Bitter Fruits

  He never complained. He seemed to have no instinct for the making much of oneself that complaining requires. ― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow I am watching my sixteen-year-old attempting to put on his backpack while carrying his lunch in one hand, breakfast smoothie in the other, a beat up pair of Converse under his arm and school papers wedged between his chin and neck. Something has to give, of course, and…

The Art of Presence

ALMIGHTY GOD, Father of mercy and God of all consolation, come to my aid and deliver me from all adversity. For I believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are under Your care, and that all things work for the good of those who love You. Take away from me fear, anxiety, and distress. Help me to face and endure my difficulties with faith, courage, and wisdom. Grant that this…

Works of Love

“If you find that you have no love but desire to have it, do the works of love and the Lord will see your desire and effort and put love in your heart.” ~ St. Ambrose of Optina Show me an article about Syrian refugees, aborted baby parts, child sex slaves, inner-city poverty, about any case of suffering and abuse, and I will weep on the spot. My heart will ache with empathy…

I am what I consume

“So how bad is it I have a really hard time paying attention in liturgy?” my 13-year-old asked as we were driving to Church a few Sundays ago. “Oh babe,” I said, “I am so right there with you. It’s hard for me to stay focused as well.” Me being notoriously absentminded (Thanks, dad, for the wireless key locator!), this admission wasn’t so much shocking to her as it was comforting, because…