For many of you, it took everything you had to get to Church. I know how hard it can be to remain faithful in weekly Mass attendance when the all of the difficulties of life seem to happen at the same time as you are getting ready to head to Church. Now add to the mix all of the scandals we are hearing about. It is as if every news source on television and social media is ready to unpack all of the reasons Catholicism is defunct and worthy of being maligned.
Why We Play Board Games and Think You Should Too - By Kelsey Demers
My husband and I have spent the last ten years playing board games together. No, I’m not talking about seeing if we need anger management classes by playing Monopoly or choosing which career path we want to pursue in Life. I’m talking about making the life or death decision of which city to cure of a disease lest an outbreak occur in Pandemic, cackling like a maniac when you oust your opponent with a direct hit of four attack strikes to become the baddest monster in King of Tokyo, and smartly building and managing the best winery in pre-modern Tuscany in Viticulture.
My brother and I are best friends. We have spiritual conversations and life conversations all the time. But sometimes we just argue about Steph vs. Lebron, and I have to remind him who has three of the last four rings and who has KD on his team!
I still remember one of these life conversations a few years back. After racing past his wife and kids again to go straight into his office and close the door after a long day of work, his wife sat him down. In essence, she told him if you are going be on a work call, just don’t come home until you are done. You are sending a message to our kids that work is more important than them. Boom! It hit him square between the eyes, and that’s when he called to chat. We talked for a while and came up with a simple resolution. Before you get out of the car each day, decide what kind of husband and father you are going to be when you walk through the door to your home. This was one of the original seeds that God planted in my heart that eventually led to The Door - The Power of Presence.
Do I Really Want to Be A Saint? - By Linda Padgett
There is a great story that is credited to St. Teresa of Avila about the time she fell off her horse and landed in mud. At that moment, she said to Jesus, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you don’t have very many.”
I was reminded about this quote recently by my husband as he sat and listened to me venting my frustrations. I rarely give into the temptation to feel sorry for myself. I find it a waste of time. However, that night, my pile of frustrations and disappointments overflowed into a flood of emotions I could not contain. I felt like St. Teresa, being thrown from a horse and landing into a puddle of mud. See, Teresa wasn’t grumbling over the fact that she landed in mud or fell off her horse. There had to be more. I am certain there was a collection of difficulties and struggles that grew into a sense of frustration. The Lord was probably stretching her faith and testing her fortitude, ultimately making her into the saint she would become.
When Bob first approached me with the idea to write a book about our infertility and adoption journey, I thought, how could I possibly write about an experience that I handled so poorly. But then I realized that, often times, we learn best from our mistakes. If I would have had someone to talk to about our pain that truly understood the devastation we were going through, it might have been easier. Suffering through infertility was a very lonely experience. At times I wasn’t sure how I would survive it. Many days were void of hope and direction and full of questioning why God was doing this to us. If our book can be a comfort to just one couple suffering through infertility, it would be worth reliving the emotional roller coaster of monthly hope turned to sorrow as we composed our book When God Said No.
Cliché tried to block the memory but it wouldn’t be refused. He could never avoid reliving it on this day. He was six. He had walked to school and arrived late. He had told his mother several times that he was hungry and yet, he still hadn’t eaten. He wore the sweat pants and t-shirt that he had slept in. His hair was unbrushed as well as his teeth.
“Are you okay, Cliché?” his teacher asked.
“Mom hit the hay.”
Having already been interrupted, his teacher hadn’t tried to understand what he meant. Class went on as if everything was normal—only it wasn’t. “She’s sawing logs,” Cliché said as the class lined up for lunch. “She’s dead to the world.” No one paid attention.