’s Gotcha

When I was a kid, I would go to Mass and stand up in the back of the church with my foot up against the wall. I thought I was a tough guy. I wasn’t. Going To Mass Mr. O was an usher. It seemed he would look for me and that he was at […]

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My Journey Away from Perfectionism

February 25, AD2017 3 Comments
My Journey Away from Perfectionism

As a young girl, I would make sure that all my toys and games were in the right order. In high school, I tried very hard to make sure my school work was as perfect as can be. This need to be perfect has even continued into my young adult years. Now that I am […]

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Why Christ Fell

February 20, AD2017 2 Comments
Why Christ Fell

I do not like icy streets.  They turn walking into an adventure where falling is a real possibility. I guess what I really do not like is falling.  Finding yourself on the ground is rarely a good result. The vantage point from the ground is usually not a good one.  The world tells us that […]

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Go Ahead Rachel, Weep

January 23, AD2017 15 Comments
Go Ahead Rachel, Weep

 A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more. Matthew 2:18 Yesterday, January 22, 2017, was the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Later this week hundreds of thousands of Americans will march on Washington to express their ongoing […]

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Pray Without Deadly Sin

December 31, AD2016 1 Comment
Pray Without Deadly Sin

Most of us think we know how to pray, others may ponder the question, “How do I pray?” This article can be used by both groups of people as an examination of conscience before prayer. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting […]

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The Hound of Heaven

December 29, AD2016 5 Comments
The Hound of Heaven

“The name is strange. It startles one at first. It is so bold, so new, so fearless. It does not attract, rather the reverse. But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears. The meaning is understood. As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with […]

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No Condemnation, Even for a Pedophile

December 8, AD2016 12 Comments
No Condemnation, Even for a Pedophile

A few months ago, I defriended someone on Facebook not only because I barely knew this person, but because a post of his bothered me so much and haunted me for days. He had posted a news story about a person I knew from high school who had been arrested for sexually abusing children. As […]

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Amoris Laetitia, Mercy Robots & Sinning In Heaven

November 10, AD2016
Amoris Laetitia, Mercy Robots & Sinning In Heaven

Many scholars and theologians think that, at best, certain statements in the papal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia are ambiguous, with some possible interpretations being heresy. For this reason, forty-five theologians have appealed to the Vatican for what they see as errors in Amoris Lateitia to be corrected [henceforth herein “AL”]  so the Exhortation will not proclaim […]

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The Faithful Departed: A Reflection

November 1, AD2016 2 Comments
The Faithful Departed: A Reflection

You drive down an Illinois country blacktop, passing fields of corn and soybeans, sometimes winter wheat or an occasional cattle ranch or dairy farm. As you approach a country town, you don’t see its white, clapboard homes. You see a forest ahead of you—vigorous maples, elms that have somehow survived Dutch elm disease, and oaks. […]

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Lessons from Prison Ministry

August 18, AD2016 1 Comment
Lessons from Prison Ministry

One Saturday morning about a year and a half ago I attended training to volunteer at the local county jail. During the training, the deputy instructor spent the morning teaching us everything that can go wrong in a prison. Riots, lock downs, power outages, disease outbreak, homemade weapons – it really is quite an impressive […]

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Bad Moral Theologians (BMTs)

August 4, AD2016 18 Comments
Bad Moral Theologians (BMTs)

There are evil things that some people really, really want to do. There are some people who not only want to do evil things but also want to be justified in doing them. They want others to say their evil deeds would be good. So, what to do if you are one of them? What if you […]

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Caught Not Simply Taught, Then Swept Into The Heart of The Church

July 6, AD2016 2 Comments
Caught Not Simply Taught, Then Swept Into The Heart of The Church

Many people perceive Christianity as something institutional — rather than as an encounter with Christ — which explains why they don’t see it as a source of joy. Pope Benedict XVI When Catholics venture beyond the walls of their parish church into the marketplace to evangelize, it is important that they remember the spiritual life […]

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Scrupulosity: What It Is and How to Overcome It

May 21, AD2016 4 Comments
Scrupulosity: What It Is and How to Overcome It

  Scrupulosity, in the Catholic sense, is the tendency to focus on our sins too much, forgetting Our Redeemer and His mercy in the process. It is the tendency to remember the law while forgetting the Law Giver. A person with “a case of the scruples” has likely forgotten that the law was made for […]

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