Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something of the Glory of God Shines on Your Face

I'm back over at Patheos' Catholic portal, at the blog "Summa This, Summa That" -- this time talking about the dignity of the human person.  Here's a snippet:
The body of Jesus was not some kind of disposable earthly transport vehicle. No. Jesus completely united himself to humanity in a permanent way.
It is particularly relevant to the “respect life” issues -- to respect the life of the body and care for the dignity of the human person in every circumstance of natural life. For the body is also a temple of the Holy Spirit (Cf. 1 Cor 3: 16). The most powerful sign we have of that is that Jesus, God Himself, took on a body.
The humanity of Jesus signals to us the deep meaning of the human person. “Christ by his incarnation has united himself in some fashion with every person. (Gaudium et Spes, par. 22.)”
Read the full article over there.

Image credit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Among Women Podcast #73: The Young and the Radiant

AW 73 profiles the heroic virtues and ideals of young Catholic women.  You've heard of the soap opera, The Young and the Restless?  That fiction has no lasting value compared to the stories of real-life young women --both young and radiant-- who live for Christ.  You need drama?  You need works of mercy?  You need beauty inside and out? Count on the saints--even the youngest saints-- and the Christians who strive to imitate them!

This week Pat chats about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and how "what we do"in daily life becomes a ministry in the way we do it for Christ.

This week's podcast also profiles the newest "Blessed"in our "Blessed are They" segment: Chiara Lucce Badano of Italy, who died from cancer in 1990 at the age of 18.  Then, our "Among Women" segment features a chat with Rose Rea, the talented young founder and publisher of Radiant magazine -- for women ages 18-27. Radiant is a Catholic magazine for the fun, fashionable, and devout woman.

Don't forget to send Pat an email (amongwomenpodcast@me.com) or voicemail at 206-338-6077, and tell what role prayer plays in your life! Comments will be used in an AW special on prayer in late October -- but act now! Thanks!

BTW: Here's a video about blessed Chiara, beatified last Saturday!

Image credit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another prelate heard from on this blog today

First we had Benedict, (see post under this one) and now this time it's from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York . Bishop Dolan's counsel?  Eat dinner together as a family!  Here's a snippet:
Dr. Califano's evidence is far from anecdotal. Just ask him, and he'll show you the research to prove that a family that sits down together for a meal on a regular, consistent basis, is more united, civil and peaceful. The children have better grades, stay longer in school and are statistically less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol and tobacco; they are more likely to hold jobs and stay out of trouble. 
I guess we Catholics should hardly be surprised at all by all of this. Most of us 50 and over can recall that supper together as a family was rather routine and taken for granted, with Sunday dinner the most significant. We know as well that the Sunday meal—the Mass—of our supernatural family, the Church, is indispensable for our fidelity to Jesus and His Church.
Read and digest the whole thing here.

This makes me think...

(A little longish, but worth it....)
Excerpt taken from Pope Benedict's address to British leaders at the great Westminster Hall, September 17, 2010. (Read the whole text here, or watch the replay on video here.):

As I speak to you in this historic setting, I think of the countless men and women down the centuries who have played their part in the momentous events that have taken place within these walls and have shaped the lives of many generations of Britons, and others besides. In particular, I recall the figure of Saint Thomas More, the great English scholar and statesman, who is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose ”good servant” he was, because he chose to serve God first. The dilemma which faced More in those difficult times, the perennial question of the relationship between what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God, allows me the opportunity to reflect with you briefly on the proper place of religious belief within the political process.


This country’s Parliamentary tradition owes much to the national instinct for moderation, to the desire to achieve a genuine balance between the legitimate claims of government and the rights of those subject to it. While decisive steps have been taken at several points in your history to place limits on the exercise of power, the nation’s political institutions have been able to evolve with a remarkable degree of stability. In the process, Britain has emerged as a pluralist democracy which places great value on freedom of speech, freedom of political affiliation and respect for the rule of law, with a strong sense of the individual’s rights and duties, and of the equality of all citizens before the law. While couched in different language, Catholic social teaching has much in common with this approach, in its overriding concern to safeguard the unique dignity of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and in its emphasis on the duty of civil authority to foster the common good.
And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident - herein lies the real challenge for democracy.
The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world. Just as “every economic decision has a moral consequence” (Caritas in Veritate, 37), so too in the political field, the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can afford to ignore. A positive illustration of this is found in one of the British Parliament’s particularly notable achievements – the abolition of the slave trade. The campaign that led to this landmark legislation was built upon firm ethical principles, rooted in the natural law, and it has made a contribution to civilization of which this nation may be justly proud.
The central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these norms, as if they could not be known by non-believers – still less to propose concrete political solutions, which would lie altogether outside the competence of religion – but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles. This “corrective” role of religion vis-à-vis reason is not always welcomed, though, partly because distorted forms of religion, such as sectarianism and fundamentalism, can be seen to create serious social problems themselves. And in their turn, these distortions of religion arise when insufficient attention is given to the purifying and structuring role of reason within religion. It is a two-way process. Without the corrective supplied by religion, though, reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils, not least the totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith – the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief – need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilization.
Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square. I would invite all of you, therefore, within your respective spheres of influence, to seek ways of promoting and encouraging dialogue between faith and reason at every level of national life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Fun Quotient: Singing the national anthem

