Weakness, strength and the “end of self”

Have you read the comments to my post about finding strength in weakness? If not, you must. They’re so good. How good? Thanks to reading all the responses to that post, I think I might actually be groping my way towards understanding how you can be strong in Christ, even when you’re physically weak. One of the things that came into sharp relief for me last week was just how much I associate strength with action. Even when it comes to letting God work through us, I assumed that that pretty much always meant doing something: speaking just... Read More

The secret of discernment

St. Francis at San Damiano I’ve been thinking about the topic of discernment again lately (longtime readers know that this is a big area of fascination for me). How do I know what God wants me to do in this or that situation? If I have a bunch of good options in front of me, which one do I choose? This is the sort of thing I ponder when I’m loading the dishwasher. Of all the stacks of books I’ve read on this subject, one vignette keeps coming to mind: the famous story of St. Francis of Assisi receiving the message from God in the... Read More

It’s easy to love people far away

Earlier this week, I had a falling out with a relative. We haven’t spoken since. I’ve been praying about this (though my prayers are admittedly along the lines of “DID YOU SEE THAT?! I am NOT going to apologize. I did not do ANYTHING wrong…”), and I keep getting this nagging feeling that I’m supposed to do something here, and it’s not whine about it more to my husband. As much as it galls me to admit it, I think I’m called to humble myself and re-initiate conversation, even though some pretty bizarre/rude/untrue... Read More

Knock, knock. Who’s there? A clue.

My post from Friday about St. Frances of Rome was supposed to be up on Thursday. After a fun but completely mentally and physically exhausting day, Thursday afternoon I put the kids down for their naps and flopped into my desk chair for my daily quiet time. It was like a taste of heaven itself to sink into the comfy chair and experience the placid silence of the house. All the cares of the day melted away as I opened up a new document to share yet another way in which God has worked in my life. As usual, the practice of putting the words together,... Read More

Anxiety is easier

Last week St. Francis de Sales and some bad programming at Google Maps led me to one of the biggest realizations I’ve had this year: that anxiety = not trusting God. For a long time I knew that stress about certain individual matters was due to a prideful insistence that I had the best plan for how this or that situation needed to turn out. But it has been quite stunning to realize that every single time I am anxious, it is due to a lack of trust in God. So, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been trying to work on this by making a conscious... Read More