Ignatian Contemplation: Praying with Scripture Using Your Imagination

By Charlotte Phillips

On July 31, we celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. While I don’t think I could pick just one saint as my favorite, St. Ignatius is high on my list. He is the founder of the Jesuits, and his life experiences have shaped and formed Ignatian Spirituality.

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The Gift of Memory

By Ana Borden

Every night before bed we have gotten into a new routine of looking at pictures we had taken that day, and a year, two and upwards of 10 years ago on that specific date.

There is something so powerful about the sense of sight – it evokes so many emotions.

The children find so much joy seeing themselves and their siblings as infants, and they squeak in happiness as I tell them some of my favorite things when they were younger while sharing the background story of each photo – the funny, embarrassing and even sad moments, all captured with a simple click of a button.

The sense of sight is truly incredible, and I find myself especially thankful to end our days remembering the past, especially when I find myself more consumed with the future.

Often, we conclude with smiles and laughter but sometimes also tears while remembering beloved pets and moments of sadness. Their happiness and sense of security and acceptance is immensely important to me, but I also realize that not sharing photos of loved pets or that time they participated yet lost a competition or game is not a true reflection of our memories. Ignoring or glancing over these moments is not a reflection of the gift of sight and memory that God has bestowed upon us, because, if so, then why would God bless us with the gift of creating memories?


It’s only natural that while we are busy with our daily life, routines and responsibilities that we forget something from our past. The choices I made years, days and even nanoseconds before those memories were captured by a touch of a button are an album of the foundation of my values as well as my relationships with others while reminding me of God’s love for me.

I cherish looking at our family’s virtual photo album, even when a certain photo may evoke emotions of loss or great sadness; it is in these visual reminders that I am reminded through God’s grace, without even realizing it, that my eyes, heart and mind are always “open” as I strive to become a better version of myself.

What have you learned while making memories?

Mass in the Time of Coronavirus

By Kim Roberts

During the three-month stay at home orders, my family watched Mass every Sunday from the St. Louis Cathedral. We fell into a routine, sleep in, eat breakfast, gather in the living room, phones silenced, light a candle, display a wooden cross and share holy water we brought back from our trip to Italy.

So, when the orders were loosened, we did not immediately go back to our church. We continued to watch from the safety of our home for a few more weeks to feel things out. Read More

Discernment: A True Gift

By Megan Lacourrege

“Discernment.” As Catholics, we often use that word when talking about making big life decisions, especially regarding our vocations.

When deciding what we will vow ourselves to, prayerfully seeking God’s counsel is of course necessary.

Lately, though, I’ve been discovering just how much discernment is needed day-to-day within our vocations. Read More

Heaven on Earth

By Stacy LaMorte

Every time we are able to attend Mass, which is becoming more frequent now that we are slowly progressing out of quarantine, we are called to recognize that this is the closest we can be to heaven and to Christ while we are here on earth.

And, we are not alone as human beings in the building of the church – thousands of souls and angels are with us celebrating the Mass.  They even have their own pews now during social distancing! Read More

Finding God in the Ordinary

By Charlotte Phillips

I don’t know about you, but there have been moments in my life where I expected God to make himself known in a huge, knock-me-over-the-head, grand gesture kind of way.

I remember being on a retreat and crying out to God, begging God to speak to me. Thankfully, I opened the ears of my heart just wide enough to hear a whisper-and in that moment was reminded that God is with me always. God doesn’t have to make himself known in a huge, over the top gesture – God is all around. Read More

Back to the Basics

By Jenny Dendinger

P.E. – canceled.

Trip to the lighthouse – canceled.

First Friday picnic – canceled.

Little Mermaid Ballet – canceled.

Date night – canceled.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. COVID-19 threw quite a monkey wrench into our plans, and, as a result, our family life became a bit more intense.

In the last few months, we have gone on more bike rides than ever before. Luckily, we live in an area with beautiful streets to explore. Louisiana certainly isn’t known for its elevation, but we still discovered and memorized every spot that graces us with even the smallest slope. There is nothing like the crescendo of excitement as we pedal as fast as we can, spread our legs wide and coast down the road, laughing at our exaggerated joy.  You can’t put a price on that kind of fun.

Another adventure that resulted in a much-needed mental health boost was our recent trip to a local state park. While we weren’t the only ones there, we had plenty of space to ourselves. We spread out a colorful blanket, enjoyed a picnic lunch of sandwiches and fruit, and followed it all up with a little oak tree climbing and tossing the football. That might not seem like anything special, but the change of scenery mixed with the fresh air and sunshine really did make all the difference.

Our most memorable COVID-19 field trip was spent almost entirely in the van. It was one of those wait-in-line-for-an-hour-so-you-can-have-15-minutes-of-fun kind of trips – only the fun part was going to confession! With the current restrictions in place, our wonderful priest, Father Damian Zablocki, was generously offering confession in Most Holy Trinity’s parking lot. Since we were well overdue for some grace, all seven of us piled in the van and waited for our turn. Even though I felt bad for the people waiting in line behind our clown car filled with penitents, I was so happy that we went.  It was an unforgettable experience!

So, how did we survive the sudden pressure washing of our calendar? We went back to the basics:  sunshine and grace, y’all. Sunshine and grace.

Answers

By Charla Spalluto Misse

I have an older friend with whom I correspond by email.  Just before he left New Orleans to retire in his native country, we had dinner together. This special friend recently wrote to me that he was always sorry he didn’t offer me any good advice at our last dinner when I had shared a problem. Read More

Reasons for Protests

By Ty Salvant

The way in which we discuss with our children the current protests fueled by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis and events leading up to them will have a large impact on where they choose to focus and what they will pray for in the end. Read More

The Struggle is Real

By Kim Roberts

Here we are, three months into a pandemic that has kept us in our houses and our children away from their schools. I have to admit, the struggle has been real at times.

I am not a teacher, do not want to teach – especially my own child. But, since my daughter is in high school, I really have not had to actually “teach” anything, I’ve been more of a parole officer checking in on her assignments and teacher’s notes and making sure she is doing the assignments. Read More

A Thank You Letter

By Kristen Bourgeois

Fear and anxiety are contagious. And, I was swept up in it when the news broke that the coronavirus had made its way to Louisiana. I let myself sink into that fear of the unknown and the anxiety of keeping loved ones safe while trying to balance a home life under the new state mandated stay at home order.

Fear makes people do weird things, such as hoard toilet paper. But what really was happening was fear was making people selfish. That’s one of the things fear does. Read More