An Easter People

DSC_0396

 
I love our Church, and that we are an Easter people. Christ is risen! Alleluia!

The last several months have been both wonderful and challenging for our family. Our life is in transition as we prepare for our daughter, Claire, to graduate from high school and head off to college, and for our son, Patrick, to enter high school this fall.

After 18 years of being at home — first with babies, then with small children, then while homeschooling children through middle school — I will no longer have anyone in the house during the day. Facing this changing reality has been hard.

In saying this, I recognize that my upcoming changes are minor challenges compared to the significant struggles of others.

Many people I love have gone through enormous trials and tremendous suffering this past year. In all of this, Christ asks us to trust in Him. Sometimes this is hard. I have moments where I feel overwhelmed, and anxious about what the future holds. Then, through God’s infinite grace, I have an experience which reminds me that Christ is in charge, and that good can emerge out of tragedy and suffering.

A few years ago, David and I traveled to the big island of Hawaii. While visiting Volcanoes National Park, we saw sections of the park where lava had covered everything in its path — roads, hills, trees, and even highway signs. As I walked on thick layers of black rock, I was struck by something incredible: shooting up from cracks in the black lava were small plants. Life had found a way. To me, this represented hope — that even in the midst of destruction and desolation can come beauty, goodness, and new life!

DSC_0266We never know what God is up to. He is a God of surprises. Just like the surprise of green plants bursting through hard, black volcanic rock, He is working out goodness and hope in the midst of blackness and hardness of our lives. Christ is planting His grace, peace, and hope in our souls so that we, too, can burst through and be a witness of His great love to the world.

Pope Benedict XVI said, “The Easter proclamation spreads throughout the world with the joyful song of the Alleluia. Let us sing it with our lips, and let us sing it above all with our hearts and our lives.”

May you all embrace this Easter joy, knowing that Christ has an incredible plan for your lives!

Christ is risen. Alleluia!

With great joy,
Margaret

(VIDEO) Saint James, Pray for Us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLjdpOqRvyw Since the Feast of St. James is on July 25th, I thought I would share this video. Last summer, our family walked over 100 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago ("The Way" of St. James) in Spain. We … [Continue reading]

Bags of Blessings

The Feast of St. Nicholas is fast approaching on December 6th. While reflecting upon this great and joyful saint, I was reminded of what a generous man he truly was. As Christians, we are all called to give to others in need. When my children … [Continue reading]

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September is upon us! With it comes many wonderful feast days to celebrate in the Catholic Church. One such day is September 14 -- The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast day commemorates the recovery of the cross, which had been … [Continue reading]

Awesome Advent

I just received a note from a friend who said that a document I e-mailed last year was helping her family's Advent preparations this year. As we approach the beginning of the Advent season, I thought I would post that resource here on Growing … [Continue reading]

A Thankful Tree

November is the perfect time to "grow" a Thankful Tree in your house! With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I wanted to share a way to help your children appreciate the many gifts God gives them daily. This idea, shared with me years ago by a … [Continue reading]

Forgiveness

I recently attended a talk at our parish given by a highly educated woman who works in the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.. Although the talk was not focused on the topic of forgiveness, the speaker told a story that greatly impacted me. She told … [Continue reading]

Our Lady of the Rosary

The lovely fall month of October is upon us with many inspiring feast days! The Church celebrates a beautiful feast day on October 7th: the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. This feast day commemorates our Lady's role in the victory over the Turks … [Continue reading]

Taking it to the Queen

August is a wonderful time to celebrate Mary, the Mother of God (and our mother as well)! On August 15th we rejoice in her most blessed Assumption and on August 22nd we honor her as Queen of Heaven and Earth. For these two beautiful feast days, … [Continue reading]

Lesson of Encouragement from St. Barnabas

June 11th is the Feast Day of St. Barnabas. Joseph was his actual name, but the apostles called him Barnabas which means "son of encouragement". (Acts 4:36) Barnabas encouraged St. Paul in his missionary work, and also the early Christians … [Continue reading]