Have I Placed God First?

Being a Catholic Christian in the 21st century, even if through conversion, means I am always a bit confused by the rejection Jesus faces by the Israelites. Perhaps this confusion is especially directed at the Pharisees, the ones who, on paper, should have recognized Him with the most ease.

How could they have witnessed so many miracles, heard so many wise sermons, and yet still not believe? Surely, I would not be one of these. Surely, I would not have rejected Jesus.

But, being a Catholic Christian in the 21st century in the United States also means I am privy to so much sacramental grace. I am able to freely attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation, and even daily Mass if I were to properly order my life. I can receive the Sacrament of Penance weekly if needed, even daily too. I am blessed to share in the Divine Life of the Holy Trinity whenever I receive Him and to have our relationship repaired each time I disturb it.

I have all of those sacramental graces, so much more than the Pharisees; and yet, have I placed God first in my heart? Have I done more than observe the law? Have I truly loved Him above all else, and in turn, also loved as He loves?

O God, open my eyes to the rejection I have given You in the deepest recesses of my heart. Grant me perfect contrition and all the graces to love as You love.

Amanda Torres is a Catholic convert, wife, and working mom from St Paul, MN. She is making great use of her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Anthropology as a Management Analyst for the State of Minnesota. When she is not busy trying to get her husband, her rambunctious 7 year-old, and toddler twins into Heaven she enjoys reading, writing, and drinking coffee with entirely too much creamer. Amanda blogs for catholicmom.com and also occasionally blogs at In Earthen Vessels: HoldThisTreasureInEarthenVessels.wordpress.com



When Enough Is Enough

There are a few select readings in the Bible that always throw me off. For example, in today’s reading Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior and Messiah, throws a tantrum. At least that’s how it looks to me. In my head, this isn’t the Jesus I’ve been told to look up to and model myself after. This sounds more like what I’m NOT supposed to do! I thought Jesus was supposed to be docile and change the world with his love…not flipping tables, whipping animals and throwing people’s money on the ground.

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why Jesus acted this way and why this passage was even put in the Bible. Why would Jesus resort to anger instead of compassion? Why would the Bible include a story that lets everyone know that Jesus got so upset? Then I realized that in John 2:13-25,  he is not giving us an example of how to get angry, but the perfect example of when to get angry.

In order for this to make sense, you must understand the situation surrounding his cleansing of the temple. At this time, Jesus was in Jerusalem for Passover. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Feast of Passover, it is the most celebrated Jewish holiday that is seven days long. For the Jews that were of the Kingdom of Judah, which Jesus and his family were a part of, it meant traveling to Jerusalem in order to celebrate Passover at the Temple of Jerusalem. In today’s Gospel, Jesus arrives at the Temple and there are merchants taking advantage of all the people, probably by hiking up their prices just because they can. These hundreds of thousands of weary travelers are here to give glory to God, and instead, they are surrounded by people that were presumably trying to sell them overpriced food, hotel rooms, and animal offerings.

To give you a modern-day example, imagine kneeling in a church pew during Adoration and Girl Scouts are trying to sell you cookies at $25 a box, or a Subway sign-spinner dancing on the altar, rapping about 5 dollar footlongs. Wouldn’t you be upset? I know I would be, but I’m only human. Well what do you know, Jesus is human too! At the end of the reading, it says that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.”

So, as a fellow human with emotions, Jesus fulfills Scripture as his “Zeal for God’s house” consumes him. He knows in his heart that his zeal, or passion and devotion, for God is exactly why it is okay to be angry. Just because things are “normal” in society does not mean that it is right and we should idly stand by. We have the right to be angry and protest things that disrespect our God. We have the right to be angry and protest things that disrespect the sanctity of life. As humans, anger is sometimes what it takes to motivate us to make a difference in our world – to change the wrong to right – and Jesus understood that.

In our hearts, we know what is right and wrong. We know what kind of world that God wants for us and deep down, we know how to change it. Now all we have to do is have the courage to channel our inner Jesus and stand up to all of those that are “making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

Looking for more on the Ten Commandments in the first reading? See our previous post, The 10 Commandments Are Only The Beginning.

Veronica Alvarado is a born and bred Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has been published in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, Catholic Spirit, as well as other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.

What Does It Even Matter?

After the ministers had finished distributing the Eucharist to the congregation, our pastor took the remainder of the consecrated hosts and put them in the Tabernacle. As he did, everyone on the altar knelt in acknowledgment: “This is Jesus.” And I couldn’t help but ask: “What does it even matter?” By appearance, texture, scent and taste, everyone just knelt in reverence to a not-so-good bread/cracker thing… “So, what does it matter?”

