The Peril of the Lone Wolf

10/24/2012 Comments (47)

When I read last Thursday's daily meditation in Magnificat magazine, it was one of those moments of being thunderstruck by a truth that is simple, should be obvious, and yet is utterly foreign to the modern mind. Doctor of the Church St. Peter Chrysologus reflects on Mark 6:7 and says:

"And he began to send them forth two by two." He sent them two by two so that no one of them, being abandoned and alone, might fall into a denial, like Peter, or flee, like John. Human frailty quickly falls if it proudly relies on itself, despises companions, and is unwilling to have a colleague. As Scripture says: "Woe to him that is alone, for when he falls, he has none to lift him up" [Eccles....READ MORE

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How One Parish Draws People to God - Through Beauty

10/22/2012 Comments (40)

A shot from my cell phone as the orchestra set up.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a performance of Mozart's Requiem, performed at our church, St. William in central Texas, as part of the parish's ongoing sacred music series.

The event featured an orchestra, a choir of more than 50 people (including two of our parish priests!), four internationally-known soloists, and it was conducted by our own music director, Dr. Gerardo Ramos (you can view a PDF of the concert program here). Also, it was not for parishioners or other Catholics only: It was specifically noted in the advertisements that all were welcome to attend.

As the concert began, and this stirring music filled the nave, it felt like something important was...READ MORE

Filed under arts, beauty, sacred music

What I Don't Get About the Atheist View of Science

10/17/2012 Comments (152)

This weekend I came across my old copy of Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe. I love the way he can make a topic like string theory and its relevance to everything from quarks to supernovas accessible to the average person.

One thing I don't understand, though, is why he seems to think that string theory tells us something definitive about the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural. He writes:

Many find it fatuous and downright repugnant to claim that the wonders of life and the universe are mere reflections of microscopic particles engaged in a pointless dance fully choreographed by the laws of physics. Is it really the case that feelings of joy, sorrow, or boredom are...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, science

3 Things My Mother-in-Law Did Right

10/15/2012 Comments (23)

I must have been first in line when God was handing out mothers-in-law. I managed to get one who can make creative children's toys using only a live scorpion and a ziplock bag; who gets so excited about her grandkids' pictures that she flags down people at Wal Mart to demand that they admire them; and who even manages to produce the occasional revolutionary theological insight.

On top of all this, she's always been a great mother-in-law. My husband and I recently celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary, and as I was reflecting on our first couple of years of marriage, it occurred to me that I must have been a kind of annoying daughter-in-law for a while there. Knowing little about the...READ MORE

Filed under marriage, parenthood

6 Simple Tips for When You're Utterly Overwhelmed

10/12/2012 Comments (10)

I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew. I don't know whether it's due more to a gross overestimation of my capacity to multitask, or an utter lack of comprehension of how many hours are in a day, but I've started many conversations with spiritual directors with the words, "Help! I'm totally overwhelmed!"

I've come to accept that I'll probably never cure this tendency once and for all. I recently got things back on track after a crazy start to Fall, but I'm sure that I'll find myself in over my head again at some point in the future (read: I'll be lucky to survive the holiday season). The one nice thing is that I have a lot of experience under my belt in the skill of...READ MORE

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The Shocking Ethics Behind the Contraceptive Choice Project

10/10/2012 Comments (177)

A study was released last week that claims to show that giving women free contraception drastically reduces unplanned pregnancy rates, and therefore abortion rates. The results are based on the Contraceptive Choice Project, in which researchers from the Washington School of Medicine offered over 9,000 women in St. Louis (some as young as 14) free contraception of their choosing. The story is making the rounds among many of the big media outlets, often cited as a triumph for the ideas behind the Health and Human Services mandate. The Huffington Post writes:

The findings of the study are significant at a time when a number of conservatives in politics and public policy are pushing back...READ MORE

Filed under contraception, hhs mandate, women's health

The #1 Way to Know if You're Complicit in Atrocity

10/03/2012 Comments (129)

The other day I was leafing through some old family papers, and I came across a document that showed that one of my distant ancestors owned a slave.

It was an unsettling moment, for reasons which you can probably guess. I felt sadness. Embarrassment. Shame at having that kind of mark on our family tree. I looked through more records and, fortunately, didn't find anything else like that. However, I wondered about my other ancestors who lived during that same time. Maybe they didn't own slaves themselves, but how did they go about their daily lives knowing that the enslavement of their fellow human beings was going on all around them? Why aren't their names in the history books as vocal...READ MORE

Filed under pro-choice

The Problem of Self-Discipline and the Modern Mom

10/01/2012 Comments (38)

Finally, October is here! For many of us, it's the month of trying to get our acts together: We cut corners during the long days of summer; in September we just try to survive the shock to the system of all the activities and schoolwork that Fall has dropped on us; we know that November and December will be packed with holiday that leaves October for getting things in order.

Along