The Cycles of Parenthood

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most.”

This quote from the movie Hope Floats has always struck a chord with me. And lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In fact, a few weeks ago, after a particularly trying and chaotic morning, I posted on Facebook: “Before kids, mornings were so much easier. But they sure weren’t as adventurous or fun.”

Learning to Live Poorer: A Meditation for Lent

The trail begins with an easy climb, along old logging roads, through a young mix of pine and oak, hickory and sweet gum. The last of the golden crowned kinglets call their see-see-see from the needled branches of the loblollies and the red buds blaze with their purple signs of spring. The season turns; tilting again toward the sun.

Lent with Mother Teresa: Seventy-Seven Times?

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”—Matthew 18:21–22

In January 1973, Mother Teresa was interviewed by Ralph Rolls on a BBC program entitled Belief and Life. Referring to the conflict in Northern Ireland, Rolls asked her to talk about what Christians needed to do to bring peace to the region. Her advice was readily reduced into one simple word: forgiveness.

Lent with Pope Francis: Seeing Those Closest to Us

A Word from Pope Francis

In our imagination, salvation must come from something great, from something majestic: only the powerful can save us, those who have strength, who have money, who have power, these people can save us. Instead, God’s plan is different. Thus, they feel disdain because they cannot understand that salvation comes only from little things, from the simplicity of the things of God. When Jesus proposes the way of salvation, he never speaks of great things, but only little things. The little thing is represented by bathing in the Jordan and by the little village of Nazareth. Disdain is a luxury that only the vain, the proud allow themselves.

Saint Joseph: A Man to Emulate

Why do we make such a big deal out of the feast of someone we know so very little about? After all, except for the story of Joseph and Mary finding Jesus in the Temple at the age of 12, Saint Joseph isn’t even mentioned outside of Matthew and Luke’s infancy narratives—and even they are not considered historical by most Scripture scholars. So, what’s the big deal?

Simply put, Saint Joseph is important because of the role he played in the lives of Jesus and Mary—and ours. Like so many saints, we don’t need a lot of data to realize the significance of his life. 

Saint Patrick: A Bite-sized Biography

Saint Patrick’s Day is good time to wear green (or get a pinch!), celebrate the coming of spring and maybe hope for a little good luck in the form of a four-leaf clover. Traditions are fun, but like any holiday, it’s important to discover why we have it in the first place.

Lent with Br. Casey: Filling a Hungry Heart

Chinese food is one of the many gifts from God on this earth. Cheap, easily accessible, usually sold in enormous quantities, and basically uniform in quality across the country, it’s the sort of food that I absolutely crave from time to time. Who doesn’t love a towering supply of fried meat and simple carbs? And yet, the very things that make Chinese food so desirable—price, quantity, convenience, greasiness/saltiness—are the very things that ultimately make it unsatisfying.

What Do Cell Phones Have to Do with Lent?

Pope Francis always challenges us. I noticed a post in a blog, or it might have been a Facebook feed, or a meme on Instagram, that said the pope is prompting us to spend as much time with the Bible as we do with our cell phones. I thought that was good advice for others, but certainly not for me.

As Lent begins, Pope Francis has been asking us to think of our Bibles, to be in them more than we are our cell phones. In his Angelus address he asked “What would happen were we to treat the Bible as we treat our mobile phone?; were we to always carry it with us? . . . were we to turn back when we forget it?”

The Secret Challenge of Lenten Giving

Every time Lent comes around, the perfectionist in me starts showing its face more than usual. I always start the season with the intention of doing more than just giving up chocolate or something simple like that, but sometimes I go a little overboard with my Lenten commitments and end up having to ease up on some of them.

I’m sure I’ll always have this impulse to aim higher than I can reasonably go, even though I’ve learned to temper my expectations and avoid getting down on myself when I fail. My perfectionism doesn’t just apply to what I do during Lent, though. It also applies to the way I do things, which in some ways is even more powerful.

As we hear during the Gospel at every Ash Wednesday, Jesus wants us to “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Instead, we are to pray, fast, and give alms without anyone noticing, so that the Lord, the only one who will notice when we do things that way, will repay us in heaven. 

Holy Quotes from Mother Teresa

The call to holiness guided Mother Teresa throughout her life. She said, “Every day I pray, please let my people grow in holiness. I need holy people to offer to God, I don’t need numbers. That urgency for holiness was what she taught me, by example, by words, by silence. It is not possible for those of us who claim to be her spiritual children to ignore the heroic promise she made to God: “I will give saints to Mother Church.”

Fr. Angelo Scolozzi, M.T.