9 posts

Pivot Into The Arms of God (Or the Easy Way to Still Experience God’s Love and Mercy this Lenten Season)

We stand at the advent of Passiontide–that often forgotten, but intense time that occurs just prior to the beginning of Holy Week. In some churches, all the statues and crucifixes are covered, and the absence of these signs make our worship space seem even more barren and forsaken. But that’s actually the point. Passiontide is about stripping away anything, even good things like a crucifix, that might prevent us from being open to entering into the darkness and hopelessness and abandonment of the Way of the Cross. And the Way of the Cross is becoming more apparent with each passing […]

Being Christian Is Not For the Faint of Heart

Recently I wrote an article for the One Voice, my diocesan newspaper, about Curtis Martin’s latest book, Making Missionary Disciples: How to Live the Method Modeled by the Master. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Curtis, he is the founder and chief executive officer of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) which began two decades ago in  January, 1998 as a pilot program at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, with two staff members and twenty-four students. Through God’s grace, FOCUS is now on more than one hundred fifty campuses with over 700 missionaries and supporting staff. Primarily […]

Why Can’t We Just Stick To Our Lenten Resolutions?

We are now a week into the Lenten season, I am frequently hearing from those around me, “I just can’t seem to stick to my Lenten resolutions.” I can easily identify with this frustration since I have often struggled with this issue myself in the past, but I wasn’t quite sure exactly why that was. My insight about this began to come about as I read an article entitled, “Why is it So Hard to Stick to Good Habits?” by James Clear, author of the book, Atomic Habits. In this article, he talks about how we tend to want to do life-changing things, but we […]

Setting Aside Our False Idols

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent is always the story of Jesus going out into the desert for 40 days and being tempted by Satan. Saint John Chrysostom tells us that Jesus never said, or did, anything that was not for our instruction, and the temptations in the desert are no exception. Because in the wilderness, Jesus experiences the very temptations that each one of us faces each and every day–the temptation to make idols out of pleasure, honor, or power. So why did Jesus go into the desert and allow Himself to be tempted? So that we, […]

Oh, No! I Ate Meat On A Friday Of Lent!

Oh, No! I Ate Meat On A Friday of Lent! So did I just ruin my entire Lent? In a word, no. No, your Lent has not been ruined. In fact, I would contend that you have actually been given an opportunity to have an even MORE grace-filled Lent than if you hadn’t eaten meat on a Friday. How so? Will get back to this in a moment. First though, we need to do an interior check on whether we actually forgot about not eating meat on a Friday of Lent, or whether we intentionally chose to “forget.” If your […]

Immediate and Delayed Gratification for Lent and Beyond

Was reading an article today entitled “The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It.” by James Clear, author of the book, Atomic Habits. Why am I highlighting an article concerned primarily with behavioral psychology and stress management? Because yesterday marked the beginning of the season of Lent for most of the Christian world. (I say most because my fellow Orthodox do not begin Lent for another week. But I digress…) So what does Lent have to do with stress? Well, the image above might give you a clue. Lent is FULL of things that we […]

We Are All Missionary Disciples

For those who may be unfamiliar, missionary discipleship is a term made popular by Pope Francis, especially in his encyclical, Evangelium Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In paragraph 120 of his encyclical, Pope Francis writes: “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary  disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church, or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization.” What this means is that each and every one of us—EVERY baptized man and woman, regardless of whether you have any position in the Church, and regardless […]

3 Keys to Opening the Door to a Grace-Filled Lent

Lent is a clarion call to change. It is our opportunity to reject self-satisfaction, and the idea that we are already “good enough” or “not that bad,” and do battle against our triteness, shallowness, and dullness – – all signs of indifferent hearts and minds.  We can resist our indifference and lukewarmness and CHOOSE to “turn away from sin and live out the Gospel” by embracing the 3 classic practices of Lent—prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  But as we develop our Lenten “plan” and make resolutions regarding these 3 pillars of the spiritual life, bear in mind that Lent should be about […]

FB LIVE EVENT! 4 Ways to Have a Grace-Filled Lent on Thursday, February 28, 7:30pm

Christina’s next FB Live Event will be focused upon 4 ways that will help you prepare to have a grace-filled Lenten season. Join us LIVE on Facebook on Thursday, February 28th at 7:30pm. To participate in this LIVE event, simply go to the Say Yes to Holiness Facebook page on Thursday, February 28th at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!