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 "For this I was born," Jesus says (John 18:37). We think his birth attracts attention, coming at the end of Christmas countdown and Advent anticipation. But how much do we meditate on who God was before and after birth? This week we whiplash from Christ the King to Christ the Child. Alpha and Omega, end and beginning, the turning point of the church year. But this is no slow shift from Ordinary Time to Advent. Suddenly God is bounded by bodies - Jesus' own and his mother's. A shrinking that expands, a growing that surrenders. Pregnancy's paradoxes made divine. All of us were once held within another. Womb surrounded for months of darkness. Stretched within skin, carried by muscle, buoyed with water. Strength and nourishment, the place of preparation. Pregnancy … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: bounded by birth
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!
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
What does it mean to live justly in the world today? How does our faith invite us to work for peace and justice wherever we are - even at home? My friend Haley wrote a wonderful book on how her family embraced a counter-cultural lifestyle of seeking the Gospel more intentionally - The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture. Inspired by her example (and wishing I could have read her book years ago), I've been reflecting on how Catholic social teaching has informed and inspired our parenting in big and small ways. I hesitated to share this because we struggle daily with living out these parts of our faith. (I'd rather tell you to go read Haley's book instead!) But what I loved most about The Grace of Enough were the practical ideas to start small in your own life. When I shared these thoughts on Instagram, many of you asked if I'd be willing to write them up - so voila! If you'd like to read Haley's book, check out the bottom of the post for … [Read more...] about justice for us: Catholic social teaching at home