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Why being Catholic is like being a panda

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Jesus at McDonald's

Some of  you may remember that Dark-haired Daughter experienced a great deal of trauma about 5 years ago. She still suffers from PTSD occasionally, and is reluctant to go just about anywhere by herself.

We moved in January, from a very rural area to an urban/suburban area. We also moved from a house to an apartment. It's taken her awhile to get used to all this, and frankly, she's still pretty skittish. However, about a month ago, on a spring day that  Mother Nature teases us with every once in awhile here in Michigan, she decided to walk to McDonald's by herself. It's less than a block away.

"I'll call you when I get there, and then call you when I'm leaving, okay?" she said. (She was going to go, get a soda, and come home.)

"OK," I said, in my best nonchalant mom voice, quaking inside. This was a HUGE step for her.

Twenty minutes later, the apartment door opened, and she walked in, drink in hand. "I didn't even need to call you; …

Are your spiritual needs not being met?

I'm reading a book right now called "Everyone Leads: How to revitalize the Catholic Church." It's written by a business guy who has suggestions about how to get folks who are in the Church excited about the Faith, and bring more folks in.

I can't say I agree with all of his thoughts, but he does have a few ideas worth pondering. However, at one point, he talks about the reasons people give for leaving the Church. One of the leading answers is, "My spiritual needs were not being met."

My eyes rolled so hard my head sounded like a slot machine.

First, (and maybe you are aware of this, so forgive me) the Church does not exist for you. Yes, Jesus loves you. He died for you. He has made Himself present in all the sacraments for you. But get over yourself. There are a billion Catholics in the world. At any given time, someone is gonna feel like their "needs are not being met."

You know how when we were growing up, Mom made one meal for dinner? You …

Easter With A Heavy Heart

We are not supposed to be  a little, hmmm, bummed on Easter, are we? Nope, we are supposed to greet Easter morning with and "Alleluia" ringing on our lips, sharing the Easter candy and belting out those joyful hymns. Good Friday is now a distant memory, and we boldly proclaim, with St. John Paul II: "We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song!"

But I'm a little sad today.

The terrifying incidents of Palm Sunday, as ISIS attacked our brothers and sisters, hangs like a pall over this Easter. How can one celebrate while burying a child?

None of my kids, save the one who lives with us, joined us today. That seemed so "thin" to me. I also saw many of my friends today with all their kids and grandkids, and yeah: I was jealous. I wonder if that will ever be for me.

I'm also missing my mom - still. So many things this week - Tigers baseball, the Triduum, visiting my niece and her family - just made me wish I could turn to Mom and say what was on …

5 Things To Do When Holy Week Isn't The Least Bit Holy

About 15 years ago, our home experienced what Dear Husband and I refer to as the "Black Easter." All five kids had a stomach bug, which meant every sheet, towel and blanket was put into rotation. Just as one kid seemed to be on the upswing, another would fall. The first kid would spike a fever again.

Holy Saturday night found me in the ER with Dark-Haired Daughter, who was dehydrated. We drove home in a torrential thunder and lightening show. We never even made it to Mass on Easter.

Right now, it's Tuesday of Holy Week. Maybe your kids are sick. Maybe you are. Maybe you don't have enough money for the Easter Bunny to visit. Maybe you're depressed, and making it out of bed means you're having a good day.

What do you do when Holy Week takes a decidedly unholy turn?


Pray the Stations of the Cross. Nope, don't go to church. Just find a nice reflection online or in one of your prayer books. It takes about 30 minutes to pray.Ask for help. Yeah, I know this is g…

The Formula for Raising Perfect, Good-Looking, Faithful, Virtuous, Happy, Talented Kids

There is no formula.

Sorry. It's 9:30 a.m. and I've already had "5 Things Successful Parents Do" and "Are You Raising A Drug-Addict?" pop up on my Facebook feed. Don't you think if there WAS a formula we humans would have it in place by now?

Parenting is tough stuff. And every kid is different. Every parent is different. Heck, I'm a different parent to each of my kids. And the world keeps changing, so what worked for Gen X won't work for Millennials or whatever we happen to label this current batch of toddlers.

Most of us stumble along fairly well. We are horrified, of course, that first time our mother's voice comes out of our mouth, but hey, we turned out ok, right? Sure, Mom and Dad didn't know we snuck out almost every night our sophomore year of high school, or that our freshman year at college involved a ridiculous amount of cheap beer. We are now responsible adults in charge of raising the next generation of responsible adults.

E…