Tag Archives: sacrifice



Hail Mary, full of grace

At a Lenten overnight retreat with 65 adolescent girls.

The Lord is with thee

Yoga pants, push up bras, still trying to make sense of their bodies and their souls, clear skinned and broken complexioned, immature and seeking- all seen and heard and embraced by a higher power.

Blessed are you among women

You are precious and perfect in God’s eyes, a temple of the Holy Spirit, hope for the world.  Don’t ever underestimate what lies yet dormant within you.  You are destined for goodness and prosperity.

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus

Co-creators with God, the capacity to bring forth life both literally and figuratively.  Nurturer, dreamer, lover, sanctuary.  You have so much to give.  I wish you could see what I see when I look at you.

Holy Mary, mother of God

Look within yourself for inspiration and strength.  Look outside yourself and see your journey unfold.  Reach out and make a holy connection with all of human kind.   You are never alone in this world.

Pray for us sinners

Let Mary be your spiritual mother.  Let her life and her sacrifice inform your every decision.  You are loved and forgiven.  Again and again and again.

Now and at the hour of our death

Live like there is no tomorrow.  Take joy in this day.  Be the woman you are destined to be.  Start now.  Don’t dilly dally.  Your life is precious and you are already on the path.  Be kind.  Be in solidarity with the poor and the poor in spirit.  Be the womb that gives forth life.

Be a woman of God.



Getting my ash in gear…

Getting my ash in gear…


Yesterday’s Ash Wednesday Liturgy at Presentation High School was a beautiful thing.  Eight hundred young women in formal dress uniform exuberantly singing an old Protestant hymn, Amazing Grace.  The gym was filled to capacity- standing room only.   The homily was delivered by a woman- our own resident bible scholar, Claire Foley.  Peer ministers doused their fellow students with ashes.  A slide show highlighted one of our Sisters of Presentation, Sr. Rachel Pinal, who works as a missionary in Somotillo, Nicaragua.  The liturgy kicked off our Mission Drive month, raising money to support our Sisters of Presentation working for peace and justice in South America.

No wonder Pope Benedict is resigning.  This old church ain’t what it used to be!

However, in the faculty room over lunch one would never have known that we have progressed this far as Catholics.  People were still talking about “giving something up” for Lent.  I assumed we were a more enlightened and progressive Catholic faculty.  Is it really that simple?

During Lent, the forty days and forty nights culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are called to conversion, reconciliation, mercy, grace, self reflection and humility.  How do you get there by giving up candy?

I’m just sayin’….

But the most amusing thing for me as the Senior Class Counselor was one of my naughtiest students carefully tracing a cross of ashes on my forehead and advising me to “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.

Oh Lordy..

My life is plaid.

Remember who loves you, baby!

Remember who loves you, baby!

Does this look familiar? 

No..  It’s not the collection for the pagan babies.  That was SO yesterday.  It’s been cleaned up and repackaged in a more politically savvy wrapper.  It’s Operation Rice Bowl.

The premise is the same…

Have a simple meal or pass up the venti nonfat vanilla soy decaf latte and deposit the money you save into this little box.   Write a check at the end of Lent to Catholic Relief Services. This organization supports programs all over the world in an effort to alleviate hunger and poverty.  orb.crs.org

And while we’re on the subject..

What happened to all those pagan babies we saved in elementary school?  You know.. the ones we gave up our milk money for?  The ones we were told we could purchase for $5, have baptized, fed and housed and saved from the fires of hell, in order to fulfill our Lenten obligation of almsgiving?

The topic of pagan babies stimulated some interesting posts on Facebook:

Remember naming your pagan baby?  That was the fun part!

We nominated, voted, and named it after our teacher.. always.

Since the girls donated 5-1, it was usually always a girl.

The term “pagan baby” sounds so horrific!  We thought it was so normal in Catholic grade school in the 50’s and 60’s!

I used to give them all my birthday money!

How innocent were we?  What other things did our parents tell us that we bought hook line and sinker?  “Clean your plates because the children are starving in Biafra.” Where is Biafra anyway?  And how will we get my uneaten peas to them? 

If only we could have Googled that to see if they were telling us the truth.

Regardless of how they dished up the message (pun intended), the proof is in the pudding.   If you are reading this blog you probably have more peas on your plate than 925 million people.  There’s also a good chance that you stopped at Starbuck’s this morning and that you will enjoy a satisfying and nourishing dinner tonight.

I’m just sayin’…