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Our Mother and Hope of Sinners

How could I look to the virtues of the Blessed Mother to emulate in my own vocation as a mother? She was without sin, and was chosen by God to carry and give birth to the redeemer of the world. Surely she didn’t struggle with Legos constantly strewn on the living room floor, a toddler who can’t seem to stay out of the toilet, and a work phone that will ring during supper at least three times a week. Read more>

Mom, the Cathedral-Builder

From the Annunciation to the Passion, Mary’s life gave my mom a rough template of how to approach the inevitable seasons of uncertainty and loss. When divorce revealed its ugly face to her when she was 39, and no angel came to visit in the months of sleepless nights to follow, she did her best to accept, without condition, the evolving gift of motherhood and womanhood that this new life could offer. Read more>

Hope Is Something You Do With Your Feet

I have this memory of my grandmother shooting a deer that had wandered through her farm during hunting season. She field-dressed it, and I remember seeing its carcass hanging from a tree in the yard. I honestly can’t tell if I’m just imagining this from my early childhood, so I consulted my older cousins to see if they recall the scene. Results are mixed, but we all agree on one thing: she was certainly capable of such a feat. Read more>

She Wants to Do Right

She doesn't know that in every moment that she continues on, she says yes; she imitates Mary's yes; she somehow even participates in that yes. Her daily living—her surviving—gives glory to God, it is an act of worship. She says yes more in an hour than I think I say in a week. Read more>

Our Lives Belong Not to Ourselves

Of the many things that compel me about the Catholic faith, it is this idea of self-gift that I have always thought to be the most beautiful. We saw it almost 2,000 years ago in Mary, who offered her life to God so that, ultimately, humanity could be freed from sin. I see it today in many women, but especially in those sisters. Read more>

The Motherhood of God

The image of God as mother may sound radical to some, but it’s not new. The prophet Isaiah describes God as a woman in labor and as a mother who nurses her child. Jesus compares God to a mother hen who gathers her children under the safety of her wings. Read more>

She Belongs to Me

She was admitted to a hospital in a nearby city, and the doctors began their tests. Dad was nervous, I was nervous, Mom was nervous. Nobody said much. The doctors took her to perform surgery to remove some of her lymph nodes for tests. Dad and I sat, trying to think of anything to say that wouldn't reveal our fears. Read more>

Beyond Our Own Fear

When faced with suffering I wanted to run away. But not Mom. Read more>