Waiting for Christmas

12/05/2010 Comments (1)

I have a “Keep Christ in Christmas” magnet on my car already. And I have listened to Christmas music for a few days. But I am using this as a way to prepare my heart for Christmas. Hearing time-honored melodies like “O Holy Night” (my favorite Christmas song) helps me prepare for Christ’s arrival.

That’s the purpose of Advent. Preparation.

Waiting is good for us. It makes us dwell on the significance of things to come. Parents wait nine months to meet their new child; Mary, with St. Joseph by her side, waited nine months to meet her son, who was the Savior.

God came to earth as a baby — to save us. He was and is the best gift of all. So we should be appreciative of the preparation, the...READ MORE

Filed under advent, advent activities, christmas

Thankfulness

11/24/2010 Comments (1)
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– Shutterstock

Fall may be my favorite season. There’s the crisp air, ready-to-pick apples, leaves in a glorious array of colors ... and Thanksgiving!

God is good to give us this season — and a special day for thanking him for our blessings and sharing good food and fellowship with family and friends.

Last Sunday at Mass, the pastor asked children what they were thankful for. Cute and very insightful responses followed: My dog. My parents. My life.

I no longer have a dog, but a wonderful golden retriever was part of my family when I was a child. I do thank God for my parents (and grandparents, sister and extended family, as well as friends). I also thank him for the gift of life — and for those who...READ MORE

Filed under blessings, catholicism, church, faith, faith & family magazine, family, national catholic register, pope benedict xvi, priests, religious life

Must-Have Catholic Tunes

10/06/2010 Comments (25)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

I’ve been listening to a lot of Matt Maher lately. The catchy melodies and faith-filled truths are a great combination. They strike a chord with others too, since he won “Artist of the Year” at the United Catholic Music and Video Association’s Unity Awards 2010. (He also took top prize for “Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year” for “Alive Again” and “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year” for his “Alive Again” album.)

Haven’t heard Maher before? Danielle Bean highlighted a video of his “Litany of the Saints” in a recent post.

(For Maher’s thoughts on songwriting, see this article of mine.)

Which Catholic musicians are your favorites? What Catholic music are you listening to?...READ MORE

Filed under matt maher, music, song

Living the ‘Little Way’

10/01/2010 Comments (1)
Wikipedia

– Wikipedia

Today is St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s feast day. She’s beloved by many people around the world, including me. I often seek her intercession and strive to imitate her virtues.

I can relate to her in many ways: I’m a 20-something (she died of tuberculosis when she was just 24) and a writer (she wrote her autobiography, Story of a Soul). In fact, I attribute my work in journalism to her intercession.

But more than what I do for a living, I want to live Thérèse’s “little way.” She trusted God completely with a beautiful simplicity. She knew that little souls are great in the eyes of God.

Although Thérèse is not mentioned by name in Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love),...READ MORE

Filed under miracles, saints, st. therese of lisieux, virtue, vocations, writers

'Sound of Music' Cast Reunion

09/28/2010 Comments (4)
20th Century Fox

– 20th Century Fox

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies, so I was happy to see the announcement that Oprah Winfrey is reuniting the cast for her show next month.

Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and all the von Trapp kids together again after 45 years is definitely worth watching! (The last “Oprah” I watched all the way through was the show when the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist were on, as Tim Drake blogged about here. It was wonderful to see the sisters express their love for their vocation — and Oprah’s interest in religious life and faith, including praying the Rosary.)

Register readers also consider the movie one of their favorites. It ranks No. 2 on our “Top 100...READ MORE

Filed under catholic films, oprah, sound of music

From Harvard to the Convent

08/27/2010 Comments (2)
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– Shutterstock

Who knew Harvard University was a vocation encourager?

Mary Anne Marks graduated summa cum laude this last semester from Harvard and will be entering the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

But she’s not the only one going from Harvard to religious life, as Marks shared with Kathryn Jean Lopez in an interview this week: “A couple of years ago, a young man who finished Harvard in three years entered the seminary in St. Louis. A little further back, a young woman who attended Harvard and lived in the same women’s residence that I did joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. One of my friends, whom I met while she was pursuing a degree at Harvard’s...READ MORE

Filed under college, dominican sisters of mary, mother of the eucharist, harvard, university, vocations, young adults

Jesus Goes to College

08/20/2010 Comments (3)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

It’s that time of year again: Dorm move-in season. This academic year, the technology and dorm accessories students are bringing to campus seem to be in the over-the-top category, as this blog post chronicles.

Sure, a huge flat-screen TV will make you popular, the laptop with help you get your papers done, a fancy cell phone can connect you to family and friends, and that iPad or e-reader can keep you from lugging books across the quad. (That’s not to say that the latest gadgets can’t keep you plugged in to the faith, as we detailed in our recent feature “iCatholic.” You can even send/receive faith-filled text messages.)

The point is that those aren’t the most important must-have...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, college, education, faith, student, young adults

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About Amy Smith

Amy Smith
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Amy Smith is the Register's associate editor. She started writing for the Register in 2005 and joined the staff as copy editor in 2008. Her writing has appeared in various other Catholic publications, including Faith & Family, St. Anthony Messenger and Columbia magazines. She has a master’s degree in journalism and a B.A. in English.