Spirituality of the Ordinary Blog

Some Notes on Fasting (Or Why Doing "Something Extra" for Lent is Not Enough)

The conversation starts as Ash Wednesday approaches: “What are you giving up for Lent?” Over the years I’ve heard people respond, “I’m not giving anything up this year. I’m doing something extra.” I used to be one of them - that is, until I realized that isn’t enough. That “something extra” can be a great…

Embracing Vulnerability in Motherhood: Lessons from "Little Women"

Twenty years ago, I curled up in the backseat of my parent’s Nissan Quest and spent an eight-hour road trip with only one book: Little Women. By the time we returned home from visiting my grandparents in North Carolina, I loved the four March sisters as if they were my own.  Over time, the exact…

How to Choose a Lenten Penance

Lent is a great experience of spiritual solidarity for Catholics. We fast together, pray together, and fall in love again with the central beauty of our faith: suffering never has the last word, and always has meaning in light of the cross.  The spiritual practice of fasting has the unique capacity to remind us of…