To those who have left the Church:

to all those who have left the church. theloveliesthour.com

. . I think of those, especially the young, who have left the Church. Some that I know, so many that I don't. Many come from families built on solid Catholic Christian foundations. And it breaks my heart that they're leaving the Church. These are not errant deviants. They're not idiots or self-indulgent Millennials or money-mongering thirty- and forty-year-olds. These are good people, with good hearts, who want to be happy and do good for others. But I think that maybe they've never seen what the Church really is. How real and very relevant it can be for them in their lives. Maybe some have been through hard times with their families so they doubt everything. Maybe others see the Continue Reading

why I deleted facebook

whyIdeletedfacebook

. . You'll still see me there. I'm not gone. But I'm not there. It's as if God Himself reached down out of heaven, took hold of my finger with his very large, warm, strong hand and pressed it down on that app button 'till all the iPhone icons started doing that little frantic wiggle. The 'you're about the delete stuff' wiggle. And then, with no thought at all (on my part - God certainly had a plan), I touched that little dancing 'x'. My dear iPhone told me "Deleting 'Facebook' will also delete all of its data." And there was no hesitation. It was gone, buh-bye. History. Delete. The. Data. No more little red alert numbers, no more messages appearing at the top of my Continue Reading

What I’ve learned in fifteen years

what I've learned in fifteen years - marriage - theloveliesthour.com

. . As I sit here, at my kitchen table, I feel Oreo crumbs under my toes from my children's impromptu snack this afternoon. It's almost seven in the evening, and the sun is just beginning to dim. The grass in our backyard is tall - tall enough to make little legs scratchy on their way to the trampoline. There is a roast in the oven and brown rice on the stove and a small variety of vegetables in the refrigerator, willing to be offered up for dinner tonight. Katherine and Colleen are playing 'kitchen' with plastic dishes and food on the living room coffee table. Jonathan is reading Harry Potter, on the couch, with his favorite pillow. Emelie is in her room, vacuuming Continue Reading

Five things to love

st. augustine quote graphic

. . I've read and listened to a few things these past few weeks that I thought I'd share with you. I apologize for not writing more frequently - but we're in the full swing of summer over here. And while it's not the same kind of busy as the school year, it's still busy. Every day, every week, a new schedule, a new driving route for mom, a new job or activity for a child, new chores, many many more dirty dishes, much time spent thinking up activities that do not involve a screen of any kind. Or whining. Just say no to the whining. It's a break, but not a lazy break! But it's very nice to see their faces around more often! Love those faces! So, here are a few things that have Continue Reading

a day for the fearful and confused

pentecost poem - the loveliest hour

. . . Today could be a day for the fearful and confused. The ones who think there is no hope, no way, no answer, no light, no happy ending. We who feel bound up and unmovable, frightened stiff or insignificant, whose dreams have faded like the late summer sun whose hearts are broken and trampled. This is the day for those who have cowered and doubted and stumbled and mumbled, who wonder how any good can come of it at all. This is the day for us to hear the answer of our God. Echoing still from ages ago, as the men from many nations stumbled about as the followers hid where the doors were locked. He comes and stands in our midst. He unlocks doors, mends Continue Reading

Falling Into Ecumenicism, or what I never thought I’d learn from the public schools

falling-into-ecumencism

. .   When I was 18, I became Catholic. For months, leading up to the day of my entrance into the Church, I sat in the pew, in awe of this beautiful Church which had shown me so much in so little a time. I was amazed by the depth, the beauty, the wisdom, the overwhelming love. The dozens of questions I had asked, for my entire life, which had been so easily answered. Finally. I was love-struck, after a very long race. My heart’s desire was finally here. So, naturally I was protective. And fiercely loyal. I wanted everyone to join me, holding hands like the ‘We Are the World’ video of my youth, traipsing through the doors together, all united, all loving my same Jesus. All Continue Reading

Easter Vigil and How to Help Your Kids Fall Head Over Heels in Love with the Church

