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Dear Lonely Mom: you are not alone

woman-looking-at-forest-at-dawn

I have been a lonely Mom.

But first, a little context.

As the eldest child with only one sibling five years my junior, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with babies or younger children growing up. I was too busy with my own activities and interests and friends. Sure, I babysat on occasion, but at the time, I was way more interested in making some sweet cash than practicing for any future vocation with my small charges.

Vocation? What’s that? Like, a misspelled vacation? Wait – isn’t a vocation what priests and nuns have?

I didn’t know that marriage and motherhood actually was a vocation. I didn’t know that marriage and motherhood would be my path – my call – to holiness.

I figured I would go to college, have an amazing career traveling the globe, fall in love, and get married at some point. As I learned more about my Catholic faith, I figured being married meant that I would have kids. I mean, I didn’t plan to not have children, but it was more of a default reality that I took completely for granted – you get married, you have kids. Eventually. That’s what most people do, right?

So I skipped the fabulous globe-trotting career and fell in love and got married. And then the babies started coming. And coming. And I really had no idea what I was doing. And I got overwhelmed.

And I got very, very lonely. And severely depressed.

I knew that these little lives were good, marvelous, beautiful (!!) blessings, but I didn’t quite know how to navigate the sheer upheaval in my life – changing body, hormones, responsibilities, identity, sleep – once they arrived.

I knew I needed to find people [yet] going somewhere — anywhere — felt like an impossible undertaking most days. Attending the moms’ group, the playdate, or the meet-up meant the little people and I had to be presentable, likable, and relatable. All at the same time. It seemed like an awful lot of ‘ables’ for someone who often felt like she was drowning in a sea of inability.

->Read the rest of my latest Mea Maxima Cuppa column – – over at the Catholic Sentinel.

So, how did I break through my feelings of loneliness and isolation? I wish I could tell you I had some sort of a magic formula I followed that would work for you, too. If I did, I would surely whip it up and airmail it to you if you lived far away or drive it over to your place if you lived close by.

Here are some things, though, that (eventually) helped me:

  1. Admitting I needed help. It took a while before I could swallow my stubborn pride and admit that whatever I was doing as a new Mom (or a Mom with littles) wasn’t working for me and that I really needed some help. At first, I wasn’t even sure what anyone could do to help me, but I knew something had to change. There is no shame in asking friends, family, neighbors, parishioners, and/or medical professionals for assistance when you need it. None. God isn’t calling us to go crazy because of our vocations! Once I admitted I needed help, it was easier (not easy, but easier) for me to actually seek out the help I needed.
  2. Maintaining a schedule. Moms with littles might look at the word ‘schedule’ and be tempted to roll their eyes to China. “Schedule?! Ha!!” And I know it’s true. I found that I’d roll out of bed after another sleepless night and try to leave the house only to have someone poop all over themselves or me and by the time we were all ready to get back in the car again, the activity we’d been headed to would be 75% over. Not worth it. But as much as I could, I tried to wake up, get dressed into something other than what I slept in (even if it was yoga pants and a t-shirt), brush my hair, and if I was really feeling lucky and motivated, take a shower before my husband went to work. Adding in the things that I knew I had to do – meals, laundry (oh, Lord – the laundry with spitty babies!), naps, etc. helped me to try to find some rhythm in my day.
  3. Nurturing my spiritual life. Our youngest is almost three and a half, and I’m just now starting to feel like I might have actually attended Mass on Sundays.  I remember many, many, MANY times when I felt like even attending Mass was an exercise in futility. What was the First Reading about? I couldn’t even hear Father’s homily! Did we just receive the Eucharist? So. many. distractions. But as time went on, I realized that there had to be some grace available to me just for attempting, right??! So we kept going. Every Sunday. And things have honestly gotten easier. Additionally, I think my prayer life has improved significantly since I became a Mom, simply due to necessity! I know that I need Jesus. Like woah. So, I pray. A lot. I pray for myself. I pray for my kids. I pray for my husband. I don’t always get the super high-quality before-they’re-awake-quiet-meditation-with-Jesus time in, but I am often praying throughout my day – as I scrub the bathroom floor, as I change the laundry over, as I’m chopping onions, as I’m cleaning up yet another mess – it’s there. And He’s there with me. IIn the noise. In the chaos. In the mess. And it has changed me.
  4. Quit worrying so much. I used to worry that I didn’t have my make-up on and my kids’ shoes didn’t match and I didn’t have a Pinterest-worthy snack ready before I’d head off to the moms’ group or play date. But you know what? Those worries were keeping me away from community and vital friendships. We were not meant to do this thing called ‘life’ alone, but how often do we convince ourselves that we’re not worthy of community? We are worthy! I’m not sure exactly when I stopped caring so much, but these days, I’m much more likely to be out the door with my hair in a pony tail and the kids usually wind up with some sort of shoe-like things on their feet. We might pick up donut holes from the drive-thu and are on our way. That’s where we are these days, and I’m okay with that.

