Posts in Spirituality
Learning to Receive Love, Not Earn it

Our Lord took this hardened heart of mine, this heart that had kept people and Him at a safe arm’s length away, and softened and molded it into a new creation. Day by day, the Lord helped me recognize and receive love. At first in the smallest of things: a friend doing my dishes after a dinner party I hosted, a coworker buying lunch for me, a stranger leaving an encouraging note on my desk.

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Uniting the Pain of Endometriosis to the Cross of Christ

In the past, I thought suffering was something to be avoided at all costs. Now I know that when suffering comes, I can offer it as a gift to God on behalf of my brothers and sisters in Christ. While it might not take the pain away, I trust that God uses my humble gift to add seeds of grace and light and peace to a world that desperately needs it. We all suffer in some way, whether it is physically, emotionally, or a combination of both. Sister, I want you to know that God can make your pain beautiful if you let Him.

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Reflecting on My Dad’s Early, Grace-Filled Death

The consoling knowledge of the “communion of saints” continues to support me on my journey of grief. It is wonderful to know that those that we love need not be dismissed as “dead and gone.” There is the wonderful Reality that life goes on, beyond the grave. I can hope that my dad is “putting in a good word for me” now, that he is currently experiencing reality more fully than the rest of us in the Church here on earth.

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Radiance, Body Image, and Identity

As I cried in my bathroom, I told God how sick I am of fighting against my body. I told Him how exhausted I am of trying to love myself only to fail. I told Him how I didn’t understand how I was good even in my overweightness. I told Him how frustrated I was that I didn’t feel comfortable dressing in the clothes I wanted to.

I got out of the shower and stared at myself in the mirror once more. Suddenly, God said:
“You are so, so much more than the clothes you wear. There is so much more to you than that.”

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Showing Up, Over and Over Again

But while sitting in front of the Eucharist, the Lord pointed out that I am a human being, not a human doing.

I don’t need to prove myself. The arbitrary limitations I have set are a result of my own pride, not based on the truth of who He is. I have distorted my perception of His affection from loving to loving only if I can be a perfect robot of holy conduct and charity. God’s mercy is not dependent on my actions, but in my identity as His creation.

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All Things New

We sat there, my mom, dad, and I as the man in the white coat leaned against the counter next to alcohol swabs and sterilized medical things. When he said, “Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” I looked to mom as I always did when I didn’t understand the medical jargon.

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The Eternal Sculptor

Throughout my life I had worn a mask of holiness, faith, happiness, and purposeful living by praying, going to mass, and playing the “good Catholic girl” only because it was expected. There was no desire in my heart for a real relationship with God, and it seemed more than sufficient that I simply go through the motions.

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Overcoming Scrupulosity

I cannot remember a time before anxiety. When I was young, everything had to be just right, and I always had to be in control. As I grew older, the prevailing worry was homework - had I done it perfectly? What if I’d missed something? And then more diabolical fears crept in - and I do mean diabolical in the truest sense of the word. I spent years wrestling with crushing, exhausting, terrifying guilt in my spiritual life.

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