That Time Christmas Break “Flu” By

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If fun could be measured in dirty kleenex and cough drop wrappers, our vacation has been a real blast. Look no further than our overflowing trash receptacles. While everyone else was watching the ball drop on New Year’s eve, we watched the thermometer rise. It all started the day after Christmas. My husband was the first to fall. When he coughed, his whole torso shook sending reverberations across our home’s creaky floor boards. 

“Was that an earthquake?” “No. Daddy’s just a little sick, kids.”  Continue reading “That Time Christmas Break “Flu” By”

A Free Christmas Game For You

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To all my We’re Late For Church readers and followers, a heartfelt Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is filled with the beautiful peace of this holy season. And I pray there are plenty of laughs to go around at your Christmas gatherings. While the holidays can be stressful, I always try to make time for some comic relief. Mother Angelica understood the Herculean effort required to be a good Christian during the holidays.  She once sagely quipped, “If it wasn’t for people, we could all be holy.” In an effort to spread some Christmas laughter with all of your people, I’ve created a game that has the potential to create some good-natured tomfoolery at your table. Thank you to my lovely group of “Sisters in Christ” who helped me road-test the game at a recent get-together.

I hope it brings lots of laughter to you as well.  In the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, “Laugh and grow strong!” Lord knows he was a real wimp. 

Christ’s blessing of laughter and strength for you and your family!

Introducing: The Saints and Sinners Game. It’s a twist on the game of Balderdash. You will need to print the two, easy-peasy PDF documents I’ve created to learn how to play. Enjoy! And may you experience one of the greatest gifts of all, laughter!

Saints and Sinners Game

Saints and Sinners Rules

If you feel so inclined, let me know in the comments section how it went over with your brood of holiday revelers… unless it didn’t go well. That you can keep to yourself so I can blissfully go on thinking it was a good idea.

Do You Think God Is Fair?

A dear friend came for a visit recently to spend time with the family and me in the lead-up to Christmas. She hung out with the kids and noted their individual personalities. Though distinctly different, she also keenly observed that all three children seem to be equally preoccupied with the concept of fairness. When dessert was doled out, she remarked that they all became very concerned with the exact, precise amounts that each person received. Most people don’t approach their taxes with such painstaking deliberation. In fact, she picked up on a recurring theme in our household.

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I don’t think my children are odd birds in this case. The issue of fairness seems to be a common concern among most kids. I remember sizing up Christmas gifts when I was young, measuring exactly how much my brothers got verses my own pile of booty. If I figured on the lower end of the gift scale—oh what a blow! A greater injustice could not be imagined. Continue reading “Do You Think God Is Fair?”

I Don’t Need Anything

“I don’t need anything.” That was the standard response my dad would supply every year when asked what he wanted for Christmas. If I was insistent, “C’mon, Dad!” He’d usually follow up with, “Just love one another…” No doubt he truly desired that my brothers and I got along, but he just wasn’t getting it. For goodness sake, I was looking for something to spend my money on. I was a successful babysitter with cash burning a hole in my Jordache jeans pocket. I wanted to feel a part of the whirring consumer machine at the mall like everybody else. I planned to prove my love for family with a dazzling gadget or name brand clothing item. As much as I’d like to blame it on being a silly 15-year-old who coveted her subscription to Seventeen Magazine more than her Catholic school education, I still feel that pull to commercialize Christmas today. More than 3 decades later it’s just as strong—that allure to buy the perfect hostess gift that will make everyone at the party oooh and aaah, or find the greatest new anti-aging skin care product for a friend which makes me more influential than Oprah.

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Continue reading “I Don’t Need Anything”

What is TRUTH?

So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”    

 —John 18; 37-38

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Another day, another allegation of sexual harassment or sexual assault directed at some worldly favored son. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. And yet, with each indictment, which feels like a long overdue breath of fresh air, I can’t help thinking how awful it would be to have my own missteps and sins brought to the light. I may be wrong, but I think most of us present a good, righteous face to the world and do an amazing job of hiding some of our most ugly, dark features. How often do we willingly lower the veil to others and admit in our humanity, we have weakness, are drawn to sin and have failed over and over? Continue reading “What is TRUTH?”

Blessed Are the Forgotten

There are a total of eight beatitudes. I know because I’ve counted them. In case you’d like to confirm that for yourself, knowing my spotty scriptural knowledge as a cradle Catholic, have at it. Check it out for yourself in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5 to be exact. As perfect as I consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount, if I had my say, I’d suggest that the Almighty add just one more. Yep, I’m about to try and improve perfection by adding to one of Christ’s most powerful and stirring proclamations on the Kingdom of God. That takes guts. I know. But bear with me.

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Continue reading “Blessed Are the Forgotten”

Ora Pro Nobis: \ō-rä-prō-ˈnō-bēs\ a Latin invocation meaning pray for us

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My kids are learning Latin in school. That puts a big smile on my face. Not simply because they are being trained in a language inextricably linked with the rich history of our Catholic faith, but because it offers poetic justice in my own much-less storied narrative. My dad, Jerry, was a Latin teacher at an all-boys Catholic high school for a number of years, until Latin decidedly went out of vogue, somewhere in the late 70’s to 80’s. Not one to be swayed by passing trends, he still valued the importance of the sacred, historic language and when the time came for me to choose an elective in the 9th grade, he wisely counseled me to pick Latin. I gave it a cursory thought and smugly replied, “It’s a dead language, Dad! I’m taking French.” Not ready to concede defeat, my father asserted that while Latin was dead it would provide me a great springboard for learning any of the Romance languages, including French. And since English used so many words with Latin origins, it would most likely increase my vocabulary and reading comprehension. That’s the gist of what he said. What I heard was, “blah-blah-blah-blah-Latin, boring Latin…” In my teenage mind, I wanted to take French because it seemed romantic and exciting and honestly it just sounded so dang pretty. Continue reading “Ora Pro Nobis: \ō-rä-prō-ˈnō-bēs\ a Latin invocation meaning pray for us”