Spirituality of the Ordinary Blog

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…

Letting Go of Perfectionism by Embracing Weakness

Even before the age of Instagram, the impetus to present an idealized image of our lives to the world has been a pervasive temptation. Somewhere along the line, humanity bought into the lie that success and strength are products of independent self-reliance, rather than shared reliance on community. The more we buy into this lie,…

Dismantling the “Just a Mom” Myth

One of the hazards of bearing a baby bump is the avalanche of advice on how best to raise your children. Friends and strangers suddenly feel the impulse to touch you without warning and share harrowing stories of traumatic birth experiences. And they always want to know, “Are you going back to work?” For some…

The Key to a More Contemplative Advent

I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Despite my lack of skill or experience, the romance of a morning run appealed to me: simple, solitary, and powerful. I wanted to emulate that. When I finally started running, it was hard - harder than I expected. It still is sometimes. In my enthusiasm, I start out…