Sunday, March 31

Catholic Confirmation Gift




Prove It: Jesus

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of 
 

Prove It: Jesus by Amy Welborn


I've Always Wondered...
What Are the Basic Facts About Jesus?


If you’re like a lot of young people I’ve known, there are a couple of aspects to this Jesus story that drive you absolutely batty.
Actually, it’s not what’s said, but what’s unsaid.
*What did Jesus look like?
And…
*What in the world was he doing up until his public ministry?
That last question has a lot of subheadings, by the way. What was Jesus like as a child? What were his teen years like? Did Jesus ever fall in love? Did he ever have conflicts with Mary and Joseph? Did he like to have fun with his friends, or did he just sit around all day building stuff and studying the Scriptures?
(Oh yeah – about that studying stuff. If Jesus was fully God, would he have had to study and learn at all? But doesn’t the Bible say that “Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man?” (Luke 2:52). How does all that fit together? I know, I know – but you’ll just have to wait until Section II for that knotty discussion).
In fact, some kids even get irritated at the Gospel writers for not including that kind of information.
“Didn’t they know that we’d be interested in that stuff?” they wonder.
The fact is – no. They didn’t.
Remember what a Gospel is. It’s not a modern biography, reflecting modern interests in the everyday details of a person’s life. If it were a biography, that’s exactly what we’d call it.
But we don’t. We call it a Gospel – a written account of the Good News of God become human in Jesus of Nazareth. The evangelists were interested in conveying the information that was most pertinent to that cause, not just heaping all kinds of detail that really didn’t relate. Not that they didn’t know more about Jesus than they wrote, mind you. Listen to what John says at the end of his gospel:

There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written. (John 21: 25)
So this is what it all comes down to: the evangelists were doing some very focused work as they listened to the stories about Jesus that had been passed down by reliable sources. They were focused because, from a very practical standpoint, their physical resources were limited: they couldn't just run down to the office supply store to pick up another ream of paper to accommodate all that they knew about Jesus. For that very practical reason, they had to make choices about what was most important to communicate.
But there was also a theological reason for the evangelists’ selectivity.
Think about the times you’ve had to relate a story – perhaps you had to tell your parents about a rather unpleasant occurrence at school, one that you wished had never occurred, but did nonetheless, right in the middle of English class, right in front of the very surprised teacher who had no idea you felt so strongly about Geoffrey Chaucer, one way or the other.
How do you tell the story of what happened? Even if you’re committed to an absolutely honest retelling, you know that you wouldn’t have the time to go over every little detail of the scene, nor would you be able to go into an extensive account of even your own, admittedly murky motivation for saying what you said.
Just like the Gospel writers, you’re limited. They didn’t have a lot of papyrus to spare, and your Mom’s face tells you don’t have much time to waste in explaining this mess. The Gospel writers had a very specific purpose – to give the world the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, and your purpose, while much different, is very focused and precise, too – to tell the truth about your actions, with a minimum of fallout.
That’s all just a very long way of saying this: the Gospel writers, as much as we might wish they were, simply weren’t interested in what they saw as marginally important details about Jesus’ childhood and appearance. In other words, they didn’t care. They cared about the essence of what Jesus was all about: the loving, forgiving, saving Presence of God among us who’d preached, healed, died, and risen. So perhaps we should take it as a hint: if that’s what they were interested in, that’s what we should be up to exploring as well!




Back to main Prove It page

Saturday, March 30

Gift for a new Catholic

The Words We Pray by Amy Welborn is a collection of short essays that reflect on the meaning of traditional Catholic prayers, tying together history, theology, spirituality, and personal devotion.

Read more about it here.
The monks raised their voices in hope at the end of each phrase, and then paused a great pause in between, letting the hope rise and then settle back into their hearts. My own heart rushed, unbidden by me, uncontrolled, right into those pauses and joined the prayer. A prayer written by a eleventh-century bedridden brother, chanted by monks in the middle of Georgia, and joined by me and the silent folk scattered in the pews around me, each with his or her own reasons to beg the Virgin for her prayers.
And we weren’t the only ones joined in that prayer. With us was a great throng of other Christians who had prayed it over the centuries, and who are praying it at this very moment.
My days as a prayer snob were over.