As a woman who has been asked to sing the National Anthem at high school sporting events (usually in a pinch when the Glee Club members have conflicting schedules), I have a lot of empathy for these folks...   (but, sorry, little sympathy for someone who does not adequately prepare...)


UPDATE to original post: as per a request (from the combox) of my regular reader, Maria, I hope that your sensibilities are not offended with these botched presentations of "The Star Spangled Banner." As someone who has turned in poor performance now and then, I can be merciful towards folks who panic and mess up their big moment.  But again, there is usually never an excuse for not properly preparing, (i.e. not learning the music, lyrics, etc.)  After all, this isn't your shot at American Idol or something, it is the nation's anthem, and it deserves proper respect. Consider yourself  forewarned.



Here, let me make it up to you... push play and be inspired...



I hope you always join in and sing loud when the anthem is sung at local events... it really does help the singer do a better job! (And it reminds the Americans near you of what's important.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Benedict the Bridge Builder

I'm over at Summa This, Summa That today, musing about my theological and catechetical hero, Pope Benedict.

Here's a snippet:

Connection. Communion. We are built for this.
God uses human persons to be bridges: expansive, empowered, and emboldened by the Holy Spirit.  
It is why a polite and well-spoken old priest and scholarly professor from Bavaria can do more than he ever asked for or imagined.  
Read the rest here.

image credit

NOT MALWARE on my AW Blog, just faulty widget code

Dear Readers,

Thanks to several of you who pointed out that your safe search software have been getting "malware" warnings from this blog.

There was never any malware attached to this blog, but your super-safe software was sniffing out a blogrolling code that simulated "malware" from one of the widgets in my sidebar from another blog group. That code is no longer on this site.

Please let me know if you have any other problems with my blog.

Thanks again to those of you kind enough to point out the problem in the first place.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Among Women Podcast #72: Feminine, Free, and Faithful

Among Women 72 features another look at modern feminism in light of the feminine genius -- this time, philosophy professor Dr. Ronda Chervin  sheds light on the subjects as we delve into her book, Feminine, Free and Faithful.


We also discuss Pope Benedict's papal visit to the UK and the beatification of John Henry Newman, as well as take inspiration from one of the great mother-saints of history, the queen St. Margaret of Scotland, whose image is reflected in the stained glass you see here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This makes me think...

I seldom had people leave the church because they heard something offensive in a church school class [or religious education setting]. But people frequently became angry and left because something happened to them in a church meeting.  This alone suggests how powerfully church meetings and ministry experiences can touch people's lives and transform their faith.


We sometimes forget that experiences in ministry shape how people make sense of Christian faith.


---Thomas H. Hawkins, The Learning Congregation: A New Vision of Leadership.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And now a word for all you pastors, DRE's, parish councils, youth ministers, church staffer and volunteer types...

In the past year, I've spoken to many Church people both online and in person about the benefits of using new media for evangelization and catechesis... and the bottom line is, well, we Church peeps are slow to adopt these technologies.

But the truth of the matter is, we cannot ignore that our parishioners and our future parishioners are online NOW, and so that is where the local church needs to be.

Still need to be convinced?  Check this out, and pay attention, this video is exactly a year old, and already some of the stats are out of date--in other words, the numbers are larger (!):


New media is not a fad or something just for tech-savvy youngsters. It is not going away. New media is changing the way we live and work. When I was promoting the CNMC this past August, I wrote some of my thoughts about the subject here.

I cannot think of a single good reason to delay...