So, from one lonely Mama to another – I’ve been where you are, friend. Loneliness in the trenches of motherhood can be a very deep, dark place. It can threaten to swallow you whole – I know, because I’ve been stuck looking down over the precipice myself more times than I care to recall. But I also know that you don’t have to remain in that place of isolation and anxiety; you really don’t. There are sisters and brothers who want to help you and know you and be your friend. Will you allow them to help you? Will you let Jesus in?

I would really love to hear from you – have you ever felt alone, isolated, or lonely? What do you do to re-connect with “the outside world” and to not feel alone in your vocation? Please let me know in the combox.

God bless y’all.

heather

Photo via VisualHunt.com

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Membership has its privileges

Membership has its privileges

Membership photo

It’s not every day that a person gets the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of something special – something anointed – something Holy Spirit driven.

About two years ago, the call went forth from the heart of Jenna Guizar: It’s time, her message seemed to say. It’s time to strengthen women in the Word. It’s time for us to seek and find Him. And each other. It’s time for building community. It’s time for Blessed is She.

Although I’ve written recently about saying, “no” to various tasks, ministries, and projects, I don’t make it a habit of saying, “no” to Blessed is She.

Why? You might ask. What makes BIS so special? 

So many things, my friend. So. many. But, in a nutshell, I stick with this ministry, this community, this God-shaped mission because, above all else,

Blessed is She is good.

It is true.

And it is beautiful.

Not familiar with Blessed is She? No worries! Please take a moment to familiarize yourself – and perhaps even more importantly, sign up for the daily devotions – each day’s Scripture verses and a beautiful reflection delivered 365 days to your inbox – for free.

Don’t worry – I’ll wait.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, they totally did. Blessed is She is proud to announce an amazing new membership option.

  • Monthly workshops offered by speakers teaching on matters of faith, life, prayer, Church teaching, and more. My good friend and The Visitation Project Co-Host Bonnie Engstrom will be giving the next workshop, on Forming Intentional Community July 22, and I am on tap to give a workshop in the Fall – stay tuned!
  • The popular Lent journal auto-shipped to your door
  • The popular Advent journal auto-shipped to your door

Priced separately, workshops are $15 apiece and journals are $20 each, so your membership fee of $9.99/month or $99/year means you’ll save at least $100 each year!

journal-on-table-2-1  virtual workshops

If I seem a teensy bit excited about the BIS Membership option, well, it’s because I am excited! Women striving to learn, know, and live our faith, steeped in the Word of God and the love of Jesus is something I can get behind. I hope you will, too.

Blessed is She has provided untold blessings in my life, and I can’t wait to dive into the latest offerings. Subscribe today, friends. I promise you won’t regret this “yes”!

God bless y’all,

heather

Nobody reads poetry anymore

Nobody reads poetry anymore

various spring flowers planted in old chair
Nobody reads poetry anymore

Not really

Save

An assigned selection here

A referenced snippet there

Of story and

Truth and 

fantasy tellers

from years long

long

long

gone
Nobody reads poetry

anymore

Not really

which makes it 

so very tempting

and easy

and freeing

to pour everything out

line by 

line 

over time

A couplet here

A stanza there

Truth wrapped up in letters and

Unleashed in barely controlled torrents of telling riddles
It is safe to do

Safe to be

Allow

Place

Pour

Lie down

All the things

that would remain

unspoken

unclear

untended 
No one reads poetry anymore

Not really

Yet some

still 

Dream and 

wish and 

hope and

think and

write

it

anyway

For the love 

For the love 

woman writing with a pen at a table with a cup of coffeeOnce upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a little girl who loved to write simply for the sheer joy of writing.

