Many Paths, One Destination: Holiness

This week, a dear friend posted a beautiful family selfie of herself, her husband, and their precious four kiddos. The sweet caption described a fun day in their family homeschool – they’d travelled on pilgrimage to the countryside, visiting the Painted Churches (if you’re ever in Central Texas, be sure to visit them – they’re gorgeous!) to close out this Year of Mercy. It was obvious to see that she had shared the photo in a moment of pure joy, relishing the role of homeschooling mom and mother of many. It was lovely, truly it was.

So why did I break down sobbing when I saw it? Continue reading

7 Quick Takes – Making the Transition to Work from Maternity Leave [vol. 18]

 

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I’ve officially been back at work now for 3 weeks after having a glorious nine week maternity leave. Since I’ve made this transition four times now (I wasn’t working hen I had my eldest), I’ve come to realize there are several key components that help make this change easier. They have worked for me, and I’m sharing them in hopes they might help you too!

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 Ask for help. Do you have a friend or family member that offered to bring you a meal when the baby was born? Or who said, “Let me know if you need anything?” Don’t deny them the opportunity to be Christ to you. Instead, call or text and ask them to bring you a meal or invite them over for some laundry fun that first week you’ll be back at work. Transition is never easy, and you can use the extra support. Truly, people who want to help will help, they just often don’t know what would be the most helpful for YOU. So, instead of smiling and nodding and insisting that your fine, ask them to step up. And DON’T feel guilty about it. You’d happily help them out if the roles were reversed, right? RIGHT.

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Digging Our Vocations

When I was growing up, CBS Sunday Morning was just as much a part of, well, Sunday Morning, as was attending Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s. Our routine consisted of Daddy frying bacon and eggs, mama nursing the most recent baby sibling, and CBS Sunday Morning on in the background. I’ve always loved the program, with its focus on art and entertainment, but also for its features on quirky people, places, occupations, and cultural traditions. The producers and reporters tell the stories well, and most of them are as uplifting as they are fascinating.

As a grown up, my own family rarely has the TV on when Sunday morning rolls around. We typically go to an early Mass followed by CCE, so the program is long over by the time we make it home. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve watched it in the past five years. Sadly, it’s faded from my Sundays. This morning, though, we slept a little late and decided to go to a later Mass today. Since I’m out of the habit of watching, it was 8:45am by the time I remembered it was airing. For fun and nostalgia, I flipped on the tube to watch the last 15 minutes. I was not disappointed.

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Keep Calm and Pray On

“All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Something to ponder and keep close to heart as we approach this election, and the clamoring din rises to a crescendo on social media, on tv, and elsewhere. Remember that everyone, even those in the comboxes online and those holding protest signs, are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Remember that there is no such thing as evil men, only men who do evil things.  Everyone is a child of God, regardless of their sin. Everyone deserves compassion and mercy, by virtue of their inherent dignity as a person. We are called to

Cast your vote well – not out of fear, but for the candidate you feel is the best person for the job. Explore third parties. Vote your conscience, but don’t yell at others for voting theirs. You alone are responsible for your own actions. And, as St. Pio once said – “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

God is still in control. We are still His.

How We’re Piecing Together the Ideal Religious Formation for Our Children

This is a great overview approach to religious formation for parents who have kids in secular schools and/or who work outside the home, as well. For our family, we do most of the below. We also try to live the liturgical year as much as possible, incorporating cuisine and prayers that pertain to feast days. We also celebrate our kids’ feast days as if they were birthday celebrations.

Overheard at the Edwards'...

aaronchurch My son, visiting Jesus.

I am a pastoral minister by profession. I have a degree in Theology, and I’m enraptured with all things related to Catholic doctrine and spirituality. At heart, I’m an evangelist, and therefore, my children’s formation is exceedingly important to me. I want them to know the faith, but more importantly, I want them to be disciples of Jesus Christ. I don’t want them to become a statistic.

I’m not going to sugar coat things. For the past 40+ years, the Catholic Church in America has been following a religious education model that is not as effective as it once was. The culture has shifted right out from under the feet of pastoral ministers working diligently to pass on the faith. Further, as Sherry Weddell says in her book, Forming Intentional Disciples, a majority of Catholics in our country have been sacramentalized, but not effectively evangelized.

The…

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