Good morning, ~

Last week I was talking to my spiritual director about protecting myself as I continue to strive to grow closer to God. She sent me the prayer below in the mail (like old-school snail mail and I loved it!).

Spiritual warfare is no joke. We might not recognize it when it happens because the symptoms can be explained away as just being part of every day life – feelings of lonliness, anger, confussion; sickness or repeated injuries; distracted from prayer or Mass; or even being alienated from those around you.

I don’t know how to tell the difference, but I do want protection. So alongside the prayer to St. Michael, this is now part of my morning routine:

Put on the Armor of God

The Helmet of Salvation
Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in Your kingdom.

The Breastplate of Righteousness
And yes, Lord, I wear Your righteousness today against all
condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity—defend me from all assaults against my heart.

The Belt of Truth
Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and
integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose thelies that I am not even aware that I believe.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where You are working and lead me to it. Do not let me become slack in my walk.

The Shield of Faith
Jesus, I lift the confidence that You are good against every lie and every assault of the enemy. You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because You are with me.

The Sword of the Spirit
Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the snares of the enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day.

Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything—in all prayer as my spirit communes with You throughout the day.

Love and prayers,

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Hi ~

The other day I noticed I was holding back in my prayer. I was neither expressing everything I was feeling and experiencing, nor asking for everything I needed or wanted. 

(Even typing this, the word “wanted” feels really heavy.)

I was “cleaning up” my life before coming to God in prayer, much like I do on Facebook. I wanted to appear generous, sensible, put-together, and “good”. 

Did I think I was going to fool Him? Or was it just habit because, you know, Social Media? Or was it because I didn’t think I was worthy? Or perhaps I thought I was bothering God with trivial things?

Each of these probably contributed a bit in their own way, but upon reflection, I also thought that if I were to ask for and recieve a gift from God – a literal answer to my prayer – that there would be an obligation that came with it, as if His gift would come with strings attached.

And because I didn’t want to deal with strings, I didn’t want Him to put me outside my comfort zone, I’d rather not have a prayer answered.

As we say here in South Dakota… Uffda.

So I’ve written myself a note in my prayer journal to explore “obligation” in the coming days and see what God is trying to tell me. I’ve learned over these last couple of months of expanding my prayer time that when I find resistance, that’s probably where I need to dig deeper. 

Love and prayers

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Good morning ~

A few days ago my daughter was talking about the upcoming debate season, and how she didn’t want to debate against anyone from a school that has a repuation for really great debators. I told her that I think she has it backwards – that we need tough competition so we can really test our own mettle.

This conversation came to mind when I was reading in the Catechism about the human virtues. Section 1804 states:

“The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts;”

We get better at them as we practice, and in turn are rewarded with “… ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life.”

We practice what might be hard, but we get better and better until we become masters.

How boring would it be if everything were easy? Where is the adrenaline of the challenge, and the joy of triumph?

Have you ever thought about how you have grown as a person, and celebrated the development of your virtues? And I don’t mean in a cocky, proud way, but in a way to acknowledge how far you’ve come in your faith journey as to give yourself some encouragement that you can do hard things.

Big changes can come over very long periods of time – so long that you might not even notice it.  While I know I have a long way to go, I’ve come a long way from where I’ve been. 

I can do hard things (given enough time and tough life lessons), and by the grace of God I continue to work on sharpening my human virtues every day. It might feel like it’s as slow as a little stream polishing a stone, but there is change in my heart.

Love and prayers,

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This last weekend we ended up at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in White Bear Lake, MN when we went to Minnesota to visit family. I love going to Mass at different parishes whenever we’re out of town.

For weeks and weeks – or it could even be months by now (I’ve lost track) – I’ve been praying for direction, and praying that I could actually hear God when He speaks to me – because sometimes I feel like His subtlety is lost on me.

This weekend at this particular church, after I had spent so much time asking for answers, Father said in his homily “whatever you do, do it with great love.”

And it struck me like a ton of bricks. The phrase echoed in my brain and tears welled up in my eyes.

“Do it with great love”. 

Whatever you do, do it with great love, and your actions become a constant prayer. That’s how we can pray constantly all day, every day – by acting with love.

Love & Prayers,

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Would you mind praying for lukewarm and lost souls today?

I’m feeling a bit on edge. And I can’t shake it. I know fear is not of the Lord, and I’m turning to prayer for solace.

A friend of one of my children has lost faith. I recognize that we all go through different seasons in our life, and that questioning one’s faith can actually be a call to dig deaper into the questions that arise.

But it still scares me.

It scares me because I fear for this child’s soul (because in my mind anyone under 30 is child I need to look out for). It scares me because of the influence they might have over my own child. 

