Mass Forward: A Reflection on Sunday’s Mass Readings

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Remembering Who We Are Read April 27, 2014 (Second Sunday of Easter) Mass readings at USCCB.org. *  *  * This weekend, the Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. This devotion finds its inspiration in the visions and writings of Polish nun Sister Faustina Kowalska. According to sister, Jesus told her, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the prayer, Jesus, I trust in you.” Years later, on the Second Sunday of Easter of 2000, at the Mass for the St. Faustina’s … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes: Too Much Feasting?

St.Joseph Day Collage

--- 1 --- I received an email early this morning that read, "Blessed Feast of St. Benedict!" Yay. St. Benedict is my man. Party on, Schmidts! Wait, what? I thought his feast day is July 11. So I turn to my favorite monks' website and learn there are actually two feasts of St. Benedict on the calendar for Benedictines. On March 21, they celebrate the Transitus of St. Benedict, meaning his death or passing from this life to eternal life. This is the day the Church traditionally celebrates saints' … [Read more...]

Breast Cancer and the Breastplate of St. Patrick

Saint Patrick

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! We're celebrating here with an Irish-inspired Soup & Stories post from our dear friend Pat Gohn who among her other talents hosts the Among Women Podcast. In today's post, Pat shares a bit about her Irish heritage and how the Lorica of Saint Patrick/Breastplate of St. Patrick prayer comforted her while battling breast cancer. She also passes along a recipe for St. Patrick Irish Cheddar soup from a cookbook that is now on my wish list. Any recipe that calls … [Read more...]

My 2014 Spiritual Board of Directors

Spiritual Board of Directors

A few years back I had a role in a musical based on the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II. The show's composer wanted to assemble a “board of directors,” a group of trusted individuals to oversee and advise the project. But there was a twist. All board members needed to be saints. So with cast members’ suggestions, the writer/composer assembled his board — a few Polish saints, some well-known evangelizers, a few musicians and voilà. We had our very own intercessory board … [Read more...]

Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry (Part 2)

Pray, Hope Don't Worry - St. Padre Pio

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” ― St. Padre Pio Back on September 23, the feast of St. Padre Pio, I issued a "worry list" challenge and invited readers to join along. I came up with five big things that were, so to speak, keeping me awake at night. I wrote the worries out on a piece of journal paper and placed the paper in the back of my Bible, a symbol for placing my worries in God’s hands. I marked my calendar three months forward, … [Read more...]

Doing Small Things With Great Love. I Hope.

Do small things with great love

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux died on this day in 1897. So did my dad. Well, not in 1897, of course. Rather, on September 30, 2009. And it’s no small coincidence that his death occurred on the same day as the saint who is known for doing small things with great love also died. Many would say the same about my father, a humble, simple man who loved well and found God in the ordinary routine of each day. Dad viewed each day as an opportunity to say yes to God. In fact, one of his favorite … [Read more...]

Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry: 1 Small Thing To Do Today

Pray, Hope Don't Worry - St. Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio is often quoted as saying, "Pray, hope, and don't worry." I came across an excellent idea in the book Celebrating Saints and Seasons by Jeanne Hunt that's too good not to share. In St. Pio's honor, today I made a worry list by writing down all the things that keep me awake at night --- the stuff of life that eats at me and unnecessarily draws my focus away from Christ. Then I placed that list in the back of my Bible; a symbol for placing my worries in God's hands. Finally I … [Read more...]

Pope Gregory the Great and Cherry Cravings

Basket of Cherries

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church. While researching and reading about him, I came across this amusing story about his cherry cravings. Legend has it that on St. Mark's Feast Day, St. Gregory the Great, when he was the pope, suddenly had a great craving for cherries. The servants and gardeners were puzzled at what to do, since the cherry trees, which were plentiful, were just in bloom. As the legend goes, one gardener, in search of … [Read more...]

Spiritual Friendships — The Elixir of Life

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The Old Testament book of Sirach is filled with many nuggets of wisdom for almost every aspect of daily life. The entire book of Sirach is really like a trusted friend, a resource we go to when seeking advice and counsel. In the following from Sirach 6:5-17, we hear a few words of wisdom about friendship. A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he … [Read more...]

Childhood Lessons from Saint Isidore the Farmer…Sort Of

Scenic View Farm

The life of this simple laborer has much to teach us, but only if we're paying attention. I grew up on a century-old, third-generation dairy farm in rural southeastern Wisconsin, practically in the shadow of Holy Hill, a minor basilica and national shrine. Our small rural church, St. Peter’s, was a congregation composed mostly of decent, hard-working farmers of German ancestry. Accordingly, you might imagine that we had a rather strong devotion to today’s Saint of the Day, St. Isidore the … [Read more...]