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Redemption

Lent as a Moving Experience

February 24, AD2018 0 Comments
Lent as a Moving Experience

I find it powerful and transcendent that Lent is a moving journey toward the Cross and beyond.  This “moving” however, comes in three distinct contexts.  Each context has its place in the Lenten message. Powerful Emotion The first context of moving evoked by Lent may certainly be the strong, somber emotion of following a friend […]

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Discernment: It May Not Turn Out The Way You Expect

February 13, AD2018 0 Comments
Discernment: It May Not Turn Out The Way You Expect

There are many beautiful things in and around the Catholic church.  One of the things that most people may not get to see is the discernment process of men and women who are trying to decide on the next phase of their lives. Over the passage of time, I have had the distinct honor of […]

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Good Works or Once Saved, Always Saved?

February 9, AD2018 1 Comment
Good Works or Once Saved, Always Saved?

As any Bible reading Christian knows, a frequent theme throughout scripture is doing good – not evil. From the Ten Commandments to the Beatitudes, there are rules and actions given for us to emulate. Yes, Jesus died for our salvation. He defeated death and sin, once and for all. This we must believe. Yet Jesus […]

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Life’s Vignettes and God

February 7, AD2018 1 Comment
Life’s Vignettes and God

Life’s Vignettes and God Independent Films (IF) tell stories through vignettes. An IF vignette depicts poignant events in a person’s life in a short film. Each vignette usually ties the theme of all the shorts together. In many ways, our lives are like IF vignettes too. This essay is about my life vignettes this past week. I will tell […]

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Falling for God: When Crosses Become Ladders

January 28, AD2018 1 Comment
Falling for God: When Crosses Become Ladders

       If we truly fancy ourselves followers of Christ, we must start seeing our crosses as ladders rather than burdens. Since Christ came to earth to teach us the way to Heaven, then we may rightly accept that his words and actions are sanctified lessons in that path.  His examples of love, service, […]

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The Path of Perfection – Purgatory

January 20, AD2018 3 Comments
The Path of Perfection – Purgatory

“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 1030 I had a discussion online the other day with a Protestant Minister.  […]

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Two Sons, One Father

December 29, AD2017 0 Comments
Two Sons, One Father

There are two things the father does in the Gospel story of the Prodigal Son which can give all of us sinners hope and comfort. (Saints need read no further; but please forward this article to any sinners you know). Two Different Sons Everyone can repeat this story. It has been told again and again. […]

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Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

December 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

I recently bumped into an old friend from grammar school and we began reminiscing about our favorite Christmas movies. Apart from realizing that all of the candidates were over 50 years old(not surprising given what spews out today), we ended up agreeing on two winners, one originally a theatrical release and the other a now […]

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Finding Our True Identity

December 11, AD2017 2 Comments
Finding Our True Identity

It’s amazing how much Christian imagery can be found in society today if we look hard enough. Many modern movies and songs indirectly portray the Gospel message by illustrating themes like self-sacrificial love, forgiveness, and finding our identity in something other than societal norms. I want to focus on that last theme – identity – […]

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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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