coffee clicks

Coffee Clicks: August

Heading into a much needed weekend: World got you down? News too much to handle? I’m with you. I had the heaviest heart last night when I showed up to the women’s group I’m part of. I dragged myself into Adoration, 20 minutes late, and had literally nothing to say to the Lord beyond “this sucks. Where are you?” I didn’t hear much in return, and I have to admit that my prayer life has been pretty dismal. Instead of doubling down I’ve been burying myself in the ordinary tasks of motherhood like diapers, laundry, and exploding sewers. And in moments of quiet I’ll confess I’ve been turning to Instagram more frequently than I’ve been turning to prayer. Really nice, right?

I can do better.

I really think we’re hard up for penance in the Body of Christ right now. I can pray faithfully. I can make sacrifices at mealtime. I can offer up an unexpected bill or a barfing toddler or any of the dozens of moments of humiliation which daily present themselves in the mundane tasks of living. As we were reading the Gospel last night for this coming Sunday my mind skipped ahead a few verses to the end of John, chapter 6. “To whom shall we go, Lord? You have the words of everlasting life.”

How about some uplifting stories to kick off your Friday night:

Anna has such profound wisdom to share, and does it with such tenderness and vulnerability.

Scott and I have tons of mutual friends, and he is in need of prayers as he approaches the end of his life. His composure and perspective on living with a terminal illness is breathtaking.

Theology of the Body is not just about sex. This piece had some really beautiful and practical applications of Theology of the Body to family life. Having read the whole hefty tome as a theology student, it’s impressive to see some of the essential points of it distilled in a way that makes sense, and in everyday language. Tucking this one in my back pocket to return to as I’m constantly thinking up how to best love/form/discipline/honor my children.

Our kids go to a Classical Catholic school, and we love it. No kid loves school 100% of the time, but we’ve seen a real awakening in our children’s’ imaginations as they’ve progressed through the curriculum. They are inquisitive and self assured in a way I don’t recall being at a young age, and they have an honestness about the way they engage with the world. They put their social media consuming mother to shame, quite honestly. This is a great nutshell read for what “classical education” entails.

We’re really blessed to have some incredible priests in our lives. This guy sounds like one of the good ones.

And….I got nothing. It’s a hard week. I’m going to start fasting one day a week for the purification of the Church, beginning with the purification of this wretched sinner. Will you join me? My fasts will probably involve alcohol or social media or letting my kids look at a screen. #diggingdeep.


  • Annette

    Yup. Will fast with you. One denominational church leader has said something like, The Church is a mess, but I love her.

  • Emily

    Jenny, I can feel the raw pain and emotion in your words. I think a lot of us are feeling this but not as many are putting it into writing. So thank you for doing that. I don’t know what to think… and the silence on Sundays is a lot to bear.

  • jeanette

    That’s a good invitation you are making here. It’s quiet in the comment section though. Hopefully people are just replying in their hearts.

    I think one thing the laity can do in this respect is to follow Humanae Vitae and be examples of holiness in marriage. We have a direct relationship to our priests, and if we want them to be holy in their vocation, we can help them greatly by being holy in ours…it is called edification (a word you don’t hear used very often). But I have heard young priests talk about being edified by people, and if you realize that your own living out of your vocation is part of the equation in helping our priests to be holy, too, isn’t it so worth it?

    It is a great fast, is it not, to turn away from the cultural appeal to contracept? Lived out fully embraced, it is the offering you can make to God in reparation for these sins. Yes, one can offer other fasts, and they will help our priests and help you as well, but this one of living out Humanae Vitae, and encouraging others to do so, makes complete sense. So take those marriage struggles that everyone has been discussing in how they live out Church teachings on the marriage relationship and transform them into a gift to your priests. You will build them up and strengthen them in their resolve to live a chaste life. The same goes for young people who are not yet married: live chaste lives and be an example to priests.

    The priests (and bishops and cardinals as the case may be) are in the spotlight because of their failure to live out their vocation properly. I wonder what we the laity would do if the spotlight were aimed at us instead. But, of course, the things we do are not going to get that level of scrutiny.

    Yet, it is up to us to scrutinize our own faults. And we do that when we go to confession. And guess who has to listen to us? The priest. Maybe the same guy who is guilty of one or another transgression of his own. And he has to listen to a whole line of people telling him all of their failures. How uplifting is that? Well, I suppose if we are able to show our contrition and courage to change, we are probably going to be uplifting. So I suppose making a good confession with a firm desire to turn away from sin and be transformed by grace is a good way to help a priest do the same in his life, too. If he sees us struggling but persevering, don’t you think that helps him?

    There are clearly a lot of other issues involved in this matter, but the most basic one is integration of one’s sexuality. Reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2337- #2350 and thinking about how it applies to all of us, priest and layperson, is helpful in understanding this process. Even though a priest is in a leadership role, he is still part of the greater Body of Christ, and we are called to build each other up by our own life. That’s just one way we can readily do our part in helping our priests to be holy.

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