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, in other words, as Pope Francis might say, simply wasting time. During a recent meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Pope Francis posed the following: “And tell me, do you play with your children? Do you waste time with your … [Read more...]

Take 5 with Mark Brumley

Take Five with Mark Brumley

I recently welcomed the opportunity to interview Ignatius Press president and CEO Mark Brumley. We spent most of our time discussing Pope Francis's first and recently released encyclical, Lumen Fidei, The Light of Faith. Ignatius Press is slated to release the encyclical as a high-quality, hardcover, deluxe edition in August (details and pre-order information available here). We only scratched the surface on Lumen Fidei and Pope Francis. In this fifteen-minute interview, I ask Mark the … [Read more...]

Good Times!

Lisa Schmidt Fun Profile

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life --- {pretty, happy, funny, real} style {pretty} Warning: Sap-a-lert straight ahead!  I stumbled on this photo of Lucy while recently scrolling through our overloaded iPhoto albums. I keep saying one of these days I will figure out a photo organization system that actually serves ... well ... as a photo organization system. This photo is from a recent daddy/daughter dance. Immediately the famous 1960s Kodak commercial accompanied by the … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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

Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday Audience

I grew up with JP2, but I grew in faith with B16. I didn't grow up Catholic, but I certainly knew about Pope John Paul II. In something of a political sense, I knew him as the face of Christianity throughout the world and a fierce defender of freedom. However, when I was confirmed on Easter Vigil 2004, his health had been declining for years. I entered the Catholic Church not really knowing what it was like to have an active, engaged, visible shepherd. His leadership seemed rather … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Are All Your Best Friends Dead?

Board of Spiritual Directors

I get so excited when Hebrews 12:1-4 gets airtime. It’s playing again today at a Catholic Church near you. From the February 5, 2013 Mass readings:  Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith … To say this passage has served well as my "Rule of Life" is an understatement. When feeling … [Read more...]

The Feast of the Holy Family: Church Planting 101


A dedication to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph The Feast of the Holy Family is a devotion-feast or an idea-feast --- it does not commemorate a specific event but rather promotes the Holy Family as a model for all family life. The feast is ordinarily celebrated on the Sunday between Christmas Day and January 1, during the Octave of Christmas, providing another opportunity to remember the Incarnation of Christ and his sharing in a human family. Families are called to be a … [Read more...]

Cardinal Wuerl’s Three Core Elements of The New Evangelization

Cardinal Wuerl

We recently heard his eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl recount the time he received a letter from an elementary student that read, “It’s amazing that you know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody … (1 page later) … who knew somebody, who knew Jesus.” Apparently it sometimes takes a young child to explain big words like apostolic succession. We were there --- at the foot of the cross, at the empty tomb, in the upper room. We, as in the Catholic Church, were there. … [Read more...]