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Showing posts from October, 2010

Teacher, love your students

Rosemary at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts offers a beautiful reflection:

"To teach John Latin, it is not enough to know Latin-- one must also know and love John."

I ponder this because I have moved from a career of practicing medicine to a career of teaching with a little writing on the side. A couple of times a week I face two dozen community college students and work to impart the intricacies of anatomy and physiology.

I really thought I was called to teach in a Catholic school--and maybe I will eventually. I just want to blurt out all these beautiful truths that flow from the principle of the sanctity of human life. In a secular school setting there is no blurting. So I stand before my students and witness indirectly.

I have an innate tendency to stridently march forward with a hammer in my hand ready to pound my opposition into conversion. I think God is teaching me a gentler and more effective method. He places me before these students ostensibly to teach them a college …

Not with my tax dollars

Plenty has been written about NPR firing Juan Williams because he admitted that he gets nervous when he sees Muslims on airplanes. There is a lot that Juan Williams says that I disagree with. However, he is entitled to his opinion. If NPR was even handed and fired those who denigrated Christians, Republicans, and members of the Tea Party, this incident would not have caused a ripple. However, looking at the history of NPR and its continuous descent into a biased mouthpiece for the liberal Left, this incident is news. In an internal memo sent on behalf of NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller, NPR policy is stated to be:

“In appearing on TV or other media . . . NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows . . . that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.”
More fundamentally, “In appearing on TV or other media including electronic
Web-based forums, NPR journalists should no…


My husband and I are approaching a new phase in our life. Our youngest will be graduating from high school in less than two years. My husband will soon complete thirty years of service as an Air Force officer and will have to make a change. I am still trying to figure out what I do next. The good news is that the years have brought a little more than strands of gray hair and a few extra lines on my forehead. When I was in my twenties, I was busy figuring out what I wanted to do. Now I am more focused on trying to figure out what God wants me to do.

There are so many ideas that I wish I had grasped sooner. The concept of a vocation is one of them. Marriage is a calling from God. It requires generous acquiescence to His will. We can think about what we want, what we hope for, and what we think should happen. In the end, however, the only desires that matter are God's. That doesn't mean I am supposed to sit by passively and let life happen because it is God's will. I am called…

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love."--Mother Teresa

The current election cycle is reaching its frenetic finish and the invectives are spewing. I have some pretty strong political opinions that I am not afraid to share. However, I am not going to persuade with hate and venom. When speaking and writing to those who agree with me, it is very easy to slip into a mode that demeans and dehumanizes the opposition. This may rally the troops but it does nothing to bring reconciliation between opposing sides. Speaking to the opposition with such disdain only increases the alienation. Conversion requires a change of heart and when speaking to the heart, one must speak with love.

That is why I loved this article in the Arlington Catholic Herald. Two parishes organized an entry in the annual community fall parade. The walkers were marching in support of a local crisis pregnancy center. There were no signs with bloody aborted fetuses. There were signs that offered love and support to pregnant women. A young girl who had been adopted carried a sign t…

The next step in the journey

As I wrote back in June, my husband has lymphoma. No one ever calls this disease cured, but today we got the best news possible. After six cycles of chemotherapy, he is pronounced in complete remission. The roller coaster has paused if not ended. We have completed phase I. We could not have done this without the Grace of God and the countless prayers offered on my husband's behalf. So many of you have generously offered prayers. Know that all of you, whether I know your name or not, have been in my daily prayers. I learned early on in this challenge that we pray our way through situations, not out of them. This is no time for spiritual complacency. My husband and I will continue to pray for you. We are eternally in your debt.

This past weekend we had a first step in our return towards normalcy. Before, just as my husband began to recover from the effects of one chemotherapy cycle he would get zapped with the next cycle. This time there was no next cycle. While he is still feeling …

A little bit of catechetical ranting

Religious education classes have started all over the country. I know because this post with a catechist letter to parents has suddenly become my post popular post. It happens every fall. Once again, I too have started teaching a seventh grade class. This year looks like it will be a pretty good year. How do I know? I surveyed the class and all but two students said they go to Mass most Sundays. This is a change from last year when I only had two students in the entire class who said they attend Mass most Sundays. The young ladies are all fully clothed. Last year I was constantly having to ask the girls to put on their sweatshirts or jackets because they were revealing way too much skin. Also, unlike last year, none of my students declared themselves atheists on the first day of class--a declaration made to the priest who visited the classroom. Yes, this is definitely going to be a better year.

Teaching religious education can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. How on earth a…

"I already did"

This parenting thing is quite the adventure. Sometimes, you know with absolute certainty you are doing the right thing. Much of the time you are flying by the seat of your pants and praying that the Grace of God will fill in where you have been deficient. So it is cause for great rejoicing when there is some feedback to say you are doing a good job. A couple of days ago my sixteen-year-old son received a text message from a friend to say that he might not make it to the Scout meeting. His brother was in the emergency room. When my son told me of this development, I told him to text back that we would be praying for his friend's brother. "I already did," my son replied.