33 Days To Merciful Love: Read Along Group

Join us on Facebook for a consecration to Divine Mercy, inspired by the spirituality of St Therese of Lisieux and her Little Way.

We’ll spend 33 days reading Fr Michael Gaitley’s book. Just a few pages each day builds a solid biography of St Therese.

More importantly, these weeks of prayer will open our hearts to the merciful heart of Jesus. We can experience his merciful love, and console his heart with our own!

You can find your copy of the book at your local Catholic store, or on Amazon.



Our online book club will run May 14th through June 16th. We’ll make our consecrations on Trinity Sunday, the anniversary of when St Therese first offered herself to God’s merciful love.

The Sweet Suffering of Advent & Infertility

“Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you.“-St Teresa of Calcutta


Advent Is A Season Of Waiting


The word Advent means coming. We wait for Christ’s coming at the end of time. We celebrate his coming every day in the Eucharist. And we remember the Israelites waiting for their Messiah before Jesus’s birth. One of my favorite ways to enter into this waiting is to consider Mary awaiting the nativity.

Anyone who has been pregnant can tell you the last month is actually 17 months long. You can’t get around. Everything hurts. Mary had to ride on a donkey like that! Yes, you are huge and uncomfortable, but there’s also a very deep longing to finally meet this new person.

Longing is a love. If you didn’t care then it wouldn’t hurt.  Unfortunately, we have lost appreciation for pain for suffering.

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Pre-Advent Preparation & Preparedness

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

I haven’t been on the blog lately. In the world of Catholic-mom-blogging, that usually means the author is pregnant. Unfortunately, I’m still infertile myrtle. But I have been busy with a similarly anticipatory process.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been immersed in work for Advent: the ancient season of expectant waiting. It doesn’t begin until December 3rd, but I had to get a jump on it for a top-secret project.

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7 Ways St. Thérèse Can Change Your Life

St. Thérèse was the youngest child in a large, devout, French family. In 1888, she entered the cloistered convent of the Discalced Carmelites at only 15 years old. After many years as de facto novice mistress, in charge of the formation of the entering novices, St. Thérèse died of tuberculosis at age 24. Her canonization came less than 30 years later, and she is only one of four female Doctors of the Church.

St. Thérèse is the only female Doctor who is not a mystic. Perhaps that is one of the deciding factors in her popularity today. We find her story, her spirituality more accessible. She never experienced stigmata or levitation. She did not subscribe to lengthy methods of corporal mortification or purgation. Her way was a Little Way. A way of complete trust in the benevolence of God.

On her deathbed, St. Thérèse made a solemn promise. “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth.” Many have sought her aid and been answered. Not only with a resolution of their trial, but also with a literal rose!

Read on for more ways St. Thérèse can help you.

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Charity Is Realized In Unity

I do a lot of driving for the kiddo. My favorite podcasts are less active in the summer, so I’ve been looking for other things to fill the gap. While browsing Spotify, I stumbled across the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Lately, I’ve been praying the rosary with them. I know there are assigned days for each set of mysteries, but this newbie has just been listening to the joyful mysteries over and over.

The second joyful mystery is called the visitation. Like all of the mysteries, the Sisters introduce it by reading scripture and making a short prayer. Part of which includes:

We pray for the virtue of charity. Mary’s charity in visiting her cousin Elizabeth enabled their sons to meet mystically in their mothers’ wombs.

Charity is always realized by unity.


Charity is always realized by unity.

Those words have been running around in my head for weeks.

Charity isn’t a one-way street of “haves” giving to “have-nots.” This is something I have to repent of. I can pipe up with the verse re: give in secret. But when I give remotely, anonymously, furtively, then I’m supporting an idea, not a person. A cause, not my brother.

The poverty of loneliness

I’m reminded of what Mother Teresa said. “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

We sometimes think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.

Have you noticed how frequently homeless persons have dogs? Even though shelters and halfway houses do not accept pets. Why would they adopt these animals then?

Because our human need for connection, to give and receive love, our need for unity is even greater than our need for shelter and security.

Even for introverts?

I’m an introvert. I’d rather eat my shoes than approach a stranger for conversation. Passing a drink out of my car window seemed much easier.  Pressing a five-spot into a woman’s hand then hustling away was safer. I could check “corporal act of mercy (1)” off my list and move on.

But there comes a point when we have to admit that “It is/isn’t in my nature” is not a justification.

We inherited our sin nature from our first parents: Adam and Eve. Our inclinations against unity are not something to embrace, but to repent of. To rise above.

We must remember our other inheritance. We are image bearers of God. Not only to have but bear. To carry to others in unity. The glow of a lonely person’s face when you ask “What’s your dog’s name?” is the brightest light this side of Heaven.

Can You Fail Lent?


In addition to the established days of fasting and abstaining from meat, lots of Christians also choose to make a personal sacrifice during Lent. As a personal devotion, there aren’t really “rules” about it.  God welcomes our little attempts at redemptive suffering. But what do you do if you fall short of your set standards? Can you fail Lent?



There are 9 days left until Easter. That’s time enough for a recommittal. Write down your sacrifice. Tell your spouse your intentions. Pray about it. Just do it.



Maybe take a break on Sundays. Each and every Sunday is a mini-Easter. A celebration of the Resurrection. Our weak little bodies have an easier time keeping the days of fasting, if we also make full use of the days of feasting.


St. Francis and his friars faced a similar calendar dilemma when Christmas (feast day) fell on a Friday (fast day). When his brothers asked if they should celebrate the feast day with meat, St. Francis responded: “It is my wish that even the walls should eat meat on such a day”. Then he smeared meat on the wall. That’s legit, check my source. The Saints know how to fast, and they also know your fast needs an occasional feast.



Remember why we have this penitential season. 

Such believers know and hope that almsgiving will challenge and correct the greed in their hearts, that fasting will temper and balance the vanity in their souls, and that prayer will humble and mature the pride within their spirits. {Source}



Failures are actually great for you! They remind us that we can do nothing on our own. We are incapable of success apart from God’s undeserved gift of grace. Embrace this “failure” as a gift of humility, and you will have profited immensely from this Lenten season.

God welcomes our little attempts at redemptive suffering. But what do you do if you fall short of your set standards? Can you fail Lent?
This has been another Seven Quick Takes. For more information, and to read more entries, check out all of this week’s SQTs at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Ditching Pride for Trust

My defining word for 2017 is trust. Trusting in the Lord, and not my own abilities, failures, and fears. Here’s one from the archives. One of my lifetime lightbulb moments in trust. #WorthRevisit

Ditching Pride for Trust. Trusting in ourselves denies the very real need for trust in God.

Holy Thursday Mass 2016

After receiving the Eucharist, I knelt and prayed a while. Some infraction of the Mass rubrics was ticking me off. I was salty and seethed a bit internally. I prayed “Oh God, I’m so sorry that people ignore your Church’s instruction, and disrespect your authority. They have so many false ideas, which lead them down the path towards grave error even. What can I do to correct them?”

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