It would be a great resource for inquirers into the Catholic faith.  

Friday, March 29

Friday Stations of the Cross


In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide invites readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross—from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

"michael Dubruiel"

Thursday, March 28

First Communion Gift Ideas

Be Saints! by Amy Welborn is available from Ignatius Press

Pope Benedict tells children that if we grow in our friendship with God then we will find true happiness and become saints. In this beautifully illustrated book, popular author Amy Welborn introduces Pope Benedict's simple yet profound message to children, given during talks to children his recent visit to England.

In this very colorful book by acclaimed artist Ann Englehart, the Pope's words come to life as he interacts with the children, showing all children how only God can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Interspersed are prayers and quotes from various saints including Saint Francis, Saint Ignatius, Mother Teresa, St. Paul, St. Peter and more. They all emphasize that the most important thing we can become in this life is a Saint, a true friend of Jesus.

"amy welborn"

"amy welborn"

Wednesday, March 27

Prove it Church by Amy Welborn


Is Prove It Church by Amy Welborn required for your Catholic school theology class?

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

Prove It: Churchamy welborn

  1. What Church Do You Go To?
  2. Why Isn’t Your Church a ‘Bible Only’ Church?
  3. Why Don’t You Read the Bible Literally?
  4. Why Aren’t Some of Your Beliefs in the Bible?
  5. Why Doesn’t Your Church Let You Interpret Scripture?
  6. Why Has Your Church Added Books to the Bible?
  7. Why Were You Baptized as a Baby?
  8. Why Aren’t You Saved?
  9. Why Does Your Church Say You’re Saved by Works, Not by Faith?
  10. Why Do You Pray to Saints?
  11. Why Do You Honor Mary So Much?
  12. Why Does Your Church Have Statues?
  13. Why Do you Believe That the Pope is Infallible?
  14. Why Do You Confess to a Priest?
  15. Why Do You Call Priests, “Father?”
  16. Why Do You Believe In Purgatory?

A resource for teen catechesis and Catholic youth ministry

Monday, March 25

Feast of the Annunciation - March 25



How about a free e-book about Mary?



My book Mary and the Christian Life by Amy Welborn, has been out of print for a couple of years, so I am offering a .pdf file of the text at no cost to anyone interested.

Go to this page and click on the link to download!



Amy Welborn

Sunday, March 24

Easter Gift Ideas for Kids

The Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories by Amy Welborn is now available.

Written by popular Catholic children’s author Amy Welborn, this beautifully illustrated collection of Bible stories for kids and their families is uniquely arranged according to where the stories fall in the liturgical year and when they are proclaimed at Mass. Divided into five sections—Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter Season, and Ordinary Time—each section is subdivided into Old and New Testament stories. From “the Fall” to St. Paul, from the Exodus of the Israelites to the Ascension of Jesus, Loyola Kids Book of Bible Storiesnurtures family and individual reading of the Bible at home, while familiarity with these stories will help children connect far more meaningfully with the liturgy.


Saturday, March 23

Easter Gift for a new Catholic

The Words We Pray by Amy Welborn is a collection of short essays that reflect on the meaning of traditional Catholic prayers, tying together history, theology, spirituality, and personal devotion.

Read more about it here.
The monks raised their voices in hope at the end of each phrase, and then paused a great pause in between, letting the hope rise and then settle back into their hearts. My own heart rushed, unbidden by me, uncontrolled, right into those pauses and joined the prayer. A prayer written by a eleventh-century bedridden brother, chanted by monks in the middle of Georgia, and joined by me and the silent folk scattered in the pews around me, each with his or her own reasons to beg the Virgin for her prayers.
And we weren’t the only ones joined in that prayer. With us was a great throng of other Christians who had prayed it over the centuries, and who are praying it at this very moment.
My days as a prayer snob were over.

