Monday, February 25, 2008

Are you feeling lost?

I've just been alerted to the existence of an apostolate called "Catholics Come Home" that is reaching out to those who have been away from the Church for some time through a series of multi-media presentations.

I particularly liked this one ... check it out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Temporarily Closed for (Re)Construction

For the next several months (I think) I will not be posting to this blog so that I can spend time with my new "Mary" blog, which I started in honor of the Blessed Mother, in thanksgiving for my new book, "Behold Your Mother."

I invite you to come and join us here. I'd especially like it if you would get in touch with me at hsaxton(at)christianword(dot)com if you have ...

* a favorite true "Mary story"
* a question about Mary
* a favorite Mary image you'd like to share
* a favorite Marian resource, prayer, or novena (especially one associated with a particular feast day).

I look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Missteps and Mercy

These past few days a series of events have led me think about the human tendency to make mistakes that require us to extend grace and mercy to others, just as God extends that grace and mercy to us when we deliberately choose sin. The primary difference is intentionality:

The thoughtless action (or omission)

The unintended offense

The hastily spoken (and poorly chosen) word

While these things do wound and grieve other people, we tend to gloss them over with, "But that's not what I MEANT! That's not what I INTENDED!"

Nevertheless, these "slips" do contain destructive seeds, capable of wounding and alienating those we hold dear.

This week I've found myself on both sides of the banana peel. I sent an impulsive "Valentine" to a few friends, which a chance comment from my sister made me realize that it might have struck some as suggestive. I saw it as a playful romp down memory lane ... then, after the fact, realized that it might have struck some as simply ... TMI. Oops.

Yesterday was especially hard. Two people, in the span of an hour, had me in tears because what I had needed from them and what I received were so completely and unexpectedly different. (I probably could have handled one, but not both.) In the first instance, I felt additional salt rubbed into the wound when this person turned the tables and informed me that it was I, not her, who needed to apologize. (I did, but later I felt so manipulated that I just got angry.)

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive
those who trespass against us."

The thing about trespasses is ... well, you don't always realize when you've invaded someone else's space, do you? And yet the offense is no less real for this lack of intention. What a great opportunity, then, for us to show mercy and do what we can to mend that breach.

  • Sometimes, that means letting something go, for the sake of the relationship.
  • Sometimes, it means giving the other person the benefit of the doubt.
  • Sometimes, it means adjusting the nature of the relationship itself.
Lord Jesus, thank you that when you came to earth to show us the way to heaven, you never held anything back. You gave everything you had, even life itself, to remind us of the Father's mercy. Help us to imitate our Heavenly Father in a more intentional way, this day and every day. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mary ... My Mother, Too?

Years ago, as I contemplated becoming a Catholic, I had one point of difficulty that did not resolve itself immediately. It was this: Why should I pray to Mary, when I could go directly to Jesus anytime I wanted?

In time, I did come to understand the reasons Mary is so revered by the Church. I read the historical background and theological perspectives. I meditated on the writings of my brothers and sisters in faith. I pondered the Scriptures to bring the shadowy sketches of Jesus' mother into sharper focus.

But in the end, it wasn't until I became an adoptive mother that I came to appreciate the dynamics of this particular parent/child relationship ... and I write about it in my upcoming book entitled Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert (Bezalel Press). To order a copy with the special pre-pub rate, click here.