She began by scratching out simple words and phrases in crayon, then illustrated short stories and poems using small stubs of pencil, and eventually penned dramatic plays and lengthier essays and various works of fiction.

Highly praised and robustly encouraged by family and educators alike, she wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.

One day, after the little girl had grown into a young woman, she realized that the joy of writing had completely disappeared. The thrill was gone. The love had died.

Whether because writing was now a compulsory prerequisite for educational advancement or whether she was distracted by other obligations and amusements, the bliss of writing for its own sake withered and faded like unharvested grapes at season’s end. 

And she stopped writing. Just like that.

It wasn’t until many years later, after many babies and many moves and at the insistent encouragement of someone who was an acquaintance at best, that the woman seriously considered putting her thoughts down in black and white again.

Could she still do it? Did she have anything to say? Would anyone care?

Ever so cautiously, she decided to give it a try. Slowly but surely, the words came out to play once more. And then they stopped for a spell, and then returned yet again. The desire and the energy and the time and the courage to write ebbed and flowed, but it seemed the initial spark of joy she experienced as a little girl had never been completely extinguished after all. 

The woman realized that she still had something worth saying, even after all those years of creative dormancy. And she further resolved that she would really, really strive to write for the greater glory of God rather than caring so much if anyone read or approved or encouraged or applauded.

And so … she wrote.

And so … she writes.

+++

For your reading enjoyment, from time to time, I’ll publish something in the spirit of that young girl. It’ll be tagged #forthelove if you care to follow along.

It likely won’t be fancy, nor groundbreaking, nor award-worthy, but it might just be … something. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I want to know: 

What do you do for the love of it? What brings you joy? Is there something you used to do but gave up when life circumstances changed? Let me know what you like to do not because you have to but simply #forthelove. 

God bless y’all,


Photo via VisualHunt

I’m a Girlfriend!

I’m a Girlfriend!


So … That headline might be sliiiightly misleading. 

No need to call my Archbishop – I haven’t done anything crazy like dump my husband or become polygamous. 

What I did however, was recently join the incomparable author/speaker/Mom-of-many Danielle Bean on her podcast called – you guessed it – Girlfriends

I figure since I was on her show, I am now an honorary girlfriend. Fun!

Listen in and let me know what you think. Happy Summer!

God bless y’all,

Understanding the power of ‘no’

Understanding the power of ‘no’

First fan letter!
Thanks, Diane, for reading the new column over at the Catholic Sentinel! God bless you!

People who know me well would likely agree that I’m usually not good for much more than a “yes” and a laugh.

Which is just another way of saying that I am categorically very, very, horribly bad at saying, “no.” At least, that is, until recently.

Lately, I feel like I have been saying, “no,” to just about everything. And it’s been simultaneously horrifying … and liberating.

You might wonder: why have I been giving ye old smackdown to interesting projects, exciting engagements, and other sparkly distractions these days? Because, frankly …

Saying, “yes,” isn’t making me happier or holier.

That’s it.

I have been taking a long, hard look in the mirror for a while now – in a totally healthy, non-creepy, non-narcissistic way, promise! – because things have been breaking down physically, emotionally, and with relationships for a while because of my, well, addiction of sorts to what usually happened when I said, “yes.”

The sense of productivity, needfulness, and recognition that often followed my affirmative response to whatever came my way became an idol of sorts – something to seek, something to save me from myself and my circumstances, something to depend upon.

In other words, saying, “yes,” was, however subconsciously, filling a God-shaped hole in my heart that was meant for my Savior alone.

I found that saying, “yes” to so many things really meant I was saying, “no” to more important things. And sometimes God. And especially people. My husband. My children. And maybe, more especially, myself.

I am learning that I must say, “no” if I am going to have the energy to say, “yes” to time to care for myself so I am able to care for the people closest to me. I need to be able to give them my best yes.

And I wasn’t.

And in many ways I still am not.

I’m getting better at taking care of myself and my core responsibilities, but guys – it is. so. hard. to say no. I still (whyyyyyyyy??) care a little bit too much about what people think of me, especially when I tell them I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t/mustn’t do whatever it is they ask/want/expect of me.

Well, this weekend, I’m over at the Catholic Sentinel talking about this very thing, and about harnessing the power of ‘no.’