It would be a great resource for inquirers into the Catholic faith.  

Friday, March 22

Friday Stations of the Cross


Many people like to pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent. Most parishes offer the devotion in a group setting, but you can always just pray them on your own - you don't even have to be in church to do so. 

John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross by Amy Welborn and Michael Dubruiel published by Ave Maria Press.  (The illustrations are by Michael O’Brien)

  • A few years ago, I wrote a Stations of the Cross for young people called  No Greater Love,  published by Creative Communications for the Parish. They put it out of print for a while…but now it’s back!
amy-welborn4

Thursday, March 21

Easter Gift Ideas

The Loyola Kids Book of Heroes by Amy Welborn

 More saints' lives, organized according to the virtues they expressed through their lives.

I. Faith
"amy welborn"
  1. Introduction: Jesus is Born
  2. John the Baptist: A Hero Prepares the Way
  3. Early Christian Martyrs: Heroes are Faithful Friends
  4. Medieval Mystery Plays: Heroes Make the Bible Come to Life
  5. St. Albert the Great: Heroes Study God’s Creation
  6. Sister Blandina Segale: Heroes Work in Faith
II. Hope
  1. Introduction: Jesus Teaches
  2. Pentecost: Heroes on Fire with Hope
  3. Paul: A Hero Changes and Finds Hope
  4. St. Patrick and St. Columba: Heroes Bring Hope into Darkness
  5. St. Jane de Chantal: Heroes Hope through Loss
  6. St. Mary Faustina Kowalska: A Hero Finds Hope in Mercy
Charity
  1. Introduction: Jesus Works Miracles
  2. Peter and John: Heroes are Known by their Love
  3. St. Genevieve: A City is Saved by a Hero’s Charity
  4. St. Meinrad and St. Edmund Campion: Heroes love their Enemies
  5. Venerable Pierre Toussaint: A Hero Lives a Life of Charity
  6. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop: A Hero Cares for Those Who Need it Most
  7. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: A Hero Lives Charity with the Dying
Temperance
  1. Introduction: Jesus Strikes a Balance
  2. Peter and Cornelius: Heroes Love Their Neighbors
  3. Charlemagne and Alcuin: Heroes Use their Talents for Good
  4. St. Francis: A Hero Appreciates Creation
  5. Venerable Matt Talbot: Heroes Can Let Go
  6. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: A Hero Enjoys the Gift of Life
Prudence
  1. Introduction: Jesus Gives Us Leaders to Help us Make Good Choices
  2. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra: Heroes See the Good in All Things
  3. St. Jean de Brebeuf: A Hero Respects Others
  4. Catherine Doherty and Jean Vanier: Heroes Bring New Ideas
  5. Venerable Solanus Casey: A Hero Accepts His Life
  6. Blessed John XXIII: A Hero Finds a New Way

Wednesday, March 20

Catholic Confirmation Gift




Prove It: Jesus

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of 
 

Prove It: Jesus by Amy Welborn


I've Always Wondered...
What Are the Basic Facts About Jesus?


If you’re like a lot of young people I’ve known, there are a couple of aspects to this Jesus story that drive you absolutely batty.
Actually, it’s not what’s said, but what’s unsaid.
*What did Jesus look like?
And…
*What in the world was he doing up until his public ministry?
That last question has a lot of subheadings, by the way. What was Jesus like as a child? What were his teen years like? Did Jesus ever fall in love? Did he ever have conflicts with Mary and Joseph? Did he like to have fun with his friends, or did he just sit around all day building stuff and studying the Scriptures?
(Oh yeah – about that studying stuff. If Jesus was fully God, would he have had to study and learn at all? But doesn’t the Bible say that “Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man?” (Luke 2:52). How does all that fit together? I know, I know – but you’ll just have to wait until Section II for that knotty discussion).
In fact, some kids even get irritated at the Gospel writers for not including that kind of information.
“Didn’t they know that we’d be interested in that stuff?” they wonder.
The fact is – no. They didn’t.
Remember what a Gospel is. It’s not a modern biography, reflecting modern interests in the everyday details of a person’s life. If it were a biography, that’s exactly what we’d call it.
But we don’t. We call it a Gospel – a written account of the Good News of God become human in Jesus of Nazareth. The evangelists were interested in conveying the information that was most pertinent to that cause, not just heaping all kinds of detail that really didn’t relate. Not that they didn’t know more about Jesus than they wrote, mind you. Listen to what John says at the end of his gospel:

