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May 9, 2017

A Memorial Day Reflection

When my husband and I set off on a cross-country trip four years ago, we knew we would visit numerous historical sites. We did not think so many of them would include graveyards.

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WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer

April 12, 2017

Earth Day and the Joy of God’s Creation

“Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.” Saint Pope John Paul II

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WBAS Topics Prayer

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 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 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

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

December 14, 2016

8 Printable Catholic Christmas Prayers

The Catholic Christmas season begins on December 25th and ends in January on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Son of God, God with us, true God and true man, Emmanuel, who was born long ago in Bethlehem and is still among us today. Download Catholic Christmas prayers to celebrate this joyous season with students, children, and families!

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WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer

December 5, 2016

Advent Joy; Lighting the Pink Candle on the Advent Wreath

This Sunday we light the odd candle on the Advent wreath. Long before pink became a symbol of breast cancer awareness, it took prominence in the third week of Advent as a sign of joy. “Guadete” (meaning “rejoice”) Sunday marks the halfway point on our Advent journey. Paul’s letter to the Philippians encapsulates the joy that marks our faith in God’s eternal love and mercy. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

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WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Topics Prayer

December 1, 2016

Virtues Series: Prudence and the Problem of Christmas Excess

I still remember the Christmas we gave our children bogus plush toys. The craze at that time was for stuffed bears emblazoned with rainbows, shamrocks, and other colorful symbols. Their retail price, however, was simply beyond our budget. As a substitute I bought two small bears at a discount store and sowed decals on their stomachs.

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WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Prayer of the Week, WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

November 23, 2016

The Season of Advent

My favorite season of the year is approaching. Setting out familiar symbols puts me in the mood for a time of joyous expectation. Advent is about to begin.

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WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer

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