  • Too expensive? Using twitter, facebook, and most blogging sites are free.
  • Too time-consuming? So is chasing down your church membership, and using other communication methods like phone-calling and direct mail. Imagine the time saved by better, more stream-lined communications... right to folks' email or phones.  
  • Don't have the "know-how"? This is the mission field for the laity. Talk to your parishioners. Poll them. Find a few techie geeks who can help you take baby steps until you can hire someone fulltime in this ministry. Oh yes. It will come to that. Within the next 5 years if not sooner. 

The NEEDIEST and MOST IMPORTANT frontier for this technology is the local parish setting or Christian organization. We must learn to maximize it and use it wisely and decisively.


Here's Matthew Warner, a young Catholic entrepeneur with a few more ideas on the subject. (Disclaimer: I have no fiscal interest in Matthew's company, FlockNote. I just think he's got a useful idea worth considering.)  



I'm not in new media 'cuz I'm a technogeek. I'm in it because of a like-mindedness that Christian share: The Church is on a mission to tell the world that Jesus loves them!  Join in!

And, by the way, if you're a catechist and you have some ideas how we can catechize via new media, let's connect by meeting in the combox below.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today marks my 100th Article on Catholic Exchange!

This article is a "Best Of" Edition!



The Fun Quotient - AKA the Smile Zone

Somewhere in my late thirties I realized that I am one darn serious person.  I hear its a malady often attributed to first-bornism (which I am) and certain temperaments (which I also have.)  But despite the curious and intense intersection of these qualities in my soul, God has given me a very definite baritone belly laugh when I find things funny.  (And thanks to a certain post-operative muscle repair, I can even send my mid-section into a veritable spasm.  But now we're getting into information that is probably way beyond... well, the kind of stuff that my young adult children would label as TMI accompanied by an eyeroll.)

The point is, and there was a point, given who and what I am, I need regular injections of levity and gigglelyness to combat the inherent negativity that sometimes clouds my positive vision.

And may I say that I'm so glad I am a Christian, because everything good about my character is an accidental of pure grace... So the major league point here is that I know my crabby-factor tendencies and hormone-induced edginess are always better mitigated by raising the fun quotient in my life.  And so, I will endeavor to continue to raise the fun quotient around here, and strive to occasionally have links to things that bring me joy.

God knows we all could use more joy in the world, amen?



Gratuitous dog video since I am a Boston Terrier owner.


UPDATE: This just in!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cries of the Heart: Honest Prayer and Filial Love

I've over at "Summa This, Summa That" today, and wondering aloud about how the honest depth of our most difficult prayers really connects us to the truth of who we are... by virtue of our baptism.
Here's a snippet:

Sometimes it takes a while to get honest about who we really are before God. Years even. But when our egocentricities and mistakes take their toll, the cry from our heart leaks out. Fortunately for us, God knows all about it. And he has been waiting for us to bring him whatever is tearing us up inside. Closer than my next breath, God my Father is ready to move in my situation if I give him room to act.
 In our moment of relinquishment God does his best work. God waits for those honest moments – conversion moments! —when we lean more into him, and less on ourselves.  Its then we unpack the truest gift of baptism – our redemption! 
Read the rest here

BTW, I thought Amy Grant's "Better Than A Hallelujah" fit the bill rather well for this post. So here it is:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Among Women Podcast #71: Small Steps for Catholic Moms

Among Women 71 features a three-some of great women joining Pat for the podcast: Author-bloggers Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss share their thoughts and experiences in a new book designed to inspired mothers to grow in holiness and virtue, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Think. Pray. Act. Every Day. The third Catholic woman is St. Jane Frances de Chantal who is profiled in our "Blessed are They" segment.

Mothers everywhere: this one's for you!

Also in this episode, some thoughts about Among Women's world-wide outreach to Catholics around the globe, as well as commentary on Pope Benedict's trip to the UK, and his beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Finally, Pat is preparing another Among Women "special", this time the assignment is for women to write or call Pat with your answer to this question:

What role does prayer play in your life?  

Tell us what it means to you and why…  You can go anywhere with this topic:  but most of all, talk about it in terms of what inspires you to pray… and to keep praying.

Join the Among Women prayer project! Let’s build one another up by sharing our faith with one another… so call Pat at the studio feedback line and leave a message at 206-338-6077.  Or, leave an email for Pat Gohn at FaceBook or at amongwomenpodcast@me.com.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fr. Robert Barron comments on the film "Eat, Pray, Love."



