Sunday, January 31

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.

For example, today's entry, January 31:

If you've ever had corrective lenses of any type, you know how it goes. You get the glasses, or perhaps an updated prescription, and the first time you look through them, you're amazed. You knew your eyesight was a little off, but what a surprise to find out how off it actually was.Quite often, my time on this earth is marked with the same certainty that everything is just fine, that I'm seeing life with absolute clarity, and I must be on the right path because, well, it's the path I'm on. No other reason, really.



January 22. 
At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt moved to add a word of thanks. The choir, normally very good anyway, had risen to particularly stunning heights. So he thanked the musicians for their dedication. "And," he added cheerfully, "thanks to our baby choir too!"That morning, as usual, the baby and toddler voices had echoed through the cathedral as well. I don't think anyone minded, and if they did, the celebrant's words of gratitude undoubtedly gave them food for thought.

Also, last fall:

November 17, for example.

'Beauty in Simplicity'

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!

- Psalm 3:4

We regularly attend Mass at a convent of a growing order of young sisters who provide retreats, catechesis for small parishes and warm hospitality to locals who attend Mass with them. The Masses in their small chapel are careful but not fussy, simple but not plain and beautiful in a way that it is not at all self-referential or showy.

The sisters chant in Latin and English, sing polyphony and traditional hymnody, and it's gorgeous. The other day, as the glowing harmonies faded into silence, I glanced around the small congregation--there were about ten of us besides the sisters--and thought, "What a shame there aren't more here to hear them sing. They must be disappointed." But then I glanced back at their content faces and realized that of course it didn't matter. They weren't singing for us. They were praising the Lord, and that was reason enough to pour out their gifts...for him.

Creator God, I praise you today through my thoughts, actions and choices.

"amy welborn"

Recently:


One of my sons asked, "Why don't they sell these in stores?" I pointed out that these were oddly shaped, they were too big, they were too small. They were imperfect and, in a way, "weak."

As a consequence of some ill-considered decisions by a nine-year-old, I recently spent five hours in a hospital's emergency room.    More.
I have never climbed a real mountain and have no strong desire to. But I have ambled among hills, some of which might come close to being mountains and sometimes feel that way, depending on what kind of shape I'm in.  More


The webpage for Living Faith is here.

Living Faith is a print publication - available in Spanish and English - but a digital edition is available as well.

More information on the digital edition is here. 

Follow Living Faith on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, January 30

First Communion with the Pope

Perhaps you still need a First Communion gift...or would simply like to help your child understand the Eucharist.  Friendship With Jesus might be a helpful resource.

"amy welborn"

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks to Children on Their First Holy Communion.


  Friendship With Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion is based on a dialogue in St. Peter's Square that took place in 2006





Artist Ann Engelhart thought the dialogue would make a wonderful children's book and asked me to help edit it and get it published. It was first published in England by the Catholic Truth Society in 2010 and then picked up by Ignatius Press in 2011.







Friday, January 29

Stations of the Cross for Lent



Tuesday, January 26

Amy Welborn Interview

Amy Welborn's interview with the "Catholic Post" book blog.


Q.  As I wrote in my review, “If you’ve been through the loss of someone dear, Wish You Were Here will just make sense….Your’re fine, and then you’re not.  You’re overwhelmed with sadness, and then you have hope.  You cling to your faith, but you have doubts and questions and what-ifs.”  Did you realize how much you were writing for so many other people when you wrote about your own experience of grief?

A.  I didn't realize, but I hoped I was. That was the only reason to write it: to help other people.  I don't mean that to be pretentious. It's just true. I was helped by other people's writing about their own experiences - everyone from the well-known like C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed) and Kathleen Norris (Acedie) to simply bloggers sharing their own experiences of grief - that I hoped I could contribute a helpful voice to that never-ending conversation. 

Monday, January 25

Charlotte Was Both

Charlotte Was Both is the name of Amy Welborn's current blog.  It is located here. 

From the blog's "about" page:


Thanks for visiting. I've been blogging since 2001.  This is my third blog and third blog platform. (Fourth if you count the brief foray to Beliefnet for a few months in 2009. Readers just found it an unsatisfying experience, and it didn't feel like "home.") This blog is not updated daily, and it's not newsy. It's just sort of here.  We come, we go.  I do a lot of writing in various forms, and this is just one more, although it seems to be mostly photographs these days. Email is all read, and thank you for writing. Here's my other blog: Booked: A Travel Blog  Here's my webpage I'm all linky and newsy on Twitter - for the moment. I go back and forth on Twitter, but I'm there for the now: amywelborn2 I'm playing with Pinterest here.  Just got started (8/2011). Don't know how long it will last.Here's my Amazon page - with links to all my books.
amy welborn
It is not often that someone comes along who is both a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
(E. B. White, the conclusion of Charlotte's Web.)

