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August 27, 2017

Catholic Virtues Series: Caring for God’s Creation

“Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

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

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 16, 2016

Closing the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog about the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It included an explanation of the opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican and in basilicas around the world. Now those great doors are about to close. We have reached the end of the jubilee but certainly not the conclusion of our efforts to be merciful. If anything, we should be more steeped in what it means to be dedicated followers of Christ, whose mercy knows no bounds.

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WBAS Topics For Families, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

October 25, 2016

Catholic Virtues Series: Prayer for Integrity

My fascination with Abraham Lincoln started at a young age. I pulled a hefty tome about his assassination off my parent’s bookshelf while in fourth grade and immediately immersed myself in the story. Now I am engaged in another lengthy account, this time about Lincoln’s remarkable talent in working with an array of disparate personalities and over-inflated egos. His integrity while working with a “team of rivals” was, as author Doris Kearnes Goodwin notes, one of his greatest strengths. Since synonyms for integrity include honor and truthfulness, the moniker “Honest Abe” fit him perfectly.

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WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

September 20, 2016

Returning to the Virtue of Modesty

Pope Francis has served for over three years now and we still are still getting used to his humble demeanor and actions. I can still picture him riding back to his hotel on the bus, garbed in his brand new papal vestments. He lives in modest fashion, drives around in a small car, and eschews the trappings that come with being in a position of power and authority. All of this could be dismissed by a cynic as a facade, but Pope Francis continues to exemplify modesty in the way he speaks about his own sinfulness and nudges the followers of Jesus along a similar path. Pope Francis is truly a wonderful example of how to live modestly.

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WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

August 23, 2016

Catholic Virtues Series: Uncovering Virtue

Much as I love the season of fall, I am going to miss my mornings on the front porch. I start most summer days there, reading from a book of reflections and writing in my journal. The birds have gotten quieter in recent days. Their babies have exited the nest so perhaps they, like me, can take it a little easier. Every once in a while a hummingbird flits into my space but, lacking anything of interest, flies off again. The soft rustling of the trees and the absence of extraneous noises makes my morning contemplation all the sweeter.

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WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

August 4, 2016

Cultivating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“What if this year we were to let the Holy Spirit turn us into people of overflowing fullness?” Brother Roger of Taizé

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WBAS Topics For Families, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

July 14, 2016

Gifts of the Holy Spirit– Understanding

Of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, understanding seems to be the most multi-leveled. It brings to mind a Russian nesting doll in which each one opens into another and another until we reach the smallest and yet most central place. The outermost shell is wrapped around the level of comprehension – those wonderful ah-ha moments in which the light dawns and the problem at hand suddenly becomes clear. As a teacher, I remember the delight in a student’s face when she finally tackled a mathematical concept or deciphered the words on the page. It was an enlightened moment for me as well.

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WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

May 31, 2016

Spiritual Practices: Keeping a Gratitude Journal

“What a grueling two days it’s been… Can I even give thanks for the pain and struggle?”

Even now, almost twenty years after writing those words, the difficulty of that time comes back to me. It felt as if everything was crashing down around me, leaving me exhausted, fearful, and uncertain of who I was and what I was doing. To this day, I credit my gratitude journal for saving my life.

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WBAS Topics For Families, WBAS Topics Virtues & Values

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