I really admire the work that Fr. Barron is doing via Catholic media. His latest project will be a new television show debuts on October 3. Find out more details here.

This makes me think...

Our bodies are so noble.  The infamous carnal sinners of history are, not those who loved their bodies too much, but those who loved their bodies too little. They are those who failed to respect or perhaps to understand the dignity of that masterpiece of the Father, the human body.  It is a creation so marvelous that the Father did not hesitate to give it to his own divine, eternal, infinite, all-comprehensive expression of himself in the Incarnation of the Son, in the same way that it is given to us and with the same senses and faculties possessed by our own bodies.  The Father manifestly did not think this unbecoming. No, his own expression of himself, his Divine Logos, would become incarnate in a human body, brother to our human bodies....


Indeed... "Corpus Christi", the Body of Christ, does save me. But there is also a revelation here about our own bodies as they are meant to be and which they can be only through the body of Christ, who is "the first-born of all creation." (Col. 1:15) and whose created body was the perfect partner of his created soul.


A lowly estimate of our bodies results in our becoming prey to all manner of sins.


---Mother Mary Francis, PCC, Anima Christi, Soul of Christ


image credit

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering


Bruce's Springsteen's video is here because it tells the story of a fireman who rushes into one of the Twin Towers buildings on the morning of 9/11. Its not the best performance of this song, but it had lyrics that you can follow.

9/11 by the numbers: this is devastating.

Find out about the 9/11 Memorial being built in New York. Contributions are taken there too.

Find out the 9/11 Memorial at Logan Airport in Boston.

Photos released this past year of the event by a NYC police office who flew in a helicopter that fateful day.  These are old, and still riveting.

A moving letter and presentation from the brother of John Ogonowski, the AA pilot from Dracut, north of Boston -- his plane was the first hit into WTC.

Mary Yolanda Dowling: My mother's friend who died in the WTC towers.

4 widows tell their stories in New Yorker magazine.

And old post from an old blog, about where I was that day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

God Always Wins... the continuing story in the Catechism

I'm over at Faith and Family today! Divine Providence vs Evil?  No problem!

Spontaneous Fun- you'll smile!



How can you not smile?

OK, one more (for my NY-roots friends --you'll appreciate this!):

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Talking about Sunday on a Thursday over at Patheos...

I may never match the output of the amazingly prolific Elizabeth Scalia, (she must type realllly fast..) but here's my contribution to the Catholic portal over Patheos...  have you checked out Summa This Summa That recently?

Here's a snippet...

Sunday is the Son’s Day.  So I thought once-upon-a-time in my little girl reasoning. Jesus is the Son of God. He rose from the dead on a Sunday.  Hence, Sunday is Son-day.  Little did I know back then that my silly little play on words was not far from the truth.
Keep reading here.

Will this school year plant seeds of a vocation in your child?

I've got a few thoughts on the subject, over at CatholicMom.com today.  C'mon over!

Here's a snippet:
Our goal as Christian parents points well beyond the academic education of our children: That of helping them to heaven. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging a sense of vocation.  And that means, encouraging not only “what” a child want to be when they grow up, but also “who”?
 When we know the ultimate goal, we can take steps toward achieving on-going Christian formation in the lives of our children. In a broad sense, it is what successful business managers call “beginning with the end in mind.”  It’s also what spiritual directors have called having “an eternal perspective”.
 So, as the new school year begins, it might be fruitful for us parents to wonder just how this coming year might shape the future Christian vocations of our children? Will this be a year that opens their heart more fully to God’s plan for their life? 
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Momma Mary!

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Holy Mother of God, pray for us. 
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of peace,
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.



This is the Litany of Loreto -a centuries old prayer of intercession to Our Lady. 
(Just in case you ever wondered where all those titles of Mary came from--
many of them come from this prayer!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Among Women Podcast #70: The Professor and St. Paul

Among Women has reached 70 episodes! And we're still going strong!  Thanks for all your support, and prayers for this ministry... we have the greatest listeners!

Dr. Mary Ward, adjunct professor of Theology from Fordham in NY joins Pat for a discussion about St. Paul's theology of the cross, plus we listen to the writings of the 13th century Christian mystic Mechtild of Magdeburg.

Join us for AW 70 here at the AW website, or over at SQPN.

Dr. Ward alludes to the "Footprints" poem in the podcast, and you can find that poem here. It's worth the read.

Monday, September 6, 2010

This makes me think...