Which, by the way, is NOT a dirty word. Although it does still make me shudder and twitch a bit still. Just a bit.

I’m working on it.

God bless y’all,

heather

 

I AM my brother’s keeper

I AM my brother’s keeper

Brother's Keeper

Today’s post is brought to you by the power of technology because, frankly, technology can be pretty amazing.

Specifically, a piece of mail or a package arrives at my post office box, and I receive a text message on my smartphone notifying me to come retrieve it. Yesterday, I received such a text, so after school, to the post office we went.

The lone irritant about this otherwise brilliant notification process is that the text messages arrive whether I have received five long-awaited packages or one piece of thankless junk mail – the system doesn’t discriminate – so some days it’s obviously fruitful to take the detour to the post office and others the trek beyond our regular route feels like a waste, culminating with yet another cable solicitation torn up and tossed in the recycle bin.

Yesterday’s sojourn, while not fruitful mail-wise, instigated one of those unexpected “teachable moments” with my children, so I don’t count it all as loss.

Here, I pause for a brief parenting prayer: Lord, some day, I hope that I will be able to gracefully and gently segue into these moments with my children and not bulldoze into them with combat boots and a megaphone. But anyway. Baby steps. Amen.

After my solitary shredded solicitation was dispensed into the proper receptacle, we drove through the small parking lot. I glanced to my right and saw a young man and a young woman standing near the sidewalk, with a small child (probably toddler age) in a stroller.

Normally I wouldn’t have given a second look, but the young man appeared to be shouting at the young woman, who had her head down. He took one small step closer to her – he was still several paces removed – and angrily shook his finger at her several times before turning and facing the other direction.

From the back seat, I heard a child’s voice admonishing me: “Hey, Mommy – don’t stare.” I responded, “I’m not staring – I’m assessing the situation.” As the young man appeared to be calm and we eventually turned right onto the street,  I glanced at my children riding securely behind me.

“What if that man was so upset that he hurt the woman?” I queried. The response that came from the back seat sent a chill through my bones:

“It’s none of our business.” 

Insert all the wise, loving, Christ-like comments here:

If you were that woman, wouldn’t you want someone to care about and try to protect you if you needed to be protected? It’s called The Golden Rule, you know.

Let’s talk about the Parable of the Good Samaritan, shall we?

Remember Mother Teresa’s Gospel on Five Fingers -“You Did It To Me”?

We are all part of the Body of Christ!

We are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.

Except … I didn’t exactly say those things.

Other than a variation on the first point about the Golden Rule, no saintly story or parable of Christ came to my mind in the heat of the moment.

Side bar: I can think and speak so very well on my feet sometimes … why can’t I be as eloquent and effective when it pertains to teaching my children? Ugh. I need to get over myself. 

Frankly, my child’s response both stunned and saddened me.

I asked my children, “What if he punched her? Shouldn’t we call the police?” And a kid retorted, “So-and-so sibling name sometimes punches me, and we don’t call the police.” Riiiiiight. I replied, “Well, even though that’s not good or right, it’s not exactly the same thing.”

And then the questions flooded the car like a rising river –

Why? Why isn’t it the same?

What is the difference between protecting someone we know and protecting a stranger?

Why should some things be reported to the authorities while some things should not?

What difference does it make if something is done in public or in the privacy of our home?

Are we going home now? I need to pee.

Sigh. This momming stuff ain’t easy, yo.

Anyway, now that a day has passed, and more appropriate things to say have come to my mind, I will be revisiting the incident – expanding the teachable moment beyond the actual moment, if you will – so that my children can hopefully eventually understand and know and live out the fact that, yes – we ARE our brothers’ keepers. And EVERYONE is our brother.

Now, I’m not advocating that we all turn in to Nosy Nelly and Busy-body Betty – not at all. What I am saying, however, is that there are surely situations we encounter or conversations we overhear where we genuinely feel the quiet nudge of the Holy Spirit telling us to say something. Anything. And we ignore the nudge and we walk on by. “It’s none of my business,” we tell ourselves.

How many people get away with horrid things because someone is afraid to call him or her on it? 

Maybe it’s because the recent tragedy in Orlando weighs so heavily on my heart … I can’t help but ponder if someone heard something, saw something – anything – that portended the coming catastrophe and didn’t do or say anything about it because they thought it wasn’t any of their business.

All deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, love, and mercy. All. Each. Every. 

Had that young man struck the young woman, I would have dialed 911 in a heartbeat. And I would have rolled down my passenger’s side window and yelled at him to stop and asked the young woman if she needed help. And I would have driven her and that toddler somewhere safe if they needed it. Maybe we would have had two guests for dinner that night. I would never knowingly put my children in harm’s way, but there might have been something we could do.

Thanks be to God, no intervention on my part appeared to me necessary this time. But what about next time? Will I have the courage to be my brother’s keeper?

And, perhaps more importantly at this stage of my mothering game, when I am gone, will my five children rise up to help those in need? Am I raising compassionate kids who will bring the light of Christ’s love into the world? Will they be their brothers’ keepers?

Thanks in no small part to text notifications, crappy junk mail, and being where we needed to be when we needed to be there, we’re going to keep working at it.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo credit: hans s via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

When the Holy Spirit whispers

When the Holy Spirit whispers

 Today began like most other days – I awoke with the resignation that there were, as usual, many more things on my to-do list than hours and energy with which to complete them.

And then I remembered that today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – one of my most favorite feasts of all time.

In the relative stillness of my heart, I boldly asked for extra grace from Mama Mary today because, hey, I obviously need it, and hey also, she doesn’t have anything better to do, amIrite?

Wouldn’t you know it – the most grace – and joy! – came from doing a few pretty minor things that the Holy Spirit whispered onto my ‘to-do’ list … things that weren’t necessarily my idea but His.

Finding joy in listening to what God asks and actually obeying His wishes? I know. What a concept. 

But as I have likely proved via ample evidence a la this blog specifically and random musings on social media in general, I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Things just don’t quite sink into this stubborn head of mine … until they do.

Whisper #1: Be with Me.

Even though I wasn’t dressed in my Sunday best, I’d actually changed out of my pajamas, brushed my hair, and my face was clean-ish … and the littlest offspring had honest-to-goodness shoes on their literal feet … so I decided we would all go to daily Mass. If the only thing we did was go to Mass today, surely that would be something, right?

As is my custom during the proclamation of the Gospel, I closed my eyes and held an impossibly wriggly child, hoping His Word would somehow seep into the marrow of my being, healing and soothing and resurrecting each of my dry bones.

Sure enough, as Father read these words, tears welled up in my eyes:

“And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.'”

In a special way, today I heard these words as if they applied specifically to me:

My soul proclaims and rejoices.

He has looked with favor upon me, His lowly servant.

He has done great things for me.

Holy is His Name – I praise Him.

It was impossible to ignore the personal, practical application of the text, even as I unsuccessfully wrestled the 3-year-old boy who has, of late, been uncharacteristically clingy.

The proclamation continued:

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Underneath the currents of the literal meaning of these words, I also heard:

He has shown mercy to me.

He shows mercy to my children.

He lifts me up.

He fills me up.

He comes to help me.

He remembers the promises He has made to me.

He remembers the promises He has made to my children.

Tears of joy.

The lesson from Whisper 1? I love you, Heather. I always have. I will never forsake or abandon you. I give you myself. Forever.

This experience, coupled with the graces received by receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, propelled me into …

Whisper #2: Celebrate Life.

I reasoned that I had to go to the store anyway, so why not pick up a few extra things to drop off for a friend’s birthday? After all,  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this Feast than by celebrating her life, especially as ridiculous scheduling and sickness and life has kept me from seeing her IRL as often as I’d like.

Whisper #3: ___________.

I’m not gonna go into too many details about this whisper because it’s still in-process. I did what I felt the Spirit was asking, but I don’t think the eagle has landed, so to speak. Suffice to say – maybe someone will feel encouraged and uplifted today because I took a moment to consider her needs as more important than my silly, superficial to-do list.

Lessons from whispers 2 & 3, respectively? Be His hands and feet. However and whenever He calls.

The rest is really just silliness – every single bit of it. The very best to-do list is the one that is crafted by the Holy Spirit. Hands down and chin up.

God bless y’all.

heather

Made in my own image

Made in my own image

Call it a mid-life crisis; call it a wake-up call.

