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Kat Reads the Great Books: The Iliad

It’s been over a solid decade since I read many of the “Classics” of English Literature in college; Homer, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, etc. At the time, it was my first exposure to many of these texts, while I was also simultaneously attempting to juggle many new life experiences, relationships, and responsibilities. I am ashamed of the practice, but willing to admit, that I often didn’t give my best to studying the books I was assigned to read in my classes,…

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St. Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. There are many amazing saints named Catherine recognized by the Catholic Church; but I am not named after any of them. I was named after one of my mother’s aunts, and my spelling of Kathryn is more typical among Protestants than it is among Catholics. Spelling variations aside though, it is still inspiring to look at some of the amazing women throughout history whose name I share.…

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To Finish, or Not to Finish a Book?

It’s very rare that I don’t finish reading a book once I have gotten into it. This is partly because I am rather selective on what books I start in the first place; my list of books to read is always rather substantial and I don’t have time to mess around. Now there have definitely been times when I have started reading a book on my list that is considered a “Classic” and, while giving it my best shot, I…

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Chesterton’s Fence

It seems to me that we are living in incredibly reactive times. Information comes at us increasingly fast, events happen quickly and are almost instantly communicated around the world, and we rarely have time to slow down and reflect on any new developments and their impacts. Emotions run high, fear is everywhere around us, and we are seeking a sense of stability and order. We are willing to jump on board with anything that seems like it might bring some…

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What I Read: Halfway Through 2020

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Common Men and Women

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte I love to read about the lives of different saints and to see the great variety of people that God has loved and called to serve Him – from the battle-tested St. Joan of Arc to the “Little Way” of St. Therese of Lisieux to the humble yet famous St. Teresa of Calcutta, and from the vibrant St. Francis of Assisi to the studious St. Thomas Aquinas…

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Bird by Bird – Tips for Life

One of my favorite books on writing is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This was one of the first books about writing that I ever read, probably in my early teens, and it was only when I re-read it in the last year or so that I realized how much the advice in this book has shaped not only my writing but also how I approach life. Lamott is not just a writer but also teaches writing professionally, and much…

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Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte Sometimes the right book finds you just when you need it the most. I had not heard of Julian of Norwich before this past year, when her book “Revelations of Divine Love” was assigned for the Well-Read Mom book club, a national community with small groups all over the country (wellreadmom.com.) While I am not a mom myself, the ladies of the local group warmly welcomed me…

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Isolation Update: Just Us Chickens

Things are actually starting to feel a little less isolated lately, as I have (safely and cautiously) been able to start visiting with some folks again. Because I already worked from home, it’s true that the quarantine really hasn’t changed all that much in my life, but it’s certainly nice to have some face-to-face interaction with people again. From the Homestead My new chickens are nearly big enough to go outside full-time. Which is pretty exciting, since they have been…

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A Food Lover’s Thoughts on Fasting and Feasting

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte The Lord truly invited us to enter fully into the desert this Lent. And perhaps it has been a consoling blessing that this crisis happened when it did, right as we entered into this penitential season. Hopefully it has been an opportunity to deepen our prayer lives, reflecting more fully on the Lenten fasts we had already chosen to adopt. In modern rhetoric, fasting can refer to…

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