We know through our faith that it only has the appearance of bread, but that it is fully Jesus. It matters that we reverence Jesus in what “only appears” to be a not-so-good piece of bread/cracker thing so that we can learn to recognize and love Him outside of the Eucharist as well.

“Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me. (Matthew 25:40)” On a superficial level, Jesus’ body and blood appear to be something else. All human senses suggest that every Sunday there is a world-wide community of people who bow down before a not-so- good piece of bread/cracker thing and cheap wine. But when we learn to see by faith Who is before us, we will recognize Him in the weak and vulnerable.

I have no formal education for the work I do, but I believe I’ve been preparing for my job for years. By going to mass and falling in love with Him in the form of what appears only to be a not-so- good piece of bread/cracker thing, I can recognize Him in what appears to be a rude, annoying, socially unequipped stranger who in reality is a person in need of regular reminders for how to communicate well with others.

Open the eyes of faith.

Recognize Him.

Love Him.

During the week, Matt is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band.
You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com

Unsorted Loves

Lent this year, as everyone knows, began on Valentine’s Day. In its deepest meaning, we could say, Lent is about “sorting out our loves.” Today’s Liturgy of the Word shows us what happens when our desires and dreams are distorted and self-serving.

In the first reading from the book of Genesis (37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A), the jealous brothers of the boy Joseph plotted to kill him. Joseph was the youngest in the family and the favorite of his father Israel. “Let us kill him,” they say among themselves, “and see what happens to all his great dreams. We can tell his father that wild beasts attacked him.” So when the unsuspecting Joseph caught up to his brothers, they throw him into a cistern in the desert. Looking up, they see a caravan of Ishmaelites passing by traveling down to Egypt, and they sell Joseph into slavery, for twenty pieces of silver.

My own “unsorted” loves are not quite as dramatic, but possibly no less violent than the narrative we are presented with in the Liturgy today. When I perceive situations in terms of what is in it for me, or how I can avoid something I don’t like, or how I can assure I get what I believe I’m entitled to, I am thinking like the brothers in today’s readings. I jostle for first place (or the last place if I’m trying to avoid something I don’t prefer), and I manipulate situations and events so a thin layer of goodness covers the self-centeredness, because I don’t want people to know what I really am like.

What if the brothers of Joseph had stopped the action in today’s reading and gotten in touch with what they were saying to each other, what they felt, what was really motivating them in the heat of the moment? What if they had the presence of mind to choose a direction more in line with their most authentic desires and the glory of God?

When we are manipulating for control in our own self-interests, there may be underneath our behavior a legitimate concern or gripe or need. Joseph’s older brothers may have had enough of their father’s doting on Joseph. Maybe they felt it was unfair. Maybe they wanted attention or rest or a voice or a relationship they perceived was impossible as long as Joseph was in the picture. In the heat of the moment, what seemed like a great idea presented itself, everything fell into place, and the deed was done before they got in touch with what they really needed for themselves and from their father, before they could touch the deeper motivation that was leading them, honestly owning their mistaken and distorted “loves.”

There is a simple, but not easy, practice that can help us sort out our loves this Lent. When thoughts and ideas arise in daily life, be prayerfully and gently vigilant about them. Give yourself a heart-break and step out of the momentum to observe what is happening and to detach from the thought or idea and its hidden motivation.

Lent is a great time to build up more authentic motivations in our hearts. We can start doing this by filling our mind and heart with short prayers that help us turn to God: “I am here for You.” “My soul thirsts for You.” “I need You. I give myself to You forever.” If we fill our waking hours with these thoughts, we will find it easier to sort out our loves and choose what is truly in our best interest and that of others for the glory of God.

Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP is an author, an active team member of My Sisters, an online faith community, and a compassionate mentor and guide. Through her writing and online ministry she takes others along with her on her own journey of spiritual transformation, specializing in uncovering in the difficult moments of life where God’s grace is already breaking through. Connect with her website and blog: www.pauline.org/sisterkathryn or find her at My Sisters. Learn more at www.MySistersinChrist.org.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

What will persuade us of the truth, the power, and the incredible beauty of Christ’s resurrection?
After His death, the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to those of his family who are still living to convince them of the need to change their ways, in order to avoid eternal torment. But no, Abraham replies, if they won’t respond to Moses and the prophets, neither will they repent because someone has risen from the dead.

For we who live in the time after Christ’s resurrection, this last line can be particularly powerful—and maybe a little bit frightening. Do we really live in the light of the Lord? Do we try, in every circumstance, to walk in His ways? When we fall short, do we have the humility to sincerely make amends?

