Litany of Light Published!

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https://www.shopmercy.org/litany-of-light.html

Or by phone, calling 1-800-462-7426 and using Product code LITPF

 

Last Fall, I published a prayer, the Litany of Light, that came to me one night. I wrote at the National Catholic Register:

It has become something of a nightly routine for one of my children to wake me up between 2-4 a.m. I can often get back to sleep quickly, but on one of those nights I found it difficult. I started thinking about all of the things that need prayer and charity in this world. “If only I could bring some light to these places,” I thought, feeling limited by my humanity and vocation to the four tiny souls entrusted to my care. 

Over this last year, I have been studying beauty and the role of light in medieval thought. Through the likes of St. Hildegard of Bingen, Bishop Robert Grosseteste, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas and others, I have come to appreciate anew the role that Christ’s light plays here on Earth. Christ as the light of the world is a major theme of medieval thought. We have lost a sense of light’s importance in our own day largely because we can easily chase the dark away with the flip of a switch. This is, however, a relatively new development, even if most of us never experienced life any other way. But the medievals were fascinated by light, by the gift of it and by its transforming power physically, morally and spiritually. They spent copious amounts of precious ink trying to articulate the profound relationship between light and God, and what we can learn about the latter from the former.

So there in the darkness in the wee hours of the night, the thought hit me that even if I can’t go to these places and help, I could ask the Source of all light to go to them. I realized that I could send Christ to illuminate the very dark corners of the earth. The Litany of Light below is the fruit of these meager prayers. The saints included were all champions of sorts of Christ’s light. And the places of great darkness will be familiar to us all, in one form or another. Bishop Liam Cary, of the Diocese of Baker in Oregon, has graciously given it his imprimatur

As our world seems to descend into greater darkness, we can be confident that our Advocate and Savior is with us and that He is “the light that shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). 

Bishop Liam Cary, of the Baker Diocese in Oregon, issued an imprimatur for my prayer (which can be seen at NCR). Shortly after blogging about the Litany of Light, Marian Press reached out to me to print the litany and share it with others in print form.

The folks at Marian and I have worked together to improve the litany with changes here and there and a new imprimatur was issued. So this little prayer, that came to me in the darkness almost a year ago, is now seeing the true light of day.

To order your own copy to bring more light into the world, find them at Marian Press.

 

 

 

Posted on April 18, 2018 .

NCR: New RISE Program: Men, Be Who You Are

The last 50 years have been hard on men and even harder on the idea of masculinity. One group of guys have decided to do something dramatic for themselves and for other men to reclaim their call as sons, brothers, husbands and fathers.

Posted on February 26, 2018 .

New Blog: My Favorite Catholic Things

A few nights ago, the idea of a new blog popped into my head while praying the rosary, so three days later, here is the result: My Favorite Catholic Things.

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I explain a bit of the motivation behind this project on the About page:

Prior to my life as mother and author, I traveled extensively and lived in France, Rome, and Poland. One of my first articles was about a high-end hotel in heart Krakow, Poland, written for a travel industry magazine.
I have always found it exhilarating to explore the foreign, but particularly countries that boast a Christian past - and even better if they have a Christian future. I'm intrigued to see how Christ and his Mother, the saints and religious symbols, are included into the fabric of everyday - from the simple, such as Christmas ornaments and holy cards, to the elaborate, in soaring architecture and priceless paintings.
Having spent years studying the philosophical side of beauty, there is no reason why we can't reclaim beauty in our every day lives and let go of the kitsch that is so prevalent in Catholic art and objects.
Not everything here is overtly Catholic, but everything will have something that can reach a Catholic soul. This is the true capacity of beauty - it is the breathe of God. All true beauty comes from him, so whatever captures you, renews your sense of wonder, fills you with awe, enlivens your heart, or helps quiet your soul with peace, has its source in Our Lord.

I look forward to exploring products, books, art, architecture, and any thing else that captures my attention. Please join me in Reclaiming Beauty in the Everyday.

Posted on January 13, 2018 .

