Jonathan flopped to his stomach and began writhing like a worm. His father, a big man, leaned toward the ground, tucked a hand beneath his son’s belly, and swept the boy into a standing position. When Jonathan’s feet hit the hard floor, a sudden fit of coughing shook him from head to toe. Suddenly, a big piece of cookie popped out of his windpipe and shot across the room. The child had been choking to death at our feet. I know this because Jonathan screamed, “I couldn’t breathe! I was choking to death! I was dying!”
When I broke my leg in a wrestling match, it left me in various casts and crutches for two months. As a result, I told myself that I couldn’t serve at daily Mass, and therefore didn’t have to go. And you’d think that I would have been happier since I didn’t have to go to Mass more often than just on Sunday with my family. Honestly, though, the opposite was true. When I look back on those two months, I could see that something was missing.
Suddenly, I saw the wounds. Blood-red gashes in his palms. Impossible to miss, at eye level from where he gazed down from his pedestal. For the first time I noticed the back of his hands. The side you can’t spy on crucifixes nailed to walls. I leaned forward. What did it mean that his wounds went all the way through?
I started the RCIA process with Campus Ministry by sharing about my journey with God and identifying all of the breadcrumbs I had been following to arrive at that point. Although I had many doubts, questions, and fears, I felt guided by God throughout the process, which gave me the confidence I needed to continue.
Notre Dame students were constantly surprising me with how boldly Catholic they were without being condescendingly pious. They were unabashedly yet approachably holy. This four-year period was perhaps the most important if understated conversion of my life.
Twelve years ago I walked away from that retreat intending to leave it all behind me. What I didn’t know then that I know now is that the fire of the Holy Spirit was alive and well inside of me. Read more>
The priest who prepared me for Baptism told me, “Remember, you think you chose God, but it was God who chose you!” Indeed, I have had a strong conviction about divine providence ever since those early days. I realize that it was God who had given me the big questions when I was just 14. Read more>
Forgiving Mom requires me to see her as Jesus does and to embrace her human weaknesses, needs, and sorrows. Forgiving myself will require the same. Read more>
By the time we arrived at the Easter Vigil, there was a certain buzz in the air. During the Baptisms, my station was next to the font—I had a front row seat to the conversions that were happening before my eyes. Read more>
I realized then, rather suddenly, that the people we’re sent to serve are the people in front of us—whoever they are in that moment. The person I’m meant to accompany is the person I am with. It surprised me then as it still does: we can collaborate with God’s grace anywhere and at any time. Read more>