This season of Lent is sometimes a kind of reset, other times it’s a deepening, or maybe it’s a little bit of both. We consider more deeply what it is of which we need to repent and what we need to remove from our daily lives in order to draw closer to our Lord.

The motivation, however, ought to be different than what the rich man understands it to be. We do not seek to serve God and our neighbors because we fear being tormented in the afterlife (okay, maybe a little, but that’s secondary). Rather, we are moved by love—by the charity and hope manifested in Christ’s death on the cross and His glorious resurrection three days later.

Fear can only take us so far. Love, on the other hand, can bring us all the way home.

CatholicMom.com was started by Lisa Hendey in 2000 to create a community for Catholic parents to share insights on living their faith with their family. The website has grown substantially over the years to become a rich resource for all Catholics seeking spiritual enrichment for their families.  It continues to provide fresh perspectives from the enriching columnists and contributors with daily articles and reflections as well as book and tech recommendations.

Pick Up Your Cross

A few of my seminarian brothers have what are called “Comfort Crosses.” These wooden crosses are often made in the Holy Land or other pilgrimage sites and get their name from their smoothness in the palm of one’s hand. A few of us have started to jokingly call them “ergonomic crosses,” as even the idea of a “comfort cross” is incredibly ironic. Nonetheless, this harmless irony points to the desire that we all have: to avoid discomfort and suffering.

The first reading today is taken from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah; who certainly knows a thing or two about suffering. We learn that the people of Judah are contriving plots against Jeremiah so that they can “destroy him by his own tongue” (Jer. 18:18). He calls out to God, “Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life?” (18:19-20). He awaits suffering and persecution and begs the Lord to take it away.

Today’s Responsorial Psalm has a very similar tone. The Psalmist is aware of the snare set for him and can “hear the whispers of the crowd” (Ps 31:14). He calls out for the Lord to save him. While most of us haven’t experienced the intensity of persecution of Jeremiah, we can relate with the cry of both him and the Psalmist. At the first sight of discomfort, we are often asking for the Lord to take it away. Jesus speaks to the concerns of both Jeremiah and the Psalmist and teaches us an important lesson about suffering for the Christian.

Jesus has shared with his apostles that he “must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised” (Matt 16:21). Soon after the Transfiguration, Jesus once again tells his disciples that “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day” (Matt 17:22-23). At the beginning of today’s Gospel, Jesus tells them again “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (Matt 20:18-19).

But it doesn’t appear like James and John are listening to these stern words of warning from Jesus. Perhaps they are reflecting back on the splendor of the Transfiguration and want to share in his glory. They wish to sit to the right and to the left of Jesus in His Kingdom. Perhaps these sons of Zebedee anticipated another great transfiguration upon their arrival in Jerusalem. They are merely concerned about power and status and forget that Jesus is going to suffer and die. Perhaps when he asks them “can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” they imagine a chalice of sweet wine at a rich royal banquet.

Understandably, the rest of the apostles are indignant that James and John seek advancement. We, too, can become frustrated with James and John for trying to elevate themselves. But we, too, often want power, prestige or even a cozy life without the cross. We want a little cross we can hold in our hands that certainly won’t even give us a splinter. Jesus corrects his apostles noting that greatness in the Kingdom of God is about being a servant. He provides the example of this service in laying down his life on a giant, bristly cross.

Lent is a beautiful time of year to be brutally honest with ourselves. Are we able to drink his chalice? Do we call ourselves Christians for the comfort it brings us or are we truly willing to go to the cross with Jesus? This Lent, let us purify our hearts through penance so that we might follow Christ for his own sake.

James and John do offer us some hope. Despite their early insistence on power and prestige, both apostles were able to suffer with and for Christ. St. James is traditionally known for being the first apostle martyred in the year 44. While St. John wasn’t martyred, he is traditionally believed to have been at the foot of Jesus’s cross with Mary. Also, later in life, he was exiled for being a disciple of Christ. Both men later showed remarkable virtue and ability to suffer for Christ and his Church. Today we can look to both men as examples and ask their intercession, that we may accept the crosses of our own life.

Saints James and John, pray for us!

Noah is a seminarian for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI. He received his Bachelors degree in finance and economics from Grand Valley State University. He has a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother and his favorite Saint is St. John Paul II.

Sacrifice in the Ordinary Moments

One of my favorite parts of my job is how ordinary it is. I spend the week assisting folks in everyday situations like buying a sandwich at Subway, opening doors or doing homework. All very ordinary tasks. Most people may find this boring and monotonous, and it certainly can be, but I’m grateful for their uncomplicated need for support.

