I Never Want to Be a Priest.

Once I told them I was going home for a break, the next question that usually followed was “what is your major?” I always get varying responses when I tell someone I studied Theology, but on these plane rides in college, there was one response that was pretty common.

“What do you want to do with your degree in Theology? Do you want to be a priest? Why can’t you be a priest?”

Jesus Was a Feminist: Catholicism and Gender Equality

An ideal feminism incorporates the virtue of humility. It’s saying we all have something valuable to offer whether male or female but neither of us have everything, therefore we respect our differences and build each up. We need each other (Genesis 1:26-28). Gender equality is a universal partnership of brothers and sisters.

Everyday Evangelization: Locker-bays and Catacombs

The word “evangelization” reminds me of a time I was ambushed in a parking lot. One summer afternoon I was sitting in the parking lot of Starbucks with my windows rolled down, ready to pull out. I had my iced coffee, I buckled my seatbelt, turned on my country music, glanced in my rearview mirror […]

Why I Tell My Sins to a Person: In Defense of Confession

Every couple of weeks I solemnly walk into a small room where another person is sitting. It kinda feels like a closet, kinda looks like the smallest grandmotherly-parlor-sitting-room you’ve ever seen (complete with appropriate seating and decoration).

We sit there, me and this other person, and have a nice little conversation that consists of me telling them all the things I’ve done wrong recently. It’s a varied, and unexciting list that doesn’t change nearly as often as I change the tone of voice I use to disguise myself. (Don’t judge me. You know you’ve done it too.)

Finding Jesus Through Mary: The Power of the Rosary

When I was in 5th grade, Beth gave me a packet of Catholic magazines that she had when she was a teenager. I responded oh-so-enthusiastically by shoving them in my closet and forgetting about them. Though I believed in God, I had rarely applied that belief to my daily tasks.

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.

Be Still My Heart… God is Here

God hid His glory under the appearance of bread and wine so that every week, or even every day, His grace could pulse through your veins. His grace would be in every beat of your heart, bring energy to your body, and healing to your hurts.

I Killed Jesus.

I think it’s easy to read the Bible like it’s a history book. Moses parted the sea, Jesus died on a cross, Columbus sailed across the ocean. I know it’s more than an account of historic events but I often struggle to see how it applies to my life. “They” (that collective, scholarly, holy group […]

Yes, I’m Single. And Yes, I Celebrate Valentine’s Day.

As I got older, I think it was around 6th grade, when I started really anticipating Valentine’s Day. Why? Maybe because it was the first time I had a huge crush on a guy. I still remember the feeling, the butterflies in my stomach when I saw him… Of course this boy didn’t know I existed… (surprise, surprise). But I would close my eyes and imagine that he was my valentine and I was his. Gross I know, right? Anyway, needless to say I didn’t receive any Valentine’s that year from any boys, except the ones from my daddy and little brothers.

Every year I found myself somewhat disappointed in my Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a boyfriend or any guy in a position to be my Valentine. But I guess I always thought well maybe this Valentine’s Day will be different. Maybe i’ll have a secret admirer, or a boyfriend (yeah right), etc…

A Family as Crazy as Mine

Everyone knows the Christmas story and expects to hear it at Mass. You’d have to try really hard to live in America and not know the basics of the Christmas narrative.

But instead of hearing about shepherds scared by angels and a divine baby dressed in swaddling clothes, we hear the genealogy of Jesus all the way from Abraham down to Joseph (Mary’s husband, not the Old Testament Technicolor Dreamcoat guy). This probably leaves more than a few people wondering if maybe the priest messed up and is reading from the wrong book.

Jesus Wasn’t Born on Christmas?

I’ll never forget when I learned Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th. It shocked me. I felt cheated … like somehow my adolescent life had just lost some of its innocence. Thank God, I thought, Santa was still real … that would have really shattered my holiday season.

The Cross of Christmas

As it is with the Christian life, if we want to see clearly … as God sees … we have to look at the 'big picture' of salvation. If we want to understand Jesus' death, for instance, we need to begin with His birth and when we do, we will undoubtedly learn something very interesting . . . that He was born to die.

If you want to get technical, that 'pieta' moment first occurred not on Calvary, but in Bethlehem. The manger's wood was a foreshadowing; it is the 'cross' of Christmas. There is far more going on at Jesus' birth than many of us realize upon first glance.

Jesus Had Nasty Morning Breath

“Blasphemy!” you say. Or, “I’m pretty sure that’s wrong” (if you tend to be more polite). How could I possibly say such a thing? It’s simple. Because Jesus Christ was a human being. Jesus was sinless. Jesus is divine. True and true. Jesus was also fully human. Of course, His total divinity and total humanity […]

He Keeps Me Safe

All I’ve ever wanted out of my relationships is to feel safe.

I’m always worried that I’ll make someone so angry that they won’t want to have anything to do with me. I want to know that I’m worth someone’s time and effort; that they’ll stick around when things get rough.

But people always fall short. We’re imperfect and broken and there’s no escaping that. Show me someone who’s got it together all the time and I’ll show you someone who’s wearing a mask. People are unpredictable and it’s scary.

Thank You God: Being the Grateful Leper

We walk into confession as spiritual lepers, wounded and scarred by sin. In the case of mortal sin, we’re even spiritual outcasts of heaven, living outside of the state of grace. But we walk out of Confession as people brought back to life and made new.

If we were to truly recognize what God is doing in us, our reaction would be one of wonder and awe followed by humble gratitude.

What Will He Say?: God’s First Word

What would you ask Him? If you had a chance to ask God one question, what would it be? When I was little, I imagined heaven as some eternal question and answer session where we would sit around asking God those impossibly difficult questions that our older siblings couldn't answer.

God the Teenager

In the Bible it says that Jesus is like us in all things, except sin. So, Jesus would have sweat, would have bathed . . . sometimes. Jesus certainly would have played with His cousins and friends, would have bled if He fell and skinned His knee. Jesus would have loved each person He met in a way that would have made them feel so special.

Beauty in Weakness

As I prayed on the way to meet my friends, I thought about this blog that I had been tossing around in my head and the beauty of weakness (something that always sounds way better in theory than in reality) and I decided embrace my weakness instead of hide. So I shared my heart, along with some tears, and was met me with compassion.

On Bended Knee: Why Jesus’ Name is Important

I love it when people use my name. 'Nice to meet you Christina.' 'Thanks Christina.' 'Christina, where are my shoes? Give them back.'

There’s something so affirming and personal about it. My name represents me – who I am. When someone says my name, I know I’m not just another face passing by. I matter.

Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling

The man in my life is Jesus. On a scale of 12 to 89 He weighs in at about a million. Some girls and Tumblr accounts, I'm not naming names here, think Mr. R. Gosling is the epitome of the male gender.

Just look at this face. But wait another 200 words before you agree because I'm about to do a Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling throwdown.