Introducting "Marian Consecration for Children"

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Two years ago, I tried to find a book like this for my own children. When I came up short, a priest friend suggested that I write this book. I drew from my experience as a homeschooling mom and my work on The Marian Option to bring together a book that will hopefully help children understand who Mary is and how much of a Mother she is to them.

Tan Books has further details available here.

It should be released in March. Stay tuned for more details about pre-ordering.

Posted on January 11, 2018 .

NCR: Beward of the Poisoned Apple of Feminist Ideology

Snow White, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty; these are the stories that have animated the imaginations of little girls for centuries. Popularized by Disney, different versions of these stories, particularly Cinderella, have crossed the divides of cultures and time throughout much of history. There are many lessons that can be extracted from such fairy tales, but the primary issue is the timeless vice of envy.

Posted on December 19, 2017 .

Glas Koncila: CARRIE GRESS, AUTORICA KNJIGE »MARIJIN IZBOR« »Marija nikada ne će doživjeti neuspjeh«

Knjiga »Marijin izbor – Božje rješenje za civilizaciju u krizi«, otkad je u svibnju objavljena, već je mjesecima među najprodavanijim knjigama u SAD-u. Napisala ju je Carrie Gress, izvrsna poznavateljica marijanske pobožnosti, znanstvenica, doktorica filozofije te vrsna komentatorica američkih katoličkih portala. S obzirom na to da je Sjeverna Amerika većinom protestantska zemlja, uspjeh te knjige još više iznenađuje…

Posted on December 14, 2017 .

NCR: School Shootings, C.S. Lewis and the War on Children

I've recently been reading children's books from bygone eras and marvel at the freedom the children had to be away from their parents. In All of a Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor, the five daughters navigate their 1910 neighborhood of New York City without giving their mother the slightest concern. I can't even navigate Gymboree without that kind of freedom. What has changed?

Posted on December 7, 2017 .

Want Good Fruit, Start with the Soil

By Carrie Gress, Ph.D.

 By nick v from washington dc (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By nick v from washington dc (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Dirt is making a comeback. For decades, farmers and consumers took it for granted, but now people are realizing how vital it is for healthy crops and healthy humans.

Joel Salatin may not be a household name, but he is a man that knows a lot about farming. Called the world’s most innovative farmer by TIME magazine, Salatan has been featured in books and films like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Food, Inc. for his practices that are changing the way people think about food.  While his approach may seem radical (such as, no antibiotics, no growth hormones), his farming practices emphasize working with nature instead of against it. And all of it starts with soil. Salatin, like most farmers, know that soil health is crucial. “Stimulating soil biota is our first priority,” says Salatin, “Soil health creates healthy food." Farmers are relearning how “to foster what nature grants.”

Like Salatan, one farmer-turned-priest took his Midwestern know-how and applied it to the idea of growing vocations. Instead of starting with young men directly, this priest went to the heart of where vocations are born; he went to the soil. He first started a women’s Bible study; then a couple’s prayer group; then a men’s group, then a father and son group; a mother daughter group; and finally, he started a group for young men and women to discern their vocations. This farmer-priest knew he had to start at the source - with women. Not surprisingly, his efforts yielded great fruit. He fostered what nature grants.

What is interesting about this is to consider that if women and mothers are the real "soil" of the family, of communities, then what does the devil have to do to get to everyone? Take "the soil" out at the knees. And how have we seen this happen? Convince "the soil" to sterilize herself, or terminate anything that starts to grow. And eventually, everything else rots, or doesn't grow as it should.

Like farmers around the world, people are beginning to realize that there really is something important about soil.

Posted on December 1, 2017 .

NCR: Have Women You Love Left the Faith? Here’s Why

I recently spoke on Catholic Answers about Mary and the modern woman. A man called in asking about his daughter, saying that although he homeschooled her and taught her the catechism, at 17, she now had little regard for the Church. It was clear he was struggling with how he had failed her. Based on what he told me, this concerned dad was not the problem. 

Posted on November 20, 2017 .

Catholic Answers with Cy Kellett

Cy Kellett and I discussed, perhaps the challenge of our age, Mary and the Modern Woman.

(For the record, that is Douglas Beaumont pictured in the photo, not me.)

Posted on November 8, 2017 .