There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written. (John 21: 25)
So this is what it all comes down to: the evangelists were doing some very focused work as they listened to the stories about Jesus that had been passed down by reliable sources. They were focused because, from a very practical standpoint, their physical resources were limited: they couldn't just run down to the office supply store to pick up another ream of paper to accommodate all that they knew about Jesus. For that very practical reason, they had to make choices about what was most important to communicate.
But there was also a theological reason for the evangelists’ selectivity.
Think about the times you’ve had to relate a story – perhaps you had to tell your parents about a rather unpleasant occurrence at school, one that you wished had never occurred, but did nonetheless, right in the middle of English class, right in front of the very surprised teacher who had no idea you felt so strongly about Geoffrey Chaucer, one way or the other.
How do you tell the story of what happened? Even if you’re committed to an absolutely honest retelling, you know that you wouldn’t have the time to go over every little detail of the scene, nor would you be able to go into an extensive account of even your own, admittedly murky motivation for saying what you said.
Just like the Gospel writers, you’re limited. They didn’t have a lot of papyrus to spare, and your Mom’s face tells you don’t have much time to waste in explaining this mess. The Gospel writers had a very specific purpose – to give the world the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, and your purpose, while much different, is very focused and precise, too – to tell the truth about your actions, with a minimum of fallout.
That’s all just a very long way of saying this: the Gospel writers, as much as we might wish they were, simply weren’t interested in what they saw as marginally important details about Jesus’ childhood and appearance. In other words, they didn’t care. They cared about the essence of what Jesus was all about: the loving, forgiving, saving Presence of God among us who’d preached, healed, died, and risen. So perhaps we should take it as a hint: if that’s what they were interested in, that’s what we should be up to exploring as well!




Back to main Prove It page

Tuesday, March 19

Easter Gift for Children


Pope Benedict tells children that if we grow in our friendship with God then we will find true happiness and become saints. In this beautifully illustrated book, popular author Amy Welborn introduces Pope Benedict's simple yet profound message to children, given during talks to children his recent visit to England.

Be Saints by Amy Welborn
In this very colorful book by acclaimed artist Ann Englehart, the Pope's words come to life as he interacts with the children, showing all children how only God can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Interspersed are prayers and quotes from various saints including Saint Francis, Saint Ignatius, Mother Teresa, St. Paul, St. Peter and more. They all emphasize that the most important thing we can become in this life is a Saint, a true friend of Jesus.

"amy welborn"

"amy welborn"

Saturday, March 16

ST. Patrick's Day

How do you teach a classroom that's as big as a whole country? How do you teach a whole country about God?
St. Patrick's classroom was the whole country of Ireland and his lesson was the good news of Jesus Christ. How in the world did he do it? Well, it was only possible because he depended totally on God.
....
God gave Patrick the courage to speak, even when Patrick was in danger of being hurt by pagan priests who didn't want to lose their power over the people.
Patrick's most famous prayer shows us how close he was to God. It's called “St. Patrick's Breastplate.” A breastplate is the piece of armor that protects a soldier's heart from harm.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.


