7 Simple Ways to Pray through Journaling

Prayer through writing is a favorite of the saints, and one of the ways God uses to capture our hearts. The intimacy expressed in writing like the Psalms and the Diary of St. Faustina inspires us. The Lord wants that kind of intimacy with you, too. Whether you've never written a prayer or you've been journaling for years, the tips below will invite you deeper. It's true that we can't make prayer happen; prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit in our souls. But that fact doesn't mean that we don't have any responsibility when it comes to prayer! While God is the one who plants the seeds in our hearts, we can till the soil of our lives, cultivating more fertile ground for his love to grow and flourish. By taking these small steps, we can create space within ourselves to be more open to the promptings of the Spirit. The tips below work for journaling, and many of them will work for your other favorite forms of prayer as well.

Using Negative Feelings in Discernment

The word "discernment" is like the word "vocation."  We hear it and immediately think of the priesthood or religious life - something specific and set apart.  We do this even though we know that God is calling us, too. Yes, we are all called to a life of holiness, and some of us live that…

10 Ways to Pray When You Are Too Busy

There is no such thing as “too busy to pray.” I know that life can be crazy, and there is real value in knowing our limits and being gentle with ourselves. This is not one of those posts. If you need one of those posts, read THIS instead. This is tough love post, a “come to Jesus” post (literally!). This is an “I love you just the way you are but too much to let you stay that way” post. I know I need this list, and I think you do too. For your kick-in-the-pants list of ways to prioritize prayer, read on.

When God Says No

As I was preparing to embark on parenthood, I read several books and articles from reputable sources that offered a counterintuitive piece of advice: don’t say “no” to your child.  “Don’t say, ‘no’?” I wondered incredulously. “Have modern parenting techniques really deteriorated so drastically?”  As I read on, I realized that the advice was more…

Top 10 Ways to Teach Kids to Love Jesus

Children have absorbent minds. Really, we all do. Our brains are wired for learning. We take in our environment, observe patterns, and organize information without any conscious consideration. With young children, leading them to Jesus is not about creating the right catechetical framework; it’s about cultivating an environment that makes it easier for the seeds the Father is planting to grow. So what are the important elements of this environment? Here are 10 of the ways our family seeks to cultivate devotion right now.

The Temptation of the Checklist

The checklist is so tempting not because it is bad to accomplish the things the Lord has entrusted to us; that is its very allure. Even the most good and beautiful and holy work becomes idolatrous when it eclipses what is greater. My checklist is useful. And really, that is all. It is a reminder of what I'd like to do, not an indicator of how well I am doing.

A Prayer for “Good Girls”

When I imagine myself in the story of the prodigal son, I am the older brother - the brother who is glad when his good-for-nothing sibling leaves home because it makes him look so much better by comparison. He preoccupies himself more with how his brother’s absence benefits him than with compassion for his father’s broken heart. With the younger brother gone, it’s all about me.