Friday, October 30, 2009

Please act to oppose abortion mandates

No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. Doctors should have the freedom to refrain from medical practices they deem immoral.

From the USCCB:

“All committee-approved health care reform bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care.”

The Bishops are asking for our help in supporting health care that respects the life and dignity of all people. Please do not sit idle on this issue of epic, eternal importance. To let your voice be heard about opposing abortion funding and mandates in health care reform, contact your legislators today. Please send a pre-written e-mail to Congress by visiting

More information about the bills can be found here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I fell in love again

The first time I fell truly, madly, deeply in love was when I was at a Young Life camp as a high school kid. The beach sunsets and starry nights set the perfect stage, and the man’s character was so compassionate, so caring, so selfless, so others-oriented, I couldn’t help but be completely absorbed in him and all his ways.

This week I had the privilege of giving the talk at the end of Young Life Club, and I chose to share the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman and saving her from being stoned – the same story that captivated my heart for him more than ten years ago.

What I love most about this story is how Jesus cares so deeply for this woman just as she was – ashamed and a sinner. When she is caught in the “very act of adultery,” is standing there in front of the town’s social elite, humiliated and probably covered by nothing more than a bed sheet, Jesus grants her mercy from being stoned to death, but he does so much more than that!

My favorite part of this story, is how when Jesus bends down and doodles in the sand, for that one moment, he frees the woman from all the painful ridicule and judgment of the gawking by-standers by drawing their eyes off of her, and onto him. It’s an example of complete care and concern for this woman and all she was going through. A perfect, beautiful example of Cura Personalis in action.

It’s my favorite story about the person of Christ, because it reveals to a world where most of us think of God as a big, lumpy, hairy, angry old man in the clouds ready to beam down lighting bolts of condemnation if we curse, lie, or drink too much, that he is actually a God of perpetual mercy and forgiveness who cares about each of us that deeply, that intricately, and with that much compassion.

The fervor of his love for us all is revealed in such a way by this story that whenever I hear it, and especially when I tell it, I can’t help but fall sweetly in love with him all over again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blooming where I’m planted.

For the past three-and-a-half years of my post-college life, I’ve felt like I’ve been waiting for something to happen… some door to open, some relationship to become a commitment, some job to open up in the golf industry, or just some legitimate reason to uproot my life and plant it anywhere other than Milwaukee. But after a lot of prayer for guidance, a door to open, or some light to a new path, for the first time in these three years I finally feel like I am content, at peace, and planted exactly where God wants me to be. It feels great.

I was out and about on Friday night, and over the course of the evening I randomly ran into at least two-dozen friends from Young Life, Café Aduro, my Marquette days, and current co-workers. It felt good to be out in a city of one million people, and bump into so many friends at random. Saturday I was at Camp Randall (for the Iowa victory, holler!) with two of my sisters and I ran into at least a dozen friends in Madison whom I had no idea would be there. Today at Mass I walked in by myself, but was quickly greeted by my fifty-two high school confirmation candidate friends who were just returning from their weekend retreat (which I bailed on for the Iowa game… selfishly, I admit it was sooo worth it). While apple picking today with Cute Attorney I ran into my next door neighbor’s family. And tonight, I was surrounded by the warmth of my Young Life family at an all-area dinner. It was a weekend full of family, good friends, old friends, new friends, and just feeling like I belonged.

I don’t know if I want to stay at my current job for the next year, five years, ten years, or forever. I don’t know if I want to go back to school or not. I don’t know how long I want throw money away at renting my apartment. I don’t know what I’m going to wear tomorrow, when I’m going to finish the laundry, or when I’m ever going to make it to the grocery store. I don’t know a lot of things. But I do know, that for right now, I am exactly where God wants me to be, and am so very content to keep blooming where I’m planted.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I want to be an old man.

As much as I wish I could have been a wide receiver for the Iowa Hawkeyes, I wouldn’t even trade an X for a Y chromosome for that opportunity. I like being a woman. I really, really do.

My gratitude is partially because if I would have been born a baby boy, my name would have been Edward, and I do not like the name Edward. But mostly, it’s because I love rocking life per God’s design of the feminine genius. I like men. I appreciate the fact that I am emotional. I have a deeply rooted desire to nurture and care for children the way only a mother can. There’s not been a single day of my life when I have wished I were born of the male gender.

There is one exception to that. I do, with all my heart, wish that even if for just one day I could experience life as an old man.

Think about it… Old men get away with practically anything they want. The majority are loud, smelly, and without manners and we all say, “oh, what a cute little old man!” You see one at the restaurant with butter smeared on his chin and instead of, “ew, gross!” you think, “Well that’s just darling. How sweet!” You find yourself screeching to a halt for one J-walking through rush hour traffic and you think, “Aww, that’s endearing. He probably doesn’t have much time left.” An old man cuts right in front of you at the grocery store and says, “Thank you for letting me go ahead. I just have a few items,” and you gladly oblige. You are seated on an airplane by one who is repeatedly popping your personal bubble and who reeks of old spice, pipe tobacco, and scalp, but you are nonetheless charmed and comforted by his obtrusive grandfatherliness.

Maybe it’s because they all remind us of Santa Clause. Maybe we are just aware they don’t have much time left. Maybe we assume they’ve seen so much hardship in their long lives of labor that we subconsciously thinks it’s finally time to cut them some slack.

Why we let them get away with anything they please, I don’t know. But this I do know… old men have it made. And, that I’d like to implement their genius strategy. So I welcome any theories you have.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

good news

The last week has been full of good news. I survived surgery, dog sitting, oxycodone, a house full of teenagers, and hauling an oversized-load of a Plinko board across town through rush hour traffic. It has been a busy, but pretty awesome week. Updates in alphabetical order…

Café Aduro: I'm on the team starting a new Young Adult Ministry sponsored by my parish called Café Aduro, which stands for Catholic Adult Formation and Education on fire. Last night was the first in a series of speakers, and we actually had people show up and stick around well past the intended ending time, so we're pretty stoked. Next topic: “I Talk to Dead People.” Check it out here!

Confirmation: I had a living room full of teenagers this weekend for my first small group session with the candidates I’m advising this year. It was awesome. This week we discussed the Trinity, and Salvation. You can imagine the questions! The Most Entertaining Award goes to a question regarding grace and forgiveness... “Wait, what if I was so drunk that I don’t remember being drunk. How can I ask forgiveness from something I don’t even remember?” Oh boy. This is going to be an interesting group; and I’m going to love every minute of it!

Cute Attorney: He continues to be pretty fantastic. Although a bit of a workaholic, he is an ambitious gentleman who shares my affinities for words like affinity, Marquette basketball, side-parted hairstyles, dance parties, and old-school rules of grammar. And, I very much appreciate the fact that he appreciates that I can keep up with him in theological discussions about post-Limbo doctrine and proper consultation of the Magesterium. I’m hopeful there will be more of those discussions to come!

Young Life: My fellow leaders and I have been busy hanging out with high schoolers, together belting Journey songs at the top of our lungs, taking the Taco Bell Value Menu challenge, and making fools of ourselves in hopes of being able to introduce these new friends of ours to the Lord. Last night I went to a swim meet for some face time, and although I could only stay for a few minutes I was able to connect with at least ten kids I knew… it was pretty solid "contact work," as we call it in Young Life, and it has me totally jazzed for the school year ahead, building friendships, and, God willing, sharing with them the best Good News of all!