good for the soul

3 things to do on a rainy day

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in good for the soul | 3 comments

  1. Look out the window longingly. Sometimes I like to embrace the melancholy.
  2. Snuggle up in a warm blanket and a good book. Nobody’s feelings will get hurt if it’s just a prop for a nap.
  3. Drink copious amounts of delicious hot tea. And by tea, I mean, whatever you want, even that whisky you reserve for emergencies.
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in with the new in 2018

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in good for the soul | 0 comments

It’s a new year, and while I’ve given up on expressing resolutions these past years, it’s kind of a no-brainer that I re-examine my habits as they pertain to my health. We’ll see if it’s just bloggy lip service, but the truth is, I’m not particularly interested in being a Klingon.

That means I need to pursue some healthy LIVING, right? I’m in.

While I’m thinking about getting all healthy even though I’m in a bathrobe and lying in a recliner (I’m recovering from some surgery), I’ve had some time to examine other areas that need improvement, too. I need to foster a creative environment for myself, and I need to work on my spiritual growth as well.

It’s a tall order. Or maybe not. Maybe, I just need to do it.

Happy 2018. I hope our year is filled with health, hope, and faith.


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5 things I learned at a women’s conference

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in formidable women, good for the soul | 2 comments

5 things I learned at a women’s conference

I spent the weekend with some extraordinary women at the first EVER national WINE: Women In the New Evangelization conference in Pennsylvania. The day was filled with music, liturgy, speakers, and of course, a diverse group of women. The conference was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestachowa. Beautiful.

So here’s what I learned:

  1. Smiles are the best ice-breakers.
  2. We need each other.
  3. God loves us.
  4. Mary is our Mama and…
  5. You’re never too old for a pajama party.


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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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happy birthday, Cachita!

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in good for the soul | Comments Off on happy birthday, Cachita!

It’s the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As Cuban-Americans, on this day we celebrate the patroness of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity.


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It’s rough to be so far away from family and friends today. Instead of celebrating, though, they are packing up in the face of an impending hurricane, Irma.

This, on the heels of the devastation in Texas and the Gulf coast.

For the first time that I know of, Miami receives a dispensation for not attending Mass this Sunday. In fact, all Masses are cancelled. Wow.

Pray for those in the path of Irma. I put my trust in Jesus, and Cachita, who once upon a time, stilled those waters. 

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bells ring for “bread of salvation”

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in good for the soul | Comments Off on bells ring for “bread of salvation”

Bells ring at our little church several times a day. I’ve recently posted about the Angelus bells and alluded to other bells as well. We hear them all, and each round of tolling means something special. I already spoke about the Angelus, but the bells toll before Mass, too. And then, in a grand surprise that reminds me of my experience in Cuba, the bells also toll during the Consecration. We always stop what we’re doing when we hear that round, and send up a brief prayer of thanksgiving. It really is something special to not only hear those bells, but know what they mean.

This morning, as I was having my coffee, I heard the bells on the heels of reading a beautiful quote from St. John XXIII, and thought I’d pass it along for you. It’s the perfect reflection for today.

May your sacrament, O Jesus, be light to the mind, strength to the will, joy to the heart. May it be the support of the weak, the comfort of the suffering, the wayfaring bread of salvation for the dying and for all the pledge of future glory. Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

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