Before I started my job as a Direct Support Professional, I was working as a Petroleum Transfer Engineer (a.k.a. a gas attendant). I had an opportunity for a college education, but I couldn’t finish and went back to my high school job at a gas station. It was pretty easy to feel bad for myself; the people around me were moving along through life just as they “should” and I was stuck. Ugh!

I worked at the gas station and other odd jobs for about 2.5 years before I found this job (which is a story for another time). By that time I just wanted out of the gas station and I didn’t care how.

The first person I served was a 15-year-old high school student who was doing second-grade math and reading. When I compared his challenges to mine, I didn’t seem to be in such a bad predicament. In fact, his simple need allowed me to serve gratefully: I now had a place in the world to do something meaningful.

I couldn’t and still can’t  do very complicated things. But the folks I serve don’t need complicated. They need simple service like being reminded to say ‘thank you’, to be handed a fork at dinner or to be congratulated when they learn a new skill.

I am still and may forever be a “college drop out”, but there is no room for that despair or self-deprecation in my heart after all of the gratitude and fulfillment I feel for doing something as important as helping a person learn to say “hello”.

Sacrifice self-pity for love of the other.

Come to life.

We’re all waiting for you.

During the week, Matt is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band.
You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com

Great Is Our God

“Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments!”

The Old Testament reading today starts out on a promising note–God is great and awesome–we can get on board with this. God is great and awesome; He loves us and is so happy with all of the ‘nice’ things we do.

We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; But wait, what’s this stuff about sin?  Wicked? I haven’t been wicked–I keep my lawn mowed and my snow plowed, wave to my neighbors, and smile at service people. I may lose my temper occasionally, or cut corners here and there, but nothing that’s wicked.

It can be difficult in our clean, well-fed, comfortable world to think we’ve done anything wicked. Our ‘problems’ aren’t sins, they’re addictions. You think my behavior is wrong, but I don’t see it that way. We just need to understand more, to be better educated and more tolerant; then God will look at us and smile.

…we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.

This all seems rather vague–rebelled, departed from commandments. I’m pretty sure I didn’t intend to do any such thing. But if, through no fault of my own, I did, please excuse me, and I’ll do better in the future.

The passage opens with the greatness of God–his awe-inspiring merciful covenant. Perfection itself has entered into a covenant with us, and we’ve ignored Him. And, to top it off, we don’t think doing that is so bad. We’ve stopped meditating on God, and instead are busy looking at ourselves. Our spiritual practices during Lent are just one more item on the to-do list, one more box to check. Instead of being the means to an end, they become the end itself.

In C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, Screwtape offers Wormwood on how to keep his human from prayer:  

“Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him toward themselves. Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. When they meet to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves, and not notice that this is what they are doing….Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling.”

To know the mercy and love of God in Christ, we must keep our focus always on Him. And Lenten fasts, almsgiving, and works of mercy are tangible ways for us to do this, along with Stations of the Cross, praying (not just saying) the Rosary and countless other spiritual practices. These all increase our longing for Jesus.

So, the rest of this Lent, keep the words of the classic hymn in mind:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of his glory and grace.  (Helen Lemmel, 1863-1961)

Pamela Pettibone joined Diocesan’s staff in 2006, after a number of years in the non-profit sector. Her experience is in non-profit administration including management, finance, and program development, along with database management and communications. She was a catechist in her parish RCIA program for over 15 years, as well as chairperson of their Liturgy Commision. Received into the Catholic Church as an adult, Pamela’s faith formation was influenced by her Mennonite extended family, her Baptist childhood, and her years as a Reformed Presbyterian (think Scott Hahn).

Transformation in the Storm

I recall the first moments of redemption and freedom that I experienced during therapy. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder where obsessions overflow into expressed compulsions of various types that then impact one’s daily living.  

For my particular form of OCD, I struggle with obsessions related to contamination and worries about what could happen to myself and loved ones in this crazy world. The compulsions that come from these obsessions of mine include intense hand washing, repeatedly checking locks and doors, and checking electrical plugs and devices (such as the oven) multiple times in a row to make sure that they are off. I can spiral into these compulsions if I let the obsessions take over my flesh, so I must expose myself to these obsessions and fight the compulsions: this is known as exposure response therapy.  

This battle is something I surely cannot win alone, but with God, I can be made new. OCD has a root reasoning for expressing itself out of a desire to be in control, but I am not in control throughout this storm of life. Rather I am transformed through God’s love for me, through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

The beautiful fruits of this anxiety disorder, which I have come to realize since my diagnosis, is that I am able to unite myself with Christ as I call upon Him to save me from this mess. Through my struggles with loving myself in my lowest times, God whispers in my ear and speaks to my heart to remind me that I am created in His image and likeness, with a dignity that is uniquely given to me as His daughter. I am called to be transformed, to experience a conversion of heart. God loves me perfectly the way that I am, and I don’t need to pretend to be okay in order for Him to love me and call me to sainthood.

