The Silence of Love

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When I was in college, I had friends that began dating their freshman year. I remember passing them in the hallway between classes our junior year. They were right in the middle of the hallway, just staring into each other’s eyes. I stopped to talk to a friend, and then passed by this couple again five minutes later to get to class.  They were still staring into each other’s eyes, not saying a word. It was so striking to me that I remember it a dozen years later. At that time, it made me feel uncomfortable to think of staring another person in the eyes so close for that long, but perhaps it’s because I had never been in love yet.

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God Desires Intimacy

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Every month, my parish hosts a night of adoration with music, benediction, and confessions in the Church. They also offer pizza beforehand and free babysitting during (Parishes! Take note!), so it’s an offer that’s hard to refuse. After my husband and I dropped off the kids in the nursery, we went to pray in the Church. During adoration, there was a long period of silence in which I had a vision that was extremely vivid and spoke to me profoundly. 

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The Most Loving Thing For My Family

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A question I often ask myself when discerning big life decisions is, “What is the most loving thing for my family?” Over the last few years, sometimes the answer has been a part time job here or there to bring in money. Other times the answer has been to stay home and focus on raising our kids. Sometimes the most loving thing is to support my husband’s dreams, and sometimes it’s advocating for something important to me or the kids. Asking what the most loving thing is has even led us to homeschooling this year, and to transitioning my husband’s business to be home more often.

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Timeout Time

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I turned 23 not too long ago. My life is just beginning, in a lot of ways. I’m not married (yet) and I don’t have children (yet). I am in a wonderful, incredible relationship, though, and of course that sets me to thinking about the future. Who I want to be as a wife, as a mother: it’s a clean slate. I haven’t made any mistakes in those fields yet. And I’ll be honest, that really scares me sometimes. 

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Legacy of tears

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Celebrity deaths. Where we mourn people we never actually met, and reflect over their lives as if they were long lost cousins. I would argue that very few celebrities have had as monumental an impact on our society as Hugh Hefner. Much like the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, Hefner left a mark on our world that won’t be easily erased.

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School of the Home

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"Back to School!" How that phrase used to fill me with dread when I was a child. I have to say [as a parent] the thought of the children returning to the daily/weekly routine of school timetables and repetition is somewhat of a relief after 6 weeks of a fair degree of disorder and random activity [depending on the weather] around the home. For all of that though, I shall miss something of the "school of the home" atmosphere we have all enjoyed as a family since mid July.

Classroom and home, hearth and assembly hall have got to be synergised in the cherishment of Christian values and faith if the family/school; parent/teacher partnership is to bear the rich fruit it is called to bring forth in grace. For that, there really has to be fresh standards of mutual appreciation and support but especially I feel, for the sacred space that is the Christian home.

I was reflecting on this over the last few days as I was immersed in [of all things] the painting of our humble garden shed. A somewhat mundane task but one which we all enjoyed contributing to [though I had the lion's share] as a family. What's this got to do with my point above? Well, some years ago I addressed an international conference at the University of Torun in Poland on the dignity and purpose of the family. In my talk I reminded the audience of the unique phrase to this island nation of ours; "An Englishman's home is his castle." 

It was established as common law by the lawyer and politician Sir Edward Coke (pronounced Cook), in The Institutes of the Laws of England, 1628:

"For a man's house is his castle, et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium [and each man's home is his safest refuge]."

This enshrined into law the popular belief at the time, expressed in print by several authors in the late 16th century. It was even used as an argument to say that outlawed English Catholics still enjoyed the protection of this maxim, at least culturally if not always technically. The Stage of Popish Toyes: containing both tragicall and comicall partes, by Henri Estienne wrote in 1581:

'The English papists owe it to the Queen that "your house is your Castle."'

The English have had a passion for the sovereignty of hearth and home for more than a millennia. The English have the widest variety of chimneys in the world as well as more garden sheds than anywhere else. (Which is why I felt obliged to smarten our's up!)

Seriously though, if the home is meant to be sacred then the family, and the wishes and conscientiously held beliefs of that family [consonant with Gospel values and Catholic teaching] who reside in that home ought to be fully respected and served by all sectors of society and ecclesiastical life. The former grows less and less but the latter [especially the parish and school] must be something the Catholic family can depend upon; if not then something is very drastically wrong. There is no need for me to enunciate the many and diverse risks facing the family. The message of the 2008 World Day of Peace puts it succinctly;

'Consequently, whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace.

So as a new academic year begins I pray the Holy Spirit will pour afresh on parents, teachers, clergy, and catechists a new and deep sense of mutual respect, Christ-like love and dependence upon the Lord to fulfil their shared task of passing on the Faith.

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When Your Spouse Doesn’t Share Your Faith

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My husband and I are both practicing Catholics. But out of all the couples I’ve had go through CatholicMarriagePrep.com, I’m guessing close to half of them are Catholics marrying a person of another faith, usually a protestant denomination. But even for those who are Catholics marrying another Catholic, often times one is stronger in their faith than the other. And so for the sake of good, holy, happy marriages, I want to talk about what you can do when your spouse doesn’t share your faith. Here are 4 things to keep in mind:

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