Wasting Time and Holy Leisure


The Church fathers, St. Benedict in particular, wrote about the need for Otium Sanctum or Holy Leisure. It refers to an ability to rest and take time to enjoy beauty, to be at peace through the activities of the day, to pace ourselves. Or, as Pope Francis might say, simply wasting time with one another. Do you waste time with your children? What does that look like in your home? Do we, collectively, even know how to waste time with one another?

Good Times!

Lisa Schmidt Fun Profile

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life — {pretty, happy, funny, real} style. In this edition I share a photo of my daughter that reminded me of a 1960’s Kodak commercial, pictorial highlights from my Spiritual Friendship talk in Peoria, in search for a new profile pic that tells the world a little bit about me, and highlights of a recent “Benedict Bash” we attended in celebration of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s papacy.

My Prayer for Women During This Year of Faith


Editor’s Note: In his final General Audience address on February 27, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI invited us, once again, to walk through the “Door of Faith.”

“We are in the Year of Faith … I would like to invite everyone to renew firm trust in the Lord. I would like that we all, entrust ourselves as children to the arms of God, and rest assured that those arms support us to walk every day, even in times of struggle.”

In his apostolic letter Porta Fidei (Door of Faith), Pope Benedict reminds us that God has opened the door of faith for all, no matter the season of life in which we are journeying.

Seems good timing to share the following piece I wrote for the Catholic Year of Faith blog also picked up by Kairos Catholic Journal, the official publication for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia.

The door of faith is open. Let’s walk through it together.

A Convert’s Take on the Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday Audience

At the time of his election to the papacy in 2005, I recall thinking Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was a wise, if unspectacular, choice. “He’ll be a good transition Pope,” I thought. “He may not serve long, but he can help the papacy move out from under the shadow the of the JP2 legacy. He will make it easier for the Church to move forward with his successor in a few years. He won’t cast too large a shadow himself.” What did I know, anyway?

What the Transfiguration Says About Prayer

Russian-inspired icon of the Transfiguration (artist unknown)

While reflecting on today’s Mass readings, a day we celebrate the Transfiguration, I am moved by words written by the Holy Father.

“The Transfiguration is a prayer event; it displays visibly what happens when Jesus talks with his Father: the profound interpenetration of his being with God, which then becomes pure light. In his oneness with the Father, Jesus is himself “light from light.” The reality that he is in the deepest core of his being, which Peter tried to express in his confession—that reality becomes perceptible to the senses at this moment: Jesus being in the light of God, his own being-light as Son.” From Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI.

Receiving a Special Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI

Photo Credit: Sarah Dickmeyer

Earlier this week, a Canadian news service, CBC News, requested stories and photos of people meeting or seeing the pope. Given my sister has seen the Holy Father twice, I sent the link her way. She submitted a few photos to them, and the folks at CBC News liked what they saw. They then asked her to submit a full post.

Wait … why didn’t I ask her to write this for us first?! HELLO!

Five days since Papa Benedicto XVI announced his resignation, and we still haven’t written a thing about it here. Some “practicing Catholics” we are, huh? Disclosure: We never claimed to be smart or opportunist practicing Catholics.

Head over here and read my sis’s post about her Pope Benedict encounters. Oh, and you must read to the very end. Some cool news for my family!

Are All Your Best Friends Dead?

Board of Spiritual Directors

Wanting to draw nearer to a few select saints, I gave myself the gift of a spiritual board of directors on my birthday last year. I assembled a small group of saints to serve as my cloud of witnesses and guide me, in a particularly intimate way, throughout my daily activities and vocation. A faithful communion with my spiritual board has brought me peace, happiness, and companionship. I can hear the detractors now, “You mean to tell me dead people brought you all this peace and happiness?” Absolutely!