In today’s Gospel reading we see the account of the fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration. We see the beautiful imagery of what we are called to at our baptism  in the event witnessed by Jesus’s disciples:

“Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:2-3).

Just as Christ showed His divinity before the apostles in the Transfiguration so we are called to be transformed in the Christian life through loving ourselves and others amidst the struggles we face. Others should look at our lives and be able to see Christ’s love shine through us. When we face trials in life God is giving us the gift of further clinging to Him and allowing ourselves to radiate His love, thus becoming a gift to others.  

Christ desires for us to draw ourselves closer to Him so that we may see Him in ourselves and others, the dignity of the human person. As St. John Paul II says, “In Christ and through Christ humanity has acquired full awareness of its dignity and the meaning of its existence.” Through Christ and His transfiguration, we are better able to understand our dignity and how purposeful our existence is. My OCD has a purpose within my dignity as a person and it is going to help me love others the best that I can as I lay the struggle at the foot of the Cross, just as your crosses will be transformed through God to help you to love others and lead them closer to Christ. Uniting our struggles to God’s love and peace will help us become more of who we are supposed to become through redemption in Christ.  

In order to continue to be transformed in Christ, we must trust in God’s promises. As we see in the first reading God promises Abraham that for his willingness to sacrifice the one he loves for Love Himself that his descendants will be as bountiful in number as the stars. God is merciful, just, and Love. Trust that your conversion through the crosses in your life will equip you to live out your vocation to love, the core vocation for all of us, for we were made by love, for love, and are called to share this Love with others. God promises to help us along our journey, and as we see time and again in Holy Scripture (and in the world around us) God always keeps His promises.  

I have experienced Love Himself through those in my life: my family, friends, and my fiance. Their example of love inspires me to keep going each day when my cross of OCD gets too heavy, and they encourage me to keep turning to Christ and accepting love so that I may grow in loving myself for the way that I was created. If I accept this love I may love them all better, and grow into the best someday wife and (God willing) mother that I can be with God’s grace. I have had doubts and fears about being able to live out my vocation of marriage with this disorder of mine, but I am reminded that God equips those who are called and not vice versa.  He calls me to sainthood through my soon to be marriage, the Domestic Church that my fiance and I will establish with our vows on our wedding day, and God will work through us both to help one another to Heaven no matter the crosses we carry. However, God calls you to live out your vocation to love in this life I pray that you may be transformed, embrace your crosses, and continue to give your struggles to Christ with hope. Be willing to truly receive His love and believe you are worthy of that love so that you may pour His love unto others.

Nathalie Hanson is a special education teacher and a joyful convert to the Catholic faith with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  She loves to share her passion for Catholicism with others, including her conversion story and how God continues to work miracles in her life through her OCD.  Nathalie is engaged to her best friend, Diocesan’s Tommy Shultz, and she is beyond excited to become Mrs. Shultz this October.  Her favorite saints include St. Peter the Apostle, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II.  If you have any questions for Nathalie, or just want her to pray for you, you can email her at rodzinkaministry@gmail.com.

Children of God

Let’s face it, sometimes what the Lord asks of us is just downright TOUGH. We are supposed to be holy and good, generous and kind, patient and prudent. And as if that’s not hard enough, during Lent we are also asked to practice self-control and self-denial. UGH! Just give me a latte and some chocolate right now, because I don’t know if I can do this!

Yet today’s readings give us a spark of hope. Despite the fact that what He asks of us is difficult, it always results in a greater gift. 

The First Reading says: “Today you are making this agreement with the LORD: he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice” (Dt 26:17).

That is the tough part. But listen to what comes next: “you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you…he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory, above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God” (Dt 26:18-19).

What an incredible promise! What is a little self-sacrifice compared to being special and sacred to God!?

And again in the Gospel, he says “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt5:48). But the payoff is sweet: “that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:45). My Dad always used to tell me that God can never be outdone in generosity, and today’s readings show us the perfect example. We are asked to put forth a little effort, yet His rewards are everlasting.

Tami Urcia spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, while simultaneously studying Theology and Philosophy in Spanish. She has worked in Family Life Ministry at both the diocesan and parish levels. She currently works for Diocesan, is a freelance translator and blogger. She and her Peruvian husband are raising their children bilingual and love sharing reflections of life, love and everything in between. Find out more about her here: https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com