  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

Friday, March 15

Friday Stations of the Cross

 Many parishes and school pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent. If you would like a version specifically written for teens, take a look at this version by Amy Welborn. 
  • 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!
amy-welborn4

Thursday, March 14

RCIA Resources



The Words We Pray by Amy Welborn is a collection of short essays that reflect on the meaning of traditional Catholic prayers, tying together history, theology, spirituality, and personal devotion.

Read more about it here.
The monks raised their voices in hope at the end of each phrase, and then paused a great pause in between, letting the hope rise and then settle back into their hearts. My own heart rushed, unbidden by me, uncontrolled, right into those pauses and joined the prayer. A prayer written by a eleventh-century bedridden brother, chanted by monks in the middle of Georgia, and joined by me and the silent folk scattered in the pews around me, each with his or her own reasons to beg the Virgin for her prayers.
And we weren’t the only ones joined in that prayer. With us was a great throng of other Christians who had prayed it over the centuries, and who are praying it at this very moment.
My days as a prayer snob were over.

It would be a great resource for inquirers into the Catholic faith. R

Wednesday, March 13

Prove It Church by Amy Welborn


Is Prove It Church required for your Catholic school theology class?

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



Prove It: Churchamy welborn

  1. What Church Do You Go To?
  2. Why Isn’t Your Church a ‘Bible Only’ Church?
  3. Why Don’t You Read the Bible Literally?
  4. Why Aren’t Some of Your Beliefs in the Bible?
  5. Why Doesn’t Your Church Let You Interpret Scripture?
  6. Why Has Your Church Added Books to the Bible?
  7. Why Were You Baptized as a Baby?
  8. Why Aren’t You Saved?
  9. Why Does Your Church Say You’re Saved by Works, Not by Faith?
  10. Why Do You Pray to Saints?
  11. Why Do You Honor Mary So Much?
  12. Why Does Your Church Have Statues?
  13. Why Do you Believe That the Pope is Infallible?
  14. Why Do You Confess to a Priest?
  15. Why Do You Call Priests, “Father?”
  16. Why Do You Believe In Purgatory?

A resource for teen catechesis and Catholic youth ministry

Sunday, March 10

First Sunday of Lent 2019

The beginning of the account of the Temptation in the Desert - always the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent - from The Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories by Amy Welborn



Remember, those stories are arranged in sections according to the liturgical season in which one would normally hear that particular Scripture narrative. So, this is in the "Lent" section


Saturday, March 9

Frances of Rome - March 9






St. Frances of Rome is remembered today, March 9. She's in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints. by Amy Welborn  















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 Molla
  Amy WelbornSaints 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

Buy this at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods
Barnes and Noble


Friday, March 8

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

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

For example, today - March 8:


It's the first Friday of Lent, and here am I, giving up things, fasting and abstaining, just the way I should. Good for me. But here am I also on the same day, standing in the kitchen, irritated and letting the irritation affect others, scoring a point, determined to emerge the victor.



MORE




 January 13:

The people were filled with expectation...

- Luke 3:15

That's us. We're those people still, filled with expectation there on the riverbank. When I go to Mass, that's what I sense. Even as I focus on the Lord and his presence at that moment, I can't help but glance around me from time to time, wondering and thankful. Look at all of us gathered here: so different, on journeys varied and winding, but journeys that brought each of us to this same place.


MORE



 December 28:

These days after celebrating the Nativity can be sobering and even, to some, a little strange. What is this? We take two steps past a celebration of joy, peace and light only to encounter martyrs and slaughtered innocents--why? 


MORE




December 5:

Those dry patches within are like little death valleys. But everything about these weeks promises something different. For a strange man stalks that desert. He has water. He eyes us boldly, speaks to us directly and announces that there is one who is to come who will bring life, even here to this dry, impossible place.




 December 4:

I took a look at the creche myself and then sat in a pew for a while, just watching. People waited patiently in line to view the nativity, but then they stayed and craned their necks to study the ceiling, gazed at the stained glass windows, pondered the furnishings.


