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March 7, 2017

The Value of Humilty

It’s taken a long time to straighten out my understanding of humility. As a child I was taught that to say anything positive about yourself was vanity and a display of pride, one of the seven capital sins. This misunderstanding seems to have been overcorrected in recent times.

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WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

February 27, 2017

15+ FREE Resources for Lent You Will Love

Lent is a season of simple living. As the entire Church prepares for the great celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery in the Easter Triduum, Catholics make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works. Every day of the forty-day Lenten season is an opportunity to live simply and prepare for Easter.

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WBAS Seasonal Lent

February 23, 2017

Discerning Our Vocation

“O that today you would hear his voice harden not your hearts…” Psalm 95:7-8

The reminder to listen for the voice of God runs deep in the Scriptures. Such admonitions are usually partnered with the hardened heart – one closed off to the guidance and grace of God’s love. As a spiritual director, I often sit with those dealing with issues of vocation. Rather than a once-in-a-lifetime call to a career or lifestyle, however, this kind of discernment occurs over and over again as we age or as our circumstances shift. Even those with what might be considered a final vocation, such as the priesthood or religious life, must continue to listen for where God is calling them and how to best use the gifts God has bestowed upon them.

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WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections

February 22, 2017

A Printable Reflection and Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting, marks the beginning of Lent. I often marvel at how many people are drawn to services on Ash Wednesday. After all, it's not a holy day of obligation and it falls smack in the middle of the week. I once discussed this with a pastor who noted how everyone who showed up left with something, no matter their status in or outside the Church. Leaving with a smudge of black on the forehead holds deep resonance for many, many people.

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WBAS Seasonal Feast Days & Holy Days, WBAS Seasonal Lent

February 13, 2017

Family Spirituality: What Makes a Marriage?

Every morning my husband, Ron, leaves a piece of dark chocolate by my computer. I savor its bitter-sweetness in small bites throughout the day. Recently Ron went on a week-long camping trip and, before departing, he left me a chocolate bar so that I could break off my own pieces. I never did. It just wasn't the same without him.

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WBAS Topics For Families

February 7, 2017

A Valentine for God

Valentine’s Day may be two weeks away, but I don’t think it’s too soon to start reflecting on its lovely themes and associations. My affection for the holiday stretches back to childhood. Every year my mother gave each of my siblings and me a small satin-covered, heart-shaped box. It was filled with those candy hearts that taste a bit like Pepto Bismol. I was enchanted with my little box, even though it was the same one I had received the year before. For one thing, it was all mine. Inside, the little candies carried warm messages– “luv u”, “be mine”, and “yours 4ever.” I took each one to heart.

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WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer

January 25, 2017

A Catechetical Pick-Me-Up

I think I am one of the few people who like the month of January. I don’t mind snow, which is a helpful attribute for a resident of Colorado. For teachers the month is blessedly free of holiday parties and other events that cut into the day. New Year’s is past and Martin Luther King Day is a great opportunity to draw themes of justice, equality, and peace into religion classes. On a personal level, I find the month a bit of a retreat. The days are lengthening in slow motion, offering plenty of opportunities for retreating into a self-constructed cocoon of quiet.

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WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections

January 16, 2017

The Ministry and Vocation of Teaching

During a “gap year” in which I was discerning the direction to go with my studies, I served as a volunteer with Head Start. It’s there that I met Mrs. Cranmer and learned how teaching can be both a ministry and a vocation. There is no question that she was called to be a teacher. Her natural ability to talk to little children and nudge them along in their learning was a gift she was truly meant to share. Beyond excelling at the art of developing creative learning experiences, she also treated each child with love and respect. Since many of them came from impoverished homes, she was ever aware of their varying needs and ministered to them with tenderness and endless patience. As such, she built a safe haven for learning and for play. My decision to return to school to pursue a degree in education was largely influenced by Mrs. Cranmer.

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WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections

January 13, 2017

January Psalm Reflections

My mother used to wait to take the Christmas tree down once my siblings and I were back in school because she thought it would make us sad. In truth, she was the one who mourned the passing of the season. I think she needed the time alone to grieve. As a result, January was her least favorite month of the year. Many people seem to concur. With the bright activity of the holidays behind us, the month can seem long, cold, and stark.

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WBAS Topics For Families

December 28, 2016

Virtue Series: Wellness and the New Year

Long before the term “holistic medicine” came into use, Hildegard of Bingen was putting it into practice. This twelfth century figure had a resume that could rival Leonardo da Vinci. She was not only abbess of a Benedictine monastery, but also an artist, poet, playwright, biographer, preacher, and theologian. Although she never formally studied music, she wrote seventy-seven chants and is believed to have composed the first musical drama. She was also a practiced herbalist and healer. As part of her ministry to care for the sick, Hildegard proposed a moderate approach to living. “Do not lay more strain than the body can endure. Immoderate straining and abstinence bring nothing useful to the soul.”

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WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Topics Saints, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections

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