Septuagesima & Shrovetide: Preparing for Lent

Ash Wednesday will be here before we know it. Are you ready? No? Me neither! Thankfully we have a little more time. We are actually in the pre-Lenten preparation time traditionally known as Septuagesima or Shrovetide (depending on the tradition). I didn’t really know about the history of this period until our friend and local priest Fr. Matt Fish sent me some links. For those of you who are in the same boat, here are a few links that provide an overview and highlight traditions of this liturgical period.

I don’t know about you, but I always need time to prepare for each liturgical season. Lent is no exception. I really need a couple of weeks before Ash Wednesday to pray, eliminate distractions, and discern what God wants me to do during Lent. Without that time seeking God, Lent can easily become a self-improvement project. We can start to make a list of goals and plans for abstinences that have no connection to what God wants us to focus on during the upcoming 40 days.  Continue reading “Septuagesima & Shrovetide: Preparing for Lent”

My Reading Challenge Pick for “Novel by a Catholic Author”

I hope you have gotten started on your picks for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge! As promised, I’m sharing what I am reading for each category throughout the year. 

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Category: Novel by a Catholic Author

My Pick: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

I’ve been looking forward for a few months to cracking this classic open. It’s currently my nighttime read, waiting patiently for me all day on my nightstand. I’m actually not that far in yet (~75 pages), but I’m definitely in it. I actually feel quite comfortable recommending it, even though I’ve barely gotten started.  Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “Novel by a Catholic Author””

#ProLifeGeneration

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I couldn’t be more proud to be Pro-Life as I watched such a diverse, loving, and inspirational group of hundreds of thousands March for Life today. From the streets to the stage, words of conviction sounded loud and clear: “Life is winning again!” “Keep fighting for Life!” “We are the Pro-Life generation!”

It is so encouraging and inspiring to see crowds of children, high-schoolers, and college students passionately standing up for unborn babies–the victims who have no voice. These youth are the next generation of the Pro-Life movement, and they give me great hope for the future. I believe that they will courageously link arms with the generations before them who have built the foundation of the movement to end legalized abortion in this country and the world.

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Young people, you may not see the fruit of your efforts on this side of eternity…but then again, you might. I don’t know that there has ever been this kind of momentum for life in our country since Roe v. Wade. We have reason to hope, and we have a generation passionate about bringing a culture of life to America.

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I didn’t go to the march this year because my oldest is only five, and he is an inquisitive 5-year-old. I don’t think there would be a way to take him without having to explain to him what abortion was, and I’m certainly not going to shatter this kid’s world by revealing such a horrific thing. How wonderful would it be, if by the time it was appropriate to have that conversation, legal abortion was a thing of the past? With that hope, we keep fighting for life.

#ThePowerofOne

As part of this Pro-Life generation (whether you are 5, 15 or 50), you do indeed have great power. Your power for the Pro-Life movement lies in your small and daily sacrifices, acts of love, and prayers.  Never doubt the eternal reaches of those kindnesses and petitions to heaven, for in the words of Julia Carney:

Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.

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Photo credit: Eileen Snyder of Bowie, MD

 

An Alternate Reading Challenge

img_2160Last week I posted my 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge for you. But if for some reason, that doesn’t seem to be the right fit for your reading goals this year, I have an alternate challenge that would be extremely rewarding and is totally doable in just five minutes a day.

What is it? Read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year. Many Catholics have never read the Catechism from cover to cover. I did this last year (well, it took me a year and a half), and it was so faith-building.  Continue reading “An Alternate Reading Challenge”