A Decade of Faith

This past Easter marked ten years since I was baptized and received into the Catholic Church. This anniversary, combined with my recent wedding and the beginning of a new stage of life, has certainly been cause for a great deal of reflection. A lot happens in life in the span of ten years. Ten years ago, I was barely twenty-five years old, just two years past my college graduation, and barely knew what I was doing with my life. Working…

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Our Lady of La Leche

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. When one thinks of making a pilgrimage, it’s easy to think of such far off places as the Holy Land, Rome or Fatima. When you think of going to see great sites of religious history, it’s not surprising if the mind first ventures to the Middle East or to Europe, where great dramas of history have played out for so many centuries and in so many ways.…

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The Litany of St. Joseph

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I love to meditate on the many titles of St. Joseph. As I have grown in awareness and devotion to him over the last several years, his litany has become one of my favorite prayers. Different titles will resonate with me at different times and in different circumstances of life. I’ve also discovered that the litany can make for a good examination of conscious, drawing to the…

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What I Read in a Year: 2021

This past year has involved a lot of transitions in my personal world, and even now I am just a few months away from getting married and starting a whole new chapter in life. It’s been a wonderfully blessed time, but also a bit chaotic, and more than ever I have been appreciative of the grounding nature that books have in my life. Books can provide an escape from day-to-day stress, but they can also help to give perspective and…

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Purgatory and Praying for the Dead

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. This past year, I’ve been working my way through a reading of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy,” in which the poet narrator travels first through the circles of hell, then climbs the mountain of purgatory, and ultimately reaches the paradise of heaven. As we enter into the month of November, a time the Church has designated especially for praying for the souls of the dead,…

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Caryll Houselander’s “The Reed of God”

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. One of my favorite books for meditating on Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary is Caryll Houselander’s “The Reed of God.” I was introduced to this book just a few years ago and it has since become one that I return to quite often for contemplation. Houselander’s prose writing is as lyrical as her poetry, which is also sprinkled throughout the book, and makes for a beautifully…

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Good Friday Reflections on Love

There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that has haunted me for years. It’s one of those quotes that gets inside you, that can change your whole perspective on the world and how you approach your life. There was a time when I was, if not exactly content, at least resigned to idea of remaining single and unattached. It seemed easier, less messy, than seeking to give my heart to someone who could then potentially cause so much grief and…

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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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The Flight Into Egypt

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I recently visited Washington, D.C., and was able to attend Holy Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. With more than 80 chapels and oratories honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, there is a great deal to see at the basilica. Behind every pillar, around every corner, and every time you look to the ceiling, there is some of the most…

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Middle Earth and St. John Henry Newman

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. “In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.” These opening words to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” have been inscribed in my mind from my earliest memories. My father used to read the book aloud, long before I could read it myself, and the ideas of hobbits and elves, dragons and dwarves, adventures and heroism, were embedded in my imagination as firmly as my…

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