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What Mary's Perfect, Immaculate Heart Means For Her Imperfect Children

Jun 08, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

Did I have a relationship with Our Lady when I was growing up? If you had asked me, I would have said yes. After all, I recited the rosary. I prayed the Angelus. One year in high school I even memorized the "Litany of Loreto" as my Lenten resolution.But as I came to know myself better, with all my flaws and weaknesses, I realize[...]

Ever Ancient, Ever New: A New Feast For Mary, Mother of the Church

May 18, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

The Monday after Pentecost is a Marian feast day.Didn’t you know?It’s alright if you didn’t. After all, Pope Francis only just declared the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, to be a permanent memorial this past March. VATICAN MEDIA/CNAWhy Mary, Mother of the Church?Since the earliest days of Christian history, Catholics have[...]

Patron Saints Of The Military (Plus Patrons For Particular Branches & Services!)

May 11, 2018 By Ashley Osmera
World War II Soldier with rosary

There’s nothing quite like seeing someone say goodbye to a spouse, family member, or friend in uniform at the airport.A long, silent hug. A gentle wave. A tearful goodbye at the parting of ways.One chin lifted bravely, a heavy bag flung over a shoulder—while the one left behind gives an encouraging smile and walks slowly back to[...]

Hidden Treasures In St. Joseph's Life: Meditating On His 7 Sorrows & Joys

May 02, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

When you're trying to imitate the behavior of someone you admire, reflecting on specific moments in his or her life is particularly helpful.We see the fruits of this practice when meditating on the mysteries of Christ’s life in the rosary, or when praying with the mysteries of Mary’s life in the Seven Sorrows devotion.Another be[...]

While You Were Sleeping: St. Joseph, Pope Francis & A Good Night's Rest

Apr 23, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

When it comes to patron saints and intercessors, Pope Francis has no shame playing favorites. He has made it clear in various audiences, such as his 2015 meeting with families in the Philippines, that St. Joseph is at the top of his list. From this report it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to guess that Pope Francis keeps[...]

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Redeeming “Doubting Thomas”: The Apostle of Divine Mercy

Apr 05, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

It’s easy to miss fascinating details while reading the Gospels—but it’s also rather exciting, because when you finally do notice these details, you appreciate them so much more!A few months ago, I had a particularly striking thought on the story of Christ’s appearance to the Apostles in the upper room, first without Thomas, and[...]

God Calling: His Actual Words To Holy Women Through the Centuries

Feb 20, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

Imagine how excited you would be if the celebrity, singer, speaker, or actor that you admire most in the world intentionally smiled at you and waved from afar, just to show that he or she acknowledged your existence. How much more excited would you be if that person actually shook your hand?What would blow my mind even more than[...]

The Lenten Program: How To Prepare For Your Most Fruitful Lent Yet!

Jan 31, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

Why does it always seem that as soon as we put away the last of the ornaments and decorations, Lent comes upon us faster than we can work off that last batch of Christmas cookies we ate?We generally have no problem knowing when Easter and Christmas are coming, because we have weeks of preparation beforehand, with the help of Len[...]

9 Saintly Modern Lay Women To Inspire You Throughout The Year

Jan 16, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

Who are the first five women who come to mind when you think of female saints?(Take a moment to name those five before continuing to read.)When I stopped to consider five female saints, I thought of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Agnes, and St. Clare. (I'll be honest, I'm on a bit of a "[...]

Why Do Catholics Choose A Saint’s Name At Baptism?

Jan 08, 2018 By Ashley Osmera

Candles are lit, the petite white gown has been donned by a squirming infant, and now the celebrant turns to the parents holding the child and solemnly asks:“What name do you give your child?”In reply, you might hear:Ashley Elizabeth...David Joseph...Mary Joy...Justin Michael…There’s nothing that says “Catholic” quite like the n[...]