My Reading Challenge Pick for “An Encyclical…”

How is your reading going for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge? Haven’t started? It’s not too late. I’ve been sharing what I’m reading for each category throughout the year. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for your picks…or just inspiration to get started.

Category: An Encyclical from One of the Last Three Popes

My Pick: Mulieris Dignitatem by Pope John Paul II

Mulieris Dignitatem (technically an apostolic letter, rather than an encyclical — feel free to read either for this category) is JPII’s 1988 letter on the dignity and vocation of women. It offers a beautiful and rich perspective on the God-authored dignity of the human person in general, and the dignity (and therefore vocation) of women in particular.

Where to start?? As a woman, this was incredibly life-giving to read! Women — you need to read it. Men — you should read it too. Why? Two reasons. First, because St. John Paul II explains how the dignity of our particular gender is intrinsically tied to our human dignity. Second, because when you understand the ways in which one gender’s dignity manifests itself, you are able to understand how the other’s dignity perfectly complements it, gives it meaning, and works with it to be a human sign of Christ and his Church. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “An Encyclical…””

Remember Your Song…A Playlist to Help!

Happy Easter! And happy Easter for the next 45 days! Remember that the Easter season is the longest liturgical season in the Church year. It lasts for 50 days, ending on Pentecost Sunday. I love the Church tradition and theological significance behind the liturgical calendar, and I found a helpful summary article for those who want to understand better the calculation of the Easter season and its impact on the rest of the liturgical year.

Obviously, Easter is everything for us Christians. Easter is the reason for our faith and the fulfillment of every promise throughout salvation history. We need to keep celebrating the joy of the Resurrection in intentional ways throughout this season. I find that one of the best ways to sustain the focus and meaning of a liturgical season is through music. Well-selected playlists help to create an atmosphere in my home that reflects the current liturgical season; so I have made an Easter playlist, and I’m sharing it with you!

I created the list on Spotify, and you can play it there by clicking the link. If you don’t use Spotify, the list of songs is below for you to either purchase or find in a different subscription music service. I have selected songs that celebrate the joy and hope that we have in the Resurrection, from a variety of musical styles and artists.

Each of these songs is a beautiful reminder to me of the endless reasons to praise God throughout this season — and always! We have a redeemer; his name is Jesus. Because he lives, we have eternal hope. Because he lives, our whole lives can be a beautiful melody that praises him in the present and looks forward to the promise of eternity. We are meant to make a joyful noise to the Lord, and these songs are ones that fill me up to overflowing and help to fix my heart on what is really important, what is central.

Sometimes we forget to sing; sometimes we forget that we (in our daily lives) are supposed to be participants in the eternal song of praise to our Redeemer. That’s why the 50-day liturgical season of Easter is really a gift from the church, as every liturgical season is. These seasons help us remember our song and remember to sing it. Let us not forget St. John Paul II’s words:

“We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

He is risen! Hallelujah!

Because He Lives

For the last several days, and especially on this eve of Easter, I have been reflecting on the significance of tomorrow. As we end our fasting, eat good food, and gather eggs, we can celebrate without giving enough thought to why we are celebrating. Or perhaps we think about it, but the way that we live poorly reflects what Easter means for our lives. If you are a Christian, then you must realize that Easter has changed the trajectory of our lives’ for eternity. Easter is everything.

Matt Maher’s song, Because He Lives (Amen), convey’s this truth so powerfully:

“Amen, Amen. I’m alive, I’m alive, because he lives…let my song join the one that never ends.”

Are we singing along with the unending chorus? Are we living to the tune of eternity? Because Jesus lives everything is different — everything. Every pain is comforted; every hope is realized. We were dead; now we are alive. Are we living fully alive? We were filled with fear; now Peace himself is here to dwell in us. Are we at peace? Our cause for despair is, in the light of his resurrection, now reason to hope. Do we exude hope in this world? Continue reading “Because He Lives”