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Virtue, Charity, and Other Pursuits

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in good for the soul | 2 comments

Virtue, Charity, and Other Pursuits

The Objective

I aspire to a life of virtue. I want to be holy.

I know what I need to do; the problem is that I don’t always act on what I know.

Most of the time I operate in fits and starts. I buy a new moisturizer that promises the fountain of youth, and I use it for three days and remember to use it again when I take a too-close selfie.

A great swell of enthusiasm takes me to daily Mass several days in a row, only to sleep in on the fifth day and miss the goal of going all week. I lose track of a novena somewhere along the fourth or fifth day. My mind wanders to a to-do list during a homily.

I often think there’s no way I could possibly tackle the Works of Mercy if I can’t even get through a homily. And no, it isn’t the priest’s fault (most of the time).

A recent visit with a dear friend blessed me with some great conversations about a number of things, including our pursuit of virtuous lives. We came to the conclusion that we need to work at it, need to approach it with love, and need to take baby steps for successes. We need to move with our hearts:  charity for others, and for ourselves, too.

We came to that conclusion pretty easily. I mean, that when we got to the conclusion, it felt right. And then I remembered this:

That’s my friend in the video — and I wrote the script. LOL, no wonder we came to such a brilliant conclusion.

The Plan

Every morning I wash my face, moisturize, and put on my halo-in-training nice and straight. It usually slips by the time I get to the kitchen for coffee if the dog is underfoot and I step on him. I say my prayers and spend a little time journaling. It often leads me to do a little reading about the saints.

I read a lot and write a lot, kind of like Flannery O’Connor — to figure out what I think. So why do I write so much about the saints? Because sometimes I see a little bit of myself in them, the struggles they have, and their yearning for Christ. I really do want to be holy.

And why do I keep moisturizing if the crow’s feet have sprouted into yards?

The simple answer is hope. I hope I can keep the dry spots and blemishes at bay.

I hope I grow in virtue. I put my hope in the Lord. In my salvation. In my ability to get better each day, even if it’s just keeping the halo on straight through that first cup of coffee.

Know what helps? Frequent reception of the sacraments — go to Mass. Go to Confession. Rinse. Repeat.

And moisturize!

Some Fun Stuff

Listen to Jennifer’s insights on Adventures in Imperfect Living

Watch the other episodes of That Catholic Show

And tell me, do you think the Super Girl on the cover of my book looks like Jennifer’s Super Girl in the video?



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Scale: Big and Small

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Weekly Photo Challenge | 0 comments

Lying on the pier and looking at the sky from this perspective gave it a new scale. I feel huge in contrast with the sky, which looks tiny from this angle.

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Review: The Friendship Project

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in reviews | 0 comments

Have you ever grabbed a book off the shelf because it had a great title? That was my reaction to this new book by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet, The Friendship Project. The subtitle, The Catholic Woman’s Guide to Making and Keeping Fabulous, Faith-Filled Friends called to me even more.

I’ve never been one to have a huge posse of friends, but I have had close friends in each season of my life. It was only later in life that I discovered the unique joy of having faith-filled friends. What a treasure, truly, to share my faith with a sister-in-Christ.

I loved the format of this book; it explores the virtues and the saints, and points us to these models of holy friendship. I’m left with a renewed commitment to nurturing these relationships that bless me today, to encourage and foster in this season of my life, and more. I love The Friendship Project !

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer #2 Premieres

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in courageous saints, formidable women | 2 comments

Are you excited about Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Christmas will come a little early for me, as the film premieres on December 15th! Tonight, we’ll see the premiere of the second trailer during half-time of Monday Night Football’s match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.

I’ll be watching. There was a time when I was a big fan of the Purple Gang, probably because I had a crush on Donny Osmond and his favorite color was purple. Eventually, though, I had a bigger crush on Han Solo. And an even bigger fascination with the Star Wars saga. It was inevitable that I would write about characters that have influenced me or moved me in some way. So much so, that I feature Rey, the heroine of these last films, in Super Girls and Halos.

Stars Wars’ appeal to me, after the cool special effects, is in the story-telling. I love to see the epic battle of Good vs. Evil play out on the big screen. Although Lucas was often criticized for bad dialogue — as a kid I never noticed. As an adult, I didn’t care — the story is greater than a few cheesy lines here and there.

In The Force Awakens, we meet Rey and are treated to an update on our favorite characters from the first trilogy. I immediately loved Rey. She was fearless and daring, everything exciting about a heroine. Rey’s sense of justice prevails, and she is drawn into the Resistance to fight the evil of the First Order.

The enduring theme of the Star Wars films is the triumph of good over evil, the eternal battle of the light versus the dark sides of the Force on a galactic scale. The films also explore this theme on the smaller though no less epic scale of the individual human person. As Christians, we’re reminded that we must act, whether singly or in concert with others, according to God’s plan for salvation in our lives. (Super Girls and Halos p. 32)

Super GirlsRey represents, for me, the ultimate fictional heroine. Her commitment to justice in the galaxy drives her in The Force Awakens, and I have great hope for how she will use The Force in The Last Jedi through her training, and ultimately, in the battle against the evil in the First Order.

In Super Girls and Halos, I share my love of the saints and how they are excellent models of virtue. The Saints lived lives of heroic virtue, too. I pair Rey with St. Clare of Assisi as a beacon of strength and light, as I discuss the same virtue of justice in a canonized saint and heroine in her own right.

Check back here to see the new trailer.


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Announcing the Winners

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Drumroll please…

The winners for the Super Girls and Halos giveaways are right here!!!

Brenna  won the Wonder Woman plush doll! How fun! @shellysmas

and…Heather Renshaw won the Original Wonder Woman t-shirt @realcatholicmom! Thank you to the Nerdy Catholic Tees company for the awesome shirt!

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