Call it whatever you’d like, but I’ve been doing some pretty serious self-reflection and soul searching lately, and it’s been rather … unsettling.

An Incident occurred a week or so ago and caused me to weep, cry out to God, and reflect. And ponder and argue and wrestle. And cry some more. Far from the run-of-the-mill navel-gazing to which I occasionally fall prey, this situation – in light of many other situations – stopped me in my tracks.

It’s been during this time that I realized something that I’ve likely known for a while but was only able to articulate two days ago:

I have not been living as though I am made in the image and likeness of God. I have not been living according to His holy and perfect will. 

Rather, I have been living in the image and likeness of my own ill-conceived creation – of who I think I should be – and especially of who I think others want or need me to be. I have been living mostly according to my own excruciatingly imperfect will.

And it has hurt me.

Quite a bit.

I have over committed and under delivered. I have fallen behind and not followed through. I have engaged with others without engaging first with God. I have created a mirage of perfect availability through my social media interactions, yet allowed flesh-and-blood relationships to falter.

In short, I have been living in a prison of my own design, a false reality where so many more things than necessary rely upon me and my superhuman goodnesss and my superhuman wholeness and my superhuman abilities … all of which don’t truly exist anywhere except in the bent recesses of my wounded mind.

Even more disturbingly, I realized that I have forgotten to sit, to submit, and to surrender to Him Who calls me to be made free and holy and whole.

I realized that I have been trying to save myself. 

Without even fully understanding what I was doing, I put myself in the place of the One Who holds my life in His hands. I have put my own idea of who He wants me to be ahead of who He actually created me to be.

It’s pride, plain and simple, and it’s not without consequence. It’s a rare sort of ugly, friends, to live out of the unwitting belief that you’re in charge – that it’s up to you – that your way will save you.

+++

I had the honor of writing the reflection at Blessed is She today, and I focused on the paradoxes of the faith – in giving we receive, in serving we lead, in dying we live – but events over the past weeks allow me to see the readings in a different light.

In today’s Gospel, James and John ask Jesus to give them something to which they have no rightful claim. Jesus responds to them: “You don’t know what you are asking.” And they insist that, indeed, they can take it – whatever “it” is. I can visualize their zealous, righteous indignation now: “We can do it, Lord. Whatever. BRING IT ON.” They press Jesus with their own agenda, their own plans, asking Him to accept them. And because He loves them, He allows these two with whom He’s journeyed to choose their own free will over His perfect version.

I’ve done that, too.

I’ve chosen my will over His. My vision over His. My desires over His. Like a petulant preschooler, I have insisted on eating a lollipop when what I really need is bread. I have thrown a fit in favor or endless hours of screen time when what I really need is to read a good book or write a good story. I have asked for a party with lots and lots of people when what I really needed was silence. With Him.

At its heart, this isn’t about me being too busy or too ambitious or too enthusiastic or too anything, really. It’s also not about me being undisciplined, unintentional, or unwieldy, although those things are definitely symptoms of a larger issue.

The truth is this: I can no longer survive by going my own way anymore – the way I think or the way others think. My way hurts. It hurts me, and it hurts others. And it has to stop.

May I have the courage and the strength to pray and believe and live:

Lord Jesus, not my will but Thine be done. Now and forever. Amen.

God bless y’all.

 heather

 

 

Ripped from the headlines: Bring on the so-called “Catholic” guilt 

Ripped from the headlines: Bring on the so-called “Catholic” guilt 

 Catholic guilt – it’s not just for punchlines and therapist’s offices anymore, my friends.

Now, I’m not talking about undue guilt. Some of us scrupulous types could very well drive ourselves and others crazy by making mountains out of molehills, blaming ourselves for others’ wrongdoing, or imagining troubles that don’t, in fact, exist. It is also not healthy to walk around wondering when we’re going to “mess up” next, or to hold on to feelings of guilt for sins absolved upon making Sacramental Confession and doing our penance.
What I’m talking about is a healthy awareness that we’ve erred and need to amend our ways. Not only is it not bad to feel guilty when we’ve done something wrong, it is good! Feelings of authentic, God-given guilt are the proper response of one’s well-formed conscience telling him or her that something isn’t as God intended it to be. It means we have a clear understanding of our need for redemption – and a Redeemer.

Read all about it here or you’ll feel badly you didn’t.

heather