A genuine falling in love... is a capitulation to the beautiful.
Falling in love here does not refer to the superficial infatuations or egocentric lust but rather to a selfless commitment made to a fascinating beloved.  While this is seen in ideal and holy marriages, it is especially clear in the case of the saints who are head over heels in love with the supreme Beloved, whose name is God. Saints see and are smitten. The heroic response is the only response. They know from experience that anything less than Everything is simply not enough.


In his masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevski place on the lips of one of his characters the observation that "beauty is the battlefield where God and Satan contend with each other for the hearts of men."  The one is supreme Glory (the biblical name for supereminent beauty), the other is supreme ugliness. Though our free wills make the choice, it is beauty that provides the powerful attraction to the only victory that ultimately matters in this peak of all combats.
---Thomas Dubay, SM, The Evidential Power of Beauty: Science and Theology Meet

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Mother in the Order of Grace

I'm happy to announce that I'll be contributing to the Catholic portal over at Patheos.  You'll find me at the "Summa This, Summa That" blog... "where ancient faith meets modern life."

(As you might expect from the likes of me, I must credit Our Lady for her influence and for every writing gig that comes my way... and so my first post is all about her!  Thanks, too, to Elizabeth Scalia for the vote of confidence.)

Here's a snippet:

She stands out in my garden, hands open wide to transmit love and grace to the world.  In this posture she is known as “Our Lady of Grace.”  My 3-foot statue depicts Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother, through whom God did some of his greatest work.
To some of my neighbors, she represents “old school” Catholicism – a relic from bygone days. To others, she may be nothing more than outdoor décor – somewhat taller than a garden gnome, but more dainty than an animal cast in stone.
To me, her graceful motherly image reminds me that this ancient faith is, indeed, ever new, intersecting with my modern life. The Blessed Virgin Mother’s influence still holds sway in my life, and in the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Got Nuns? Take 2...

Recently, I posted a link about new religious vocations, and it seems timely, with the new school year dawning, that we remind young people about discerning a vocation to religious life.  And we, who may be women of influence in our own milieu, should take time to nurture and encourage that life choice of love and service.

Vocations, whatever they may be, are all about the intersection of living a life of love and service both to God and to others.


In a pivotal scene from the The Sound of Music, Maria, the impetuous postulant nun and star of the film, discloses her vocational "crisis" to the Reverend Mother: Maria, who once thought she would enter the convent and take permanent vows, now fears falling in love with a local widower and his children.


The wise Reverend Mother counsels, “Maria, the love between a man and a woman is holy, too… You must find out how God wants you to spend your love… you have to live the life you were born to live.”

You must find out how God wants you to spend your love. Therein lies a holy dilemma: choosing a fitting response to God who has first chosen to love us. God invites human persons to respond to him freely.  He does not coerce or force; he respects the dignity of the person.  But each person must find out, for themselves how to best spend their love. 


While I was traveling last week, I heard a radio interview on last Friday's Laura Ingraham Show with Mary Anne Marks, a recent Harvard summa cum laude grad.  Turns out, this remarkable young woman has entered a religious order this week -- The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.  (You can only hear the Ingraham interview if you subscribe to her show.) But you can read this interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online.  Do take time to read it.

Mary Anne Marks' discernment did not happen in a day or a week.... you'll find that it was nurtured all through her life.

Recently, a friend of mine, a woman of similar age and circumstance, experienced the leave-taking of one of her daughters to join a religious order in the Midwest. In a certain sense, like saying goodbye to a daughter as she enters into marriage, it is bittersweet. As a parent, you long for the happiness of your child in their chosen life, while praying for their commitment and resolve.

Yet, once again, I saw the same scenario played out: the call was heard, given the spiritual example of her family, and eventually, her influences while in college, leading this young woman to seek a religious vocation.  And so like other parents, my friend launched her daughter into this new life with much joy and anticipation for what God's plan might be.  She did that because she saw religious life as a life choice worthy of the call to holiness.

Let us continue pray for these young women on their vocational journeys, and also pray for our own children as well.

----

BTW, if you dig Latin: Ms Marks, now Sr Mary Anne, gave this rousing speech at her Harvard commencement:



You can read the speech in Latin or in English here.

And here she is pictured with the incoming sisters. (Look for the posting dated Aug. 28, 2010.)
Image credit.

The new Roman Missal (click & learn about the coming changes):

Watch Catholic TV here! Find Women's programs: "WINGs" and "Woman at the Heart of the Church"

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