October 17:


My parents and grandparents left behind boxes and boxes of letters and photographs. They left record albums and books. I wonder sometimes about my generation and, even more so, those that follow. Most of our communication is digital and exists only as a series of 0s and 1s. So it is with our music, our photographs and even our books.

I might not be leaving behind as much physical material, but is that even important?


October 2

There's nothing unusual there--it's part of the early vocabulary of most toddlers, isn't it? But what strikes me is that he doesn't just say it when something "bad" happens. Any time there is any transition, it's what comes out: "Uh-oh!" It's cute, but I wonder, do I react the same way to potential or real change? Do I reflexively react with hesitation or even outright fear, or do I react with confidence that, with the help of God's power and love, I can move forward?




September 18:

Once a week, I volunteer in an after-school reading program. The children arrive at the parish following a day in a struggling school in a struggling neighborhood. The early readers may have a few words they are sure about, but when they hit an unfamiliar word, their reaction is always the same--their eyes move from the letters and start darting about the page. There must be a hint. They're looking for a sign.




 September 4:

But there is someone, and the psalmist guides me to him. The God who created me out of love knows me. I listen as he teaches, I understand as my heart opens to his wisdom. In the stillness, he sketches the flaws, he captures the truth, and I see.




For example, May 31:

To see Mary is no distraction. For when I welcome her, something else happens too; like Elizabeth, I welcome the Christ she bears. In greeting her, I offer God praise, as her cousin does, for it is God who has done this, graciously entering creation in this ordinary, extraordinary way.



 April 27

Vowed religious life, the bishop said, is also a radical sign of grace and mercy. He said that the heart of a religious is bound in love to "the poor Christ, the chaste Christ, the obedient Christ."

 April 22:


We've been in the present place for a couple of years now. When I bought it, I proclaimed, "This is it. No more!" But even though I said I wasn't looking, I still looked. Just to see, of course. Just to see.
Then one day I was moved--by grace--to make a decision. Stop looking and pretending you're not. Stop feeding dissatisfaction in this earthly home. Accept where you are, now. It's enough.
And there it was. In standing still, I was free.



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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.

Thursday, March 7

Perpetua and Felicity - March 7

They are in the section of The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints by Amy Welborn called:
"amy welborn"
The last couple of pages:





"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"

Wednesday, March 6

Ash Wednesday - March 6



Amy Welborn


Matthew 26-28: Jesus' life-giving death by Amy Welborn offers a close look at the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Matthew's Gospel. 

It is a part of Loyola Press' Six Weeks With the Bible series, which provides individuals or groups plans for concise but thorough 90-minute sessions to learn about and discuss the pertinent Scriptural passages.  General guides for how to effectively lead an adult education session are also included.  The series is available in paperback and also in Kindle versions. 

Monday, March 4

Praying with the Pivotal Players

Praying with the Pivotal Players is the most recent video and study series from Bishop Robert Barron.

Amy Welborn wrote the prayer  book accompanying the series:  Praying with the Pivotal Players. 
Each figure gets five segments. Each segment begins with a quote from their writings, even Michelangelo who left many letters and wrote poetry. This is followed up with some reflections and then some prayer and reflection prompts. The sections are thematically aligned with whatever is emphasized in the episodes. I wrote the book last fall, and really enjoyed the process. It gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in the writings of these figures and I learned quite a bit. The table of contents is on the website. 
The book is included as part of the parish program packet, but judging from what I see on Amazon, you should be able to purchase it by itself eventually.


"pivotal players"

Sunday, March 3

March 3- St. Katharine Drexel

Today is her memorial - March 3. You and your children can read about her in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints by Amy Welborn:

"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"

saints




  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

Saturday, March 2

Lent Daily Devotional

If you’re on the lookout for resources for yourself, your kids or your parish or school, take a look at these by Amy Welborn. 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:
So, yes. March 6. If you’re prepping for a parish or school, check out my Lenten devotional from Liguori, also available in Spanish.
daybreaks-lent
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