Playing with Empty Hands: Christy’s Story

When she would shoot, it was always a swoosh. When she dribbled, it was between the legs and around the back. And when it was a no-look pass, it was the slickest alley-oop you’d ever seen. Or in this case imagined. At 34 years old and a whopping 4 foot 6, she was our determined Down Syndrome winner of hearts and the star of every imaginary game she had ever played in our family room back home.

I Don’t Want to be Popular

I had no idea what to say when I was first called “Jesus Freak.” So I ended up saying, “Wow, okay.” I shrunk because I didn’t think anyone would ever call me that, at least not to my face. And then I went home and cried. I didn’t know how to respond. I took it terribly.

Confessions of a (Reformed) Catholic Hipster

I loved (and still love) being Catholic. I loved belonging to my parish, to my youth group, to the choir, and to the picnic committee. I wanted to be involved in anything that allowed me to express my faith. However, I now realize that sometimes my zeal for my faith made me act like I was part of an exclusive club — not the Body of Christ on earth, commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

When Children Save Their Parents

I got rocked at Mass this morning while celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. For the first time, God revealed to me that Jesus died on the cross for His Mother. I thought Mary never sinned. Why would she need her Son Jesus to save her? Let me explain. “The most Blessed Virgin Mary […]

In Name Only?: When Your Catholic School Isn’t Very Catholic

“All-school Mass today? Sweet, that means no math class first period!”“Pro-Life March? You mean three days off school and a trip to D.C.!”“Would anyone like to say a prayer to start class?” *crickets*Man . . . do any Catholics even go to this school?!I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and I’m not gonna lie: sometimes, I wondered. It often felt like we were Catholic in name only – and even then, it’s not like we wrote it boldly across our t-shirts.

How to Survive A Summer Job

When I returned to my hometown on the beach after my first year of college, I took a summer job waitressing at a restaurant that was popular with the folks on vacation. I was in a different world. Instead of classes and meetings my time was ruled by the breakfast, lunch and dinner shift and my mood could rise and fall depending on how well my table understood the principle of tipping on 15% of the total check.

No, I’m Not Making the Sign of the Cross!

If you’ve ever been afraid to make the sign of the cross in public, you’re not alone. A lot of us Catholics have done that. Sometimes we make the sign of the cross really quickly, so that people won’t notice. We might even pretend to be swatting a fly or scratching our fore head to begin making the sign as we say grace before lunch in the cafeteria or in a crowded restaurant.

Type Nice: Digital Evangelization

If you're on any type of social media and have an opinion about anything, you've probably experienced this. You type, 'Wendys fries are so much better than McDonald's' as a status update. You walk away from your computer and return to find World War III has broken out on your wall, with friends declaring their allegiances.

10 Ways to Share Your Faith

What's your New Year's resolution? Are you going to study more? Eat your vegetables? Finally watch all those episodes of Honey Boo Boo clogging up the DVR?

How about a resolution to proclaim your faith a little more?

You know, proclaim. To state publicly, to announce, to shout from the rooftops. In his letter on the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI writes that,

'The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one's faith fearlessly to every person.'

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Standing Up For Truth: It’s Worth It

However, I've heard so many people attack what they think the Catholic Church is saying about homosexuality and gay marriage that I want to clear things up a bit.

Don’t Sit So Close to Me

One of the things I hate about flying is the discomfort and awkwardness of sitting very close to a stranger for 4 or more hours (the typical length of one of my flights).

I'm an introvert, but I'm not anti-social. I like talking, but I hate small talk … which is what plane conversations often are. (For me, at least)

It's my luck to always get stuck next to: the creepy, flirty man, the smoker or perfume over-doser who gives me a headache, chatty Cathy who ignores the book in my lap, and many others who have left me with the opinion that I'd rather sit alone.

It’s My Body: How to Respond to the Pro-Choice Argument

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who said that a woman has a right to have an abortion because it's her body? This is one of the most common ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏdefenses' of the pro-choice position; so more than likely, you've heard it.

It’s hard to respond to. Here are some ways you can talk about this argument.

Exit Row Evangelization

I love traveling, especially by air. Since the time I was old enough to travel alone, I've rarely said ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏno' to a chance to get on a plane.