Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. Crusts & Crumbs A time unsurpassed in darkness. Why on earth would anyone choose to have a child? Parents ask this question (and friends inquire and strangers probe) over and over. Why now? Why another? Why at all, in these days of disaster and despair? Yet Love still takes the risk of birth. A couple decides to try for a baby. A student applies to college. A child starts piano lessons. Is there anything more ordinary or more hopeful? The stars falling, said the Lord (Mark 13:24-32). The stars forever, wrote the prophet (Daniel 12:1-3). Somewhere between these two - death and eternity, destruction and rebirth, end and beginning - is where we spend our days. Beyond the screaming, wailing headlines - mass shootings, abuse scandals, deadly storms, political turmoil - we make dinner. … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: how could you have kids now?
Starting today, you can get Grieving Together: A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from Our Sunday Visitor (with free shipping)! We're thrilled that Grieving Together is making its way into the hands of parents who need it after infertility, stillbirth, miscarriage, or the loss of a child. The greatest joy has been hearing from couples who are reading it together or talking about aspects of grief they might not have shared or understood before. (In the words of Billy Collins' poem on sending a book out into the world, "stay out as late as you like, don't bother to call or write, and talk to as many strangers as you can.") Learn more here and here about what makes the book unique. To learn more about Grieving Together, check out these resources: Franco and I did a live webcast with Our Sunday Visitor to share more about why we wrote the book and how all of us can support people in our lives who are grieving. You can listen … [Read more...] about p.s. the book is here!
What's leftover after the bread has been eaten? Crusts and crumbs. If your kids' plates or lunch boxes look anything like ours, there's always something left behind. One doesn't like crusts. (Another doesn't like bread.) The oldest always picks apart the sandwich, leaving a pile of crumbs. The littlest throws his extra bits on the floor for the dog. But there's still good bread there! I find myself encouraging them. My mother's own words ring in my head from childhood: "It's not the heel's fault it's at the end of the bread!" (From time immemorial, parents have coaxed children to please, just eat.) . . . Today at Mass I heard a stirring homily. Our pastor can preach, and preach he does. Every Sunday he challenges, coaxes, and encourages us in the pews. This Sunday morning, like so many others, I caught small echoes between my life and the Scripture readings. Parenting and marriage are my primary callings right now. Naturally I see the world - and hear the Word - … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs
He leans forward, eyes bright. Three Hail Marys are his. Each one he has started, and we have followed. He is four years old, sandy brown curls flopped in his eyes. His brothers have taken turns leading decades for weeks, and now he clamors for his chance, with all the gusto of younger siblings. He knows more than I realize. He hesitates in spots, but with a glance and a gentle prompt, his eyes sparkle again and he is off. Here is where he catches me. That breath between "...the fruit of thy womb, Jesus" and "Holy Mary, Mother of God." Where the prayer pauses. Where the first half ends and the second begins. Where Jesus meets Mary, child meets mother, leader meets follower, call meets response, breath meets breath, prayer meets prayer. I see the spark - in his eyes, in my body, in the space between us. It is the rare dazzle of holy. . . . Before I was bored, I am unashamed to admit. Catholic school kid in the pew, winding plastic beads around my hand. Not my … [Read more...] about the spark of prayer