About the blog
Advent has long been my favorite liturgical season (even though spring is my favorite natural season!). I love the candles in the darkness, the hopeful expectation, and focusing on the spiritual rather than the material. Once I began to grasp the significance of the liturgical seasons (in college–the religious education of my childhood left me largely ignorant of the Faith), I enjoyed dressing in liturgical colors, saving the Christmas songs for December 24th & beyond (etc.). I never dreamed I’d do anything more public than that.
That all changed in 2002, when hanging the same old Jesse tree ornaments began to get stale, and I decided to do a written Jesse tree instead, writing out the stories of Jesus’ ancestors for my own amusement. I thought I might send them to my (very young) goddaughter, to keep me writing. As long as I was at it, I asked a few other people if they’d like to see what I wrote & some said yes. That, I thought, was the end of that.
Then Lent rolled around, and much to my surprise, a couple of the people who’d read my Advent posts asked if I was going to do anything for Lent. Well, no, I hadn’t planned on it…but I could be talked into it! Since I don’t know of anything like a Jesse tree for Lent, I used the Mass readings as my springboard.
The following Advent, I started writing again. Since the Jesse tree focuses on Advent’s first layer of meaning (waiting with the Jewish people for the Messiah), I took the second year to focus on Advent’s second layer of meaning: preparing to meet Jesus as He comes to us here and now. The third year I picked up on Advent’s third layer of meaning: looking forward to Jesus’ coming at the end of time. Since the readings for Advent focus on that theme, I used them, and have done so ever since.
At first my readership was interdenominational. I knew a number of people from a number of ecclesial communions, and made a point of keeping things generic. As things progressed, though, I began to find that self-imposed restriction stifling. I had one foot on the gas & the other on the brake! Finally, in 2003, I took my foot off of the brake. I sent a post to all the non-Catholics on my list, telling them I was removing them so as not to send them posts they might not be prepared to receive, and inviting them to email me if they wanted to get back on. I’ve been taking full advantage of my new freedom to share the wealth I’m daily finding in Holy Mother Church.
I’d had people suggest that I take my writing online, but I had no idea how. Finally, just before Advent of 2009, my husband did a bit of research, and set up this site for me. The rest you can see in the blog itself!
Stay-at-home wife to a high school math teacher (Catholic school) & Godmother to two children.
- St. Clare of Assisi
- St. Maria Goretti (I chose “Maria” as a Confirmation name after Maria from “the Sound of Music”–that’s how clueless I was!–but later realized that St. Maria Goretti was a better fit)
- Sts. Martha & Zita (homemakers)
- (and a veritable litany of C/Katherines)
A few of my favorite things:
Eucharistic Adoration, daily Mass (when I can get there), talking & cuddling with my prince, talking about God (but not debates!), long flowing skirts, veiling, flowers, kitties (we have two), reading, writing, crochet, decorating (walls, cards, stationery, jewelry, food, anything that holds still long enough!), netting (a type of lace-making), graphic design, music, playing the flute, singing, silence, dancing (informal or simple contra), looking things up, strings of little white lights, stargazing, bonfires, candles, our lack of TV (!), planning fun little surprises
Books I keep recommending (this is the short list!)
- Sacred Scripture
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church (once this came out & I read it, I could finally say, “Yes! This is what I believe!”)
- This Tremendous Lover, by Fr. Eugen Boylan (devotional theology)
- I Believe in Love, by Pere Jean du Coeur de Jesus D’Elbee (based on the spirituality of the Little Flower)
- The Story of A Soul, by St. Therese of Lisieux (her Autobiography)
- The Story of a Family: The Home of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Fr. Stephabe-Joseph Piat, OFM
- A Companion to the Summa, by Walter Farrell (makes Aquinas’ thought accessible–makes life make sense!)
- Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Frances de Sales
- He and I, by Gabrielle Bossis (Gabrielle’s tender conversations with Jesus)
- The Practise of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
- Your Hour, by Rev. M. Raymond, OCSO (uplifting stories about suffering–amazing!)
- The Theology of the Body, by Pope John Paul II (but I needed Christopher West to explain it!)
- The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander (faithful, poetic reflections on Mary’s role)
- A Right to be Merry, by Mother Mary St. Paul, PCC (the joyful life of Poor Clare nuns)
- Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers (aka Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD), ed. by Regina Siegfried and Bishop Robert Morneau (I’m afraid I can’t recommend Bishop Morneau’s writings, though)
- Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word, by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (devotional commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, based on the Greek text)
- The Catena Aurea, by St. Thomas Aquinas (commentary on the Gospels by the Fathers of the Church)
- Spring Comes to the Hill Country, by Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy with Dan Paulos (stunning scissored paper cuttings of the Blessed Virgin)
- In the Midst of Chaos, Peace, by Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy, Dan Paulos & Sr. Wendy Beckett (more scissored paper cuttings)
- Saints Are Not Sad, by Frank Sheed
- The Virtues on Parade, by Fr. John F. Murphy
- Pardon and Peace, by Alfred Wilson, C.P. (NOT the newer book by the same title!)–best book I’ve seen on Confession, although it is somewhat dated
- Umbert the Unborn: A Womb With a View, by Gary Cangemi (pro-life cartoons)
- The Creed in Slow Motion, by Fr. Ronald Knox (all of his “slow motion” books are wonderful!)
- Christianity and Infallibility—Both or Neither, by Fr. Daniel Lyons
- Who is the Devil?, by Nicholas Corte
- Fr. Francis J. Finn’s books: Tom Playfair, Harry Dee, Claude Lightfoot, Ethelred Preston, That Football Game, Percy Wynn (gripping stories with visible faith woven through everything)
- St. Rose of Lima, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt’s (and all of her stories of the saints–easy to read, engaging and catechetical)
- The Little Book Of Humility & Patience, by Archbishop Ullathorne
- The Sanctifier, by Most Rev. Luis M. Martinez, translated by Sr. M. Aquinas, O.S.U. (devotional book on the Holy Spirit)
- Dressing With Dignity, by Colleen Hammond (why & how-to)
- The King of the Golden City, by Mother Mary Loyola (a sweet allegory of the Christian life)
- Clean of Heart, by Rosemarie Scott (pure, practical, Catholic book on breaking free from sexual sin–applicable to other sins too)
- Anything by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI