What I’m learning about choice and gratitude from not skipping songs on my iPod

Blossoms on trees: the kind of thing I've begun to notice now that I'm not fixating on song choices when I'm running.

One of my Lenten sacrifices is not skipping songs on my iPod. I can choose the playlist, but if a song does not fit my mood, I can’t skip it. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, part of my inspiration was this 2009 post from Betty Duffy. The excerpt that has stuck with me all these years is this: I set [the iPod] on “shuffle” and skip song after song that appears on the screen. “No. Not that. Can’t tolerate this one right now. Does not match my mood.” Music must serve me by sustaining desired feelings or changing... Read More

Notes from beneath the veil

I wore a chapel veil to church for the first time ever yesterday. It’s something I’d wanted to/felt called to do for years, and I finally committed to doing it during Lent. I didn’t make it to Mass last week because, you know, snakes on a plane, so this Sunday’s Mass was my first shot at it. My biggest concern was not drawing attention to myself. Though a few women at my parish do wear scarves, hats, or veils in church, they’re a small minority, and I didn’t want to feel like I stood out. So when we arrived I... Read More

“Pass over to renewal” – A Holy Week message

Blessed Holy Week! I won’t be hosting 7 Quick Takes this Friday in honor of Good Friday, but I look forward to seeing you all again next week. Also, you know what’s great? Cardinal Timothy Dolan. You know what’s even better? Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivering a powerful Holy Week message in less than a minute and a half. Less than a minute and a half! You have no excuse not to watch this. UPDATE: Ohmygosh. The next video that auto-plays is titled Pregnant Kourtney Kardashian Defends Hair Change. Let me just note that a) I cannot... Read More

Tell me about your plans for Lent!

What are your plans for Lent? (If you’re not familiar with this season, which starts Wednesday, Marcel Lejeune has the answers to all your questions here.) I know that some people don’t like discussing this publicly, since it can sometimes degenerate into a one-upsmanship contest in which the final commenter triumphs with her announcement that she shall retire to a cave and read Scripture 23 hours a day and eat nothing but beetles and wild grass while wearing a hair shirt throughout the entirety of Lent, but I ask only in the spirit... Read More

Recommended reading for Lent

Ash Wednesday is just around the corner (March 9), so I wanted to share my suggestions for great Lenten reads, and get your suggestions as well. Also, based on some emails I’ve been getting with questions about Lent, I wanted to say: If you’re considering observing Lent but aren’t familiar with it, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and do so! If you’re not sure where to start, just give up some small thing that you like (e.g. listening to the radio on the way to work, sugar in your coffee, a certain TV show, etc.) and... Read More

Status in the sight of God

I went to confession tonight; well, I tried, anyway. It was one of those big pre-Easter sessions where there were hundreds of people and about a dozen priests. By the time I got in one of the lines there were at least 30 people in front of me, and after waiting a while I decided to go home and try again tomorrow. But as I was waiting I looked around the building and noticed something interesting. Since it wasn’t a Mass and took place at the end of the day, most people were in their regular street clothes, which made the cultural and socio-economic... Read More

And to dust you shall return

We had a great time on Fat Tuesday. To do some feasting before the start of our first Lent as Catholics, my husband and I went to the the Darwins‘ house. When I first arrived I felt the wind pick up and looked to see some threatening clouds on the horizon, so I hurried to get inside before the rain started. We watched the Super Tuesday election results and talked some smack about politics with our friends as we enjoyed good food, good company and good wine in the warm glow of their home. In the midst of our merrymaking the window screens would... Read More