Trust and Idolatry

Monday, June 17, 2013 8:44 PM Comments (158)

If you've been online at all in the past month, you've probably seen the buzz about Elizabeth Scalia's new book, Strange Gods. I'd seen a sneak peak at some of the chapters and was anxious to read the whole thing; after hearing what Calah, Elizabeth Duffy, Pat and Sarah had to say about it, I was even more excited. I finally got a chance to sit down and read my copy the other day, and it was even better than I'd expected.

Ave Maria Press publishes only the very finest books, and this one is no exception. Each chapter examines something different that we might turn into an idol. Elizabeth covers the big ones, such as money or self-love, but she also unearths some idols many of us may not...READ MORE

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The Cold, Cruel Fate of a World that Is Terrified of Suffering

Thursday, May 23, 2013 4:36 PM Comments (226)

Like many folks, I've spent a lot of time this week keeping up with coverage of the horrific tornadoes that hit Moore, Oklahoma. As I looked through pictures in this article at the Daily Mail, it literally took my breath away to see the wreckage of the town, which one local described as "scorched earth." With tears in my eyes I remembered when an F5 tornado leveled a neighborhood five miles away from where I lived in 1997, and knew with a sense of dread that the pictures did not even come close to capturing the devastation.

In a temporary lapse of judgment, I scrolled down to the comments section of the Daily Mail article. One never expects open comboxes to be bastions of charity and...READ MORE

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The Anonymous Stay-at-Home Mom

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:29 AM Comments (55)

A while back I found myself at a social event where I didn't know many people, and I decided to try an experiment:

For the first half of the event, when anyone asked the common icebreaker question, "What do you do?" I would answer accurately and say, "I'm a stay-at-home mom."

For the second half of the event, when anyone asked the same question I would reply by saying, "I'm a writer." That description of myself felt like a bit of a stretch, since I spend 90% of my waking hours right now doing anything but writing, but I went ahead and owned that title for the event as part of my experiment.

Sure enough, by the end of the evening, the experience confirmed something I've long...READ MORE

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The "KEEP OUT" Sign on the Family Home

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 5:42 AM Comments (44)

A few weeks ago, our front door broke. The handle became completely useless, to the point that there was no way at all to open the door. It was like Introvert Christmas. Salespeople, Jehovah's Witnesses, neighborhood kids and a few other folks all came knocking on my door, and I had a legitimate excuse not to interact with them. "I'M SORRY, MY DOOR IS BROKEN!" I'd shout from inside my house. "YOU'LL HAVE TO COME BACK LATER."

My husband finally fixed the door after a couple of days of this, bringing my exciting foray into the life of a recluse to an abrupt end. On some of my more overwhelming days, like the afternoon when the baby's nap was interrupted twice by loud knocks at the door, I...READ MORE

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The Well-Ordered Life

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:17 AM Comments (75)

It's been an interesting year here at the Fulwiler household (and by "interesting" I mean "absolutely insane, mostly in a bad way"). First, I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism (blood clots) in both lungs while I was 24 weeks pregnant, which left me hospitalized for the better part of a week and extremely tired and short of breath for the rest of the pregnancy. Then, as the baby's due date approached, I was back in the hospital to have a filter put in a major vein to prevent any clots that might form during labor from traveling to my lungs and heart; to everyone's frustration, especially mine, the doctor realized midway through the procedure that it wouldn't be possible, so it was all...READ MORE

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Praying for People You Can't Pray For

Friday, March 29, 2013 6:02 AM Comments (140)

A couple of years ago, a spiritual director gave me a hard assignment. I had just finished railing at him about someone with whom I was very angry. After marveling at the amazing odds that I, of all people, would just so happen to encounter the worst human being on the face of the planet, as well as rehashing the part of the story about my own innocence and the utterly unprovoked nature of the bad person's evildoing, I asked the priest how I should handle the situation. He thought for a moment, then replied, "You need to pray for this person." And he didn't mean just once: He was suggesting that I regularly keep this individual in my prayers.

My attempts to enact this advice were like...READ MORE

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What One Simple Meal Taught Me About the Vicious Cycle of Consumption

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 4:48 AM Comments (21)

I didn't do much for Lent this year. As anyone who's followed the whining over at my personal blog knows, 2013 has already brought me a veritable cornucopia of opportunities for detachment from worldly pleasures and redemptive suffering, so I knew better than to push myself to try to take on much more. However, as proof that God blesses even the most minuscule efforts of his weakest children, some of my smallest sacrifices from this season have borne more fruit than the much larger ones I undertook in previous years. In fact, despite my inability to "do" much at all, I'm coming out of this Lent with a renewed perspective on my relationship with God -- and the things I tend to put before...READ MORE

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It's a Great Day to Be Catholic

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:01 PM Comments (408)

On an April day in 2005, my husband and I turned on the television to watch some show, but the program had been interrupted by coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II. I switched to another channel, but that one was broadcasting the same thing. I lifted the remote to turn off the TV, but my husband told me to pause. "Wait. Look at this," he said.

The cameras panned over the crowds, which seemed to have no end. I'd never seen so many people gathered in one place, and marveled at the endless variety of ethnicities and nationalities represented. It was like one of those intergalactic conventions in a sci-fi movie: There were nuns and monks wearing strange (to me) habits, people...READ MORE

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About Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She's a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, ConversionDiary.com. She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.