Living With Intention

It is that time of year. Summer is coming to a close, and Labor Day is right around the corner. The back-to-school, back-to-sports, back-to-busy-days time of year is nearing. And that usually means that we have to adjust our schedule — or actually create one. This process can often induce a couple of different reactions, depending on your personality. If you are a super-planner, you get jazzed and your new calendar gets a color-coded overhaul of when and where you do what. If you are not a planner (the word “agenda” makes your skin crawl), you immediately start flinching at the thought of being confined to a “rigid schedule.”

But I want to suggest an approach to our daily schedules that is neither rigid nor non-existent. I would call it living with intention. Being an intentional person is a lifestyle that encompasses much more than just how we schedule our time, but for now I’m just going to apply this concept to how we intentionally schedule activities. Being intentional does require some amount of structuring our time (sorry, free-spirits, if that is not what you wanted to hear), but that doesn’t mean creating rigid schedules that don’t allow for buffer time or flexibility to enjoy the activities and people that pop-up unexpectedly. Continue reading “Living With Intention”

My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Book by a Female Saint”

I hope you have been able to join me for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge. I’ve been sharing what I’m reading for each category throughout the year. But even if you aren’t doing the reading challenge, these posts might provide you with recommendations that need to be on your TBR list. 

Category: A Book by a Female Saint

My Pick: The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

I chose to read St. Catherine’s Dialogue for a few reasons. First, she was my Confirmation saint when my husband and I entered the Catholic Church four years ago, and I have really be meaning to read her book since then. I think most people can relate to having a book on their list for years and finally getting around to reading it, and I’m so glad that I finally did (better late than never).

Second, I read Sigrid Undset’s biography of St. Catherine earier this year, and I was deeply moved by it. Not only did it provide an intimate connection for me to St. Catherine, but it seriously raised the bar for me on saint biographies. This is hands-down the biography to read on St. Catherine. Reading about her life and her life’s work compelled me to spend time with her spiritual writing.

Third, St. Catherine is a saint who experienced profound and regular mystical encounters with our Lord. However, the majority of her life was not lived solitarily. She was an servant of the Church who lived an active and vibrant life of ministry very connected to others in the world. I believe that someone who could move so easily between mystical encounters and practical service is a saint to learn from and study. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Book by a Female Saint””

Is Your Social Media Persona Making You Less Human?

If we are all being honest, we are overwhelmed with information. We are overwhelmed in our inboxes, newsfeeds, and timelines. There is more content there than we even come close to having time to read, and (frankly) most of it isn’t worth our time. That doesn’t mean it’s all “bad.” But it does mean that very little of it ranks with the important things in our individual lives that deserve priority, and it does mean that much of it is not making us more whole human beings. Given the environment of social media overload, I think Catholic communities need to consider how we are contributing to it.

I say this as a blogger and aspiring book author who utilizes social media to share my writing. Writers and speakers like myself feel a lot of pressure (from publishers, ourselves, others) to promote our writing, and by extension ourselves, through social media. It’s the publicist of the 21st century. While it is necessary for us to use it, I’m concerned with the typical use I see. I fear that a significant amount of the content I read, often by highly-followed Catholics and Christians, is contributing to the excess social media “noise.” I call it noise because, while the more substantive writing and speaking of these individuals is highly edifying, the social media content often presents a different persona.

Continue reading “Is Your Social Media Persona Making You Less Human?”