How to Help your Kids Fall in Love with the Church - theloveliesthour.com

. . Imagine the dark night and a grassy street corner, surrounded by gently swaying trees. Imagine fifty-plus men and women, some in gray robes, others in formal attire, standing around a raised metal pit. There is a group of men, dressed in beautiful embroidered robes standing in the center. A huge candle - so large that the robed man holding it up high in the air seems at moments like he might drop it. He doesn't. One man comes forward out of the dark, out of the group of all the others, and takes up flint and steel, and with barely two strikes there is a spark. Then, gently, as if no one is watching, as if there is no timetable, as if he might be out in the country sitting Continue Reading

the heart of the world’s love – part 4 of 7

kapaun - the heart of the world's love - theloveliesthour.com

. . Part 4 of 7 in my “Holy Week with Caryll Houselander” series. You can find all the posts in this series here.} In honor of this most beautiful of day, Holy Thursday. And in thanksgiving for our priests. (Excerpts from Mass for the People by Caryll Houselander, found at Imprisoned in my Bones - Thank you for sharing this beautiful gem of writing from Caryll): "The priest was on the side of life, he had no other work, no other raison d'etre but to give life, and the life he gave could not be killed. He was not outside of the world's love because he was a priest and alone, he was the heart of the world's love, its core, because the Life of the World is born every day in His Continue Reading

He is not even a superman, part 3 of 7

ordinaryman

. . Part 3 of 7 in my “Holy Week with Caryll Houselander” series. You can find all the posts in this series here.} Jesus falling. I used to wonder if all this falling was necessary. He could have been crucified, died, risen, without the falling. This fortuitous humiliation. Wasn't the crucifixion enough? Couldn't that alone have paid the bill? Could we just spare the man a little bit of this all-consuming grief? Yes, it could have been spared, certainly. Jesus is God. He did say He could have just called down his angels and stopped everything in its tracks. But he didn't. And he wasn't an accidental man. There was a purpose for all that falling down. The humiliation. That total Continue Reading

They Were Willing But Weak, part 2 of 7

holy water - holy week with caryll - theloveliesthour.com

. . {Part 2 of 7 in my "Holy Week with Caryll Houselander" series. You can find all the posts in the series here.} One of the many reasons I love Holy Week is that we are shown, through the many actions of Jesus' followers, their true humanity. While now we see these brave souls cast in stained glass, depicted in lovely paintings, in print on gold-edged holy cards - it does us well to remember that they were just like us. As Caryll says - weak, hesitant, careful, selfish, failing. All the things that we might have felt ourselves in the past. Might feel this very day. We look upon these last days of Jesus and we see the apostles nervous glances, their shaking hands, their quick denials, Continue Reading

Holy Week with Caryll Houselander – Via Crucis – part 1 of 7

holy week with caryll houselander

. . Join me this week, as we make our way with Jesus, through his suffering and death, to his Resurrection. We call these holiest of days 'Holy Week'. I will share a reflection with you each day, taken from the writings of Caryll Houselander. The following passages are excerpts from her book The Way of the Cross (available in both ebook and print). I suggest you whet your appetite for her words here, and then go buy the book for yourself. You will never regret it! I love how she describes attending the Stations of the Cross. This dichotomy - ordinary people and the cross. Often, as I stand in the church, surrounded with a 'motley of people' as she describes it, I find myself feeling Continue Reading

Martha, Martha. It’s been you all along.

Martha, Martha. It's been you all along. theloveliesthour.com

. . Growing up, and even sometimes now, it has always been "Mary, Mary, Mary". Mary chose the better part. Mary sat and listened. Mary didn't rush around stressed out about company and all the stuff that needed to get done. Mary knew her place. Mary had her priorities in order. Mary was HOLY. And that Martha... well, she's busy. And just a little bit rude. In Luke Chapter 10, you can see it. Jesus comes into his friends' home, weary and tired from traveling. He sits. Mary sinks to the floor at his feet. Both sisters are glad to have him there. They react in different ways. Mary is pensive, Martha is active. Mary sits, listens, watches. Martha plans, hurries, worries. And Continue Reading

Marriage and the Grand Deception

marriage and the grand deception - theloveliesthour.com

. . It doesn't really matter what it was. But it happened. That moment when you're just so ticked off. You know you were right, as usual. Oh, the injustice of it all. And the apology is said, but not with the right tone, or without looking you in the eye, and then something is returned in response - flippantly - and you're offended again by something new. Nerves are frayed, you're both already exhausted from the day and the bickering children in the background add to it and make you just want to fly away to Hawaii and forget it all. Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. This is ridiculous. Because in that moment, in the middle of that very important moment - you Continue Reading

my still small world

my still small world lent theloveliesthour.com

. . I spend the majority of my working hours on the www the world wide web and there are times when I feel so big. as if I am touching so much. have my fingers in so many things. so many lives to keep track of. clients to please. digital places to create. media to pump up and promote. relationships, connections, networks, engagements, influencers, followers, readers, buyers. I feel that from the black square keys of this laptop I can reach out and touch everyone, learn anything, like and heart and comment and tweet throughout the planet my spiraling tendrils of interest and curiosity. and a few seconds after these tendrils are unfurled, they just pass away into Continue Reading