All this fear is of unknown – not knowing what role I fill, unsure about what to say/do. 

What do we know? We know God is Love. We know he sent us His Son. He gave us the sacraments.

What can I do? I can pray, I can ask for prayers, I can see this as an opportunity to grow closer to my own child as we talk through what’s going on.

So now I’m tampering my fear with 1) What I know, and 2) What I can do, and leave the rest to God. 

This also reminds me to start another Divine Mercy Novena.

Thank you for your prayers!


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Good morning  ~

I wanted to send you this prayer that someone had shared with me. I hope you find it to be a good start to your day today (or tomorrow, or the next day…)


I give you all that I am this day.
Please brush away my weariness,
So that I may be inspired in my work.
Help me to discover new ways to reveal your love to all I meet.
Keep my mind clear and focused on all I need to achieve,
And give me the wisdom to overcome difficulties and find solutions.
I look to you and trust you are with me this day.


Love & prayers,

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I don’t know if you ever have the same experience, but it seems over the last few months that I keep recognizing Catholic teaching everywhere – even in the most unexpected places and from people who aren’t even Catholic.

One of the biggest is the dignity of life. I was loosly watching Netflix’s documentary on Bill Gates while folding laundry and a phrase caught my ear that made me put down the towel I was folding and rewind it.

Bill Gates was discussing the massive projects that the Gates Foundation was tackling – namely eradicating Polio and stopping the hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths caused by diarrhea.

The billions of dollars they’ve spent on these projects? To that he says the outcomes totally worth it because there is nothing more precious than a human life. 

When I was digging around looking to educate myself on Catholic Social Teachings, in every document I found,  “Dignity of the Human Person” (or some iteration of that) was always first on the list.

If you’re curious about the list, here it is from the Minnesota Catholic Conference:

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s Creatures.

I’ve never claimed to be the best chatichised Catholic on the planet, and as of 24 hours ago I didn’t even know that there were 7 themes of Catholic social teaching.  But now my curiosity is piqued and and can’t wait to learn more, and hopefully challenge myself out of my comfort zone. 

I hope you’ll join me 🙂

Love to all,

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The phrase “Lead me Lord” has been going through my head for days.

And not just the phrase, but the hymn as well:

Lead me Lord, Lead me Lord by the light of truth, to seek and to find the narrow way. Be my way, be my truth, be my light my Lord, and lead me Lord, today.

It seems I put my head down and get busy with the “doing” in life that I forget to look up and see where I’m going. 

And I guess that’s why Jesus is our Shepherd. The sheep are free to keep their heads down and graze while He watches out for our well-being. 

“But am I doing this right?” It’s the curse of the former teacher-pleasing A-student… I’m always looking to an authority figure for affirmation.

So my question is, when I ask the Lord to lead me, and I don’t understand or hear his answer, how do I know I’m headed in the right direction.

I have no answer here, except to say that I’ve been working really hard on listening. Or I should say LEARNING to listen. 

So now as I’m catching myself humming “Lead me Lord”, I’m switching to a prayer of “teach me to listen”. 

I hope I’m a quick study.

Love to all,

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In Luke 10:27 we are told “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

“Heart”, “being”, “strength” and “mind” cover a lot of bases. What is left to NOT love God with?

Nothing. We are to hold nothing back from Him. 

Even if we think we have nothing, we still have the breath coming out of our lungs. We are to use that breath to love God. 

And yet, this still does not hold a candle to the perfect love He has for us. 

You are loved. You are cherished. 

Love to all,

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Yesterday while waiting in line at the bank, I overheard one woman ask another about her faith life, starting with “If you died today, do you know where you would go?”

That question made me uncomfortable for a few different reasons – and it wasn’t even directed at me.

But clearly this woman was much better at a few Spiritual Works of Mercy than I am. She started conversations with no less than 3 different people while I was waiting, and in each of them she was trying to bring the message of Christ our Savior to her listeners.

With that in mind, I went home and looked up the Spiritual Works of Mercy (because I certainly can’t name them all from memory). 

Being the introverted Midwesterner that I am, I can say with certainty that the first 3 give me anxiety because they involve putting myself in front of someone who may not want to hear what I have to say, and saying it anyway. 

The long and short of it is – take a look at the list below. What opportunities do you have in the next 72 hours to perform 4 of these 7?

To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To admonish the sinners.
To bear patiently those who wrong us.
To forgive offenses.
To comfort the afflicted.
To pray for the living and the dead.

The point of these Works is to alleviate others’ spiritual suffering, not to metion how they please God as you become a means of spreading grace.

Love to all,

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