Friday, January 22

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.

For example, today's entry - January 22. 

At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt moved to add a word of thanks. The choir, normally very good anyway, had risen to particularly stunning heights. So he thanked the musicians for their dedication. "And," he added cheerfully, "thanks to our baby choir too!"

That morning, as usual, the baby and toddler voices had echoed through the cathedral as well. I don't think anyone minded, and if they did, the celebrant's words of gratitude undoubtedly gave them food for thought.



Also, last fall:

November 17, for example.

'Beauty in Simplicity'

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!

- Psalm 3:4

We regularly attend Mass at a convent of a growing order of young sisters who provide retreats, catechesis for small parishes and warm hospitality to locals who attend Mass with them. The Masses in their small chapel are careful but not fussy, simple but not plain and beautiful in a way that it is not at all self-referential or showy.

The sisters chant in Latin and English, sing polyphony and traditional hymnody, and it's gorgeous. The other day, as the glowing harmonies faded into silence, I glanced around the small congregation--there were about ten of us besides the sisters--and thought, "What a shame there aren't more here to hear them sing. They must be disappointed." But then I glanced back at their content faces and realized that of course it didn't matter. They weren't singing for us. They were praising the Lord, and that was reason enough to pour out their gifts...for him.

Creator God, I praise you today through my thoughts, actions and choices.

"amy welborn"

Recently:


One of my sons asked, "Why don't they sell these in stores?" I pointed out that these were oddly shaped, they were too big, they were too small. They were imperfect and, in a way, "weak."

As a consequence of some ill-considered decisions by a nine-year-old, I recently spent five hours in a hospital's emergency room.    More.
I have never climbed a real mountain and have no strong desire to. But I have ambled among hills, some of which might come close to being mountains and sometimes feel that way, depending on what kind of shape I'm in.  More


The webpage for Living Faith is here.

Living Faith is a print publication - available in Spanish and English - but a digital edition is available as well.

More information on the digital edition is here. 

Follow Living Faith on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, January 18

.Ash Wednesday is February 10.

.Ash Wednesday is February 10.

If you’re on the lookout for resources for yourself, your kids or your parish or school, take a look at these. It’s not too late to order parish resources. Many of these are available in digital formats, so it’s never too late for those:
  • Reconciled to Goda daily devotional from Creative Communications for the parish.  You can buy it individually, in bulk for the parish our your group, or get a digital version. (.99)amy-welborn-3

Sunday, January 17

Amy Welborn Interview


Q.  As I wrote in my review, “If you’ve been through the loss of someone dear, Wish You Were Here will just make sense….Your’re fine, and then you’re not.  You’re overwhelmed with sadness, and then you have hope.  You cling to your faith, but you have doubts and questions and what-ifs.”  Did you realize how much you were writing for so many other people when you wrote about your own experience of grief?

A.  I didn't realize, but I hoped I was. That was the only reason to write it: to help other people.  I don't mean that to be pretentious. It's just true. I was helped by other people's writing about their own experiences - everyone from the well-known like C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed) and Kathleen Norris (Acedie) to simply bloggers sharing their own experiences of grief - that I hoped I could contribute a helpful voice to that never-ending conversation. 

Q.  I wrote down so many quotes from the book it slowed me down!  Your writing is so “quotable” and looks effortless.  Do you find writing easy, or is it a hard process for you? 

A. Thank you.  It's both.  Journaling is effortless, but shaping it is far more difficult. But I actually enjoy the editing process quite a bit.  That is when the real writing actually happens. 

Q.  Very recently, you lost your father as well.  Do you mind if I ask if this grieving is different, or if it is hard to be discussing this book when going through another loss?  

A.  It's a different experience, to be sure.  My father was older and quite ill - and had beaten a lot of odds to even get to the point that he was.  But the other thing - and this is quite important - is that Mike's death really changed me and my own stance toward death.  I have really committed myself to living what I profess in the Creed every Sunday about life, death and resurrection. 

Saturday, January 16

Amy Welborn Interview

Here is the link to both parts of the email interview conducted with the Catholic Match website. 

The story about the electrician in your epilogue gave me goose bumps. (I’ll leave it at that and urge readers to buy Wish You Were Here to get the whole story.) Have you experienced other moments of serendipity like that one, instances that seem orchestrated by the Holy Spirit?
I experienced several, and they are all in the book.
Absolutely. I do think that these hints – and sometimes more – of God’s presence are everywhere, and in the midst of an experience like a death, our spiritual senses are on high alert – I know mine were – simply because we are looking, looking, looking for one who is not there and for the reasons, and so we are more aware of them.amy 

Thursday, January 14

Amy Welborn Interview

What is your prayer routine for an average day?

My prayer routine is, like many parents, I imagine, quite closely related to my children’s lives and routines. My homeschooled son and I begin our day with prayer that is a mash-up of the day’s Mass readings and morning prayer, using either the Universalis website or Magnificat. As a family, we manage to work in a version of Compline once a week or so, but I read and pray it more often on my own. At least once a week we go to daily Mass. I pray the rosary two or three times a week, often (I admit) when exercising, and of course go to Sunday Mass and often other liturgies in area parishes, depending on the season and what’s out there: Vespers, Stations of the Cross, Benediction and Adoration and so on.
Much of my prayer life is ad hoc. I can’t walk into a room in my house without seeing a crucifix, statue or other type of religious image, so I live in continual spiritual conversation
"amy welborn"
through the dynamic between what I am doing in my life at that moment (sweeping a floor, checking math work, writing an article) and the presence of God right here and now as expressed through a crucifix, an image of the Blessed Mother, a photograph of pilgrimage site, or an icon. My work immerses me in Scripture and the writings of the saints, which inspires moments of prayer and meditation, even briefly.

How well do you achieve it, and how do you handle those moments when you don’t?

Well, I do what I do, and I know the spiritual consequences of not being consciously open to God. And nor am I under the delusion that “this is the best I can do right now.” I think there’s an honest balance to be reached between accepting the reality of our present level of intimacy with God, but also not accepting it. Shrugging and saying, “I’m just doing the best I can,” is an understandable reaction to scrupulosity, but it’s also not consistent with the traditional understanding of the spiritual life, which is oriented toward drawing closer and closer to God. I don’t beat myself over the head, but nor do I rest, self-satisfied. One shouldn’t do that in any relationship, least of all one’s relationship with God, right?

Tuesday, January 12

Stations of the Cross for Teens

  • A few years ago, I wrote a Stations of the Cross for young people calledNo Greater Love,  published by Creative Communications for the Parish. They put it out of print for a while…but now it’s back!
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  1. "amy welborn"

Monday, January 11

Bible Study for Lent


amy-welborn3
  • The Word on Fire ministry is more than the Catholicism series – as great as that is! There are also some really great lecture series/group discussion offerings.  I wrote the study guide for the series on Conversion – a good Lenten topic. 
"amy welborn"

Sunday, January 10

When is Ash Wednesday?

Lent begins on February 10

If you’re on the lookout for resources for yourself, your kids or your parish or school, take a look at these. It’s not too late to order parish resources. Many of these are available in digital formats, so it’s never too late for those:
  • Reconciled to Goda daily devotional from Creative Communications for the parish.  You can buy it individually, in bulk for the parish our your group, or get a digital version. (.99)amy-welborn-3

Friday, January 8

2016 Daily Devotional

The Catholic Woman’s Book of Days is a 365-day devotional for Catholic women. It is loosely tied to the liturgical year, is a very handy size, and features special devotions for several saints. It is not structured to be tied to any particular year. So it’s sort of perennial. And no, I don’t know about the crosses on the cover. People always ask me about them, thinking they’re mine. You can take a look inside the devotional, including several entries for January and June here.
I would like to add that the devotional entries were very carefully composed to be inclusive of all women, no matter their state in life or areas of interest.  I don't presume that all women are married, have children, single, widowed, divorced, young, elderly, employed outside the home or not, homeschoolers, are into shopping or shoes or purses, are engaged with social media, or what have you.  It wasn't an easy book to write - in fact, it was the most difficult book I've written - but I'm pleased with the outcome, and I think most readers are as well.
It is a perennial - which means that it's not a "2016" devotional. So, for example, the February 10 entry won't be Ash Wednesday-specific, but the February and March entries are generally Lent-ish.

Wednesday, January 6

Prayer for Teens

Prove It; Prayer

amy welbornSection 1 I Don’t Pray Because….
  1. …God’s In My Heart All the Time
  2. …God Already Knows Everything I Feel: I Don’t Have to Tell Him
  3. …God’s In Control: My Prayer Doesn’t Influence Him
Section II I Want to Pray, But It’s Difficult Because…
  1. …I’m Too Busy
  2. …I Don’t Know Where to Start
  3. …Meditation is Weird
  4. …I Can’t Concentrate
  5. …The Bible is Too Hard to Read
  6. …Memorized Prayers Are Meaningless
  7. …I don’t Know Whether It’s God I’m Hearing, or Just Me
Epilogue: Prayer and the Rest of Your Life

Excerpt from Prove It: Prayer.

A resource for Catholic youth ministry and Catholic catechesis of youth. 

Monday, January 4

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for Kids

The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints

 Over 40 saints' lives,written at a middle-school reading level.

  I. Saints are People Who Love Children St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Mollaamy welborn

Saints Are People Who Love Their Families St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,

 Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena

  Saints Are People Who Create St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro

  Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort

  Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio

  Saints Are People Who Travel From Home St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

  Saints Are People Who Are Strong Leaders St. Helena, St. Leo the Great, St. Wenceslaus, St. John Neumann

  Saints Are People Who Tell The Truth St. Polycarp, St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, Blessed Titus Brandsma

  Saints Are People Who Help Us Understand God St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Patrick, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Edith Stein

  Saints Are People Who Change Their Lives for God St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Katharine Drexel

  Saints Are People Who Are Brave St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, St. George, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Isaac Jogues, The Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne, St. Maximilian Kolbe

  Saints Are People Who Help the Poor and Sick St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Martin de Porres, Blessed Joseph de Veuster

  Saints Are People Who Help In Ordinary Ways St. Christopher, St. Blaise, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bernard of Montjoux

  Saints Are People Who Come From All Over the World Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Paul Miki, Blessed Peter To Rot, Blessed Maria Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta

Sunday, January 3

Teens' Questions about God

This series of apologetics works for Catholic teens and young adults encompasses the diverse questions Catholic teens have in their own hearts about faith, and those they are asked by others.

Prove It: God I Don't Believe in God Because....
amy welborn
  • ...No One Can Prove He Exists
  • ...Science Shows That the Universe Exists Without a God
  • ...People Could Have Just Made the Stuff in the Bible up
  • ...It’s So Difficult to Find Him
  • ...People Have So Many Different Ideas About Him
  • ...There are So Many Hypocrites in Churches
  • ...People Do Such Horrible Things in the Name of Religion
  • ...It’s What I Believe and I Don’t Need Anyone Else to Tell Me What to Believe!
  • ...I Want to Be Free to Be Myself
  • ...I Don’t Need Him
  • ...Innocent People Suffer

Saturday, January 2

Amy Welborn's Blog

Charlotte Was Both is the name of Amy Welborn's current blog.  It is located here. 

From the blog's "about" page:


Thanks for visiting. I've been blogging since 2001.  This is my third blog and third blog platform. (Fourth if you count the brief foray to Beliefnet for a few months in 2009. Readers just found it an unsatisfying experience, and it didn't feel like "home.") This blog is not updated daily, and it's not newsy. It's just sort of here.  We come, we go.  I do a lot of writing in various forms, and this is just one more, although it seems to be mostly photographs these days. Email is all read, and thank you for writing. Here's my other blog: Booked: A Travel Blog  Here's my webpage I'm all linky and newsy on Twitter - for the moment. I go back and forth on Twitter, but I'm there for the now: amywelborn2 I'm playing with Pinterest here.  Just got started (8/2011). Don't know how long it will last.Here's my Amazon page - with links to all my books.
amy welborn
It is not often that someone comes along who is both a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.
(E. B. White, the conclusion of Charlotte's Web.)

Friday, January 1

2016 Daily Devotional for Catholic Women

The Catholic Woman's Book of Days would be a wonderful birthday gift for any woman - mom, sister, friend. It's a 365-day devotional written for Catholic women - all Catholic women. It is loosely tied to the liturgical year, is a very handy size, and features special devotions for several saints. It is not structured to be tied to any particular year. So it’s sort of perennial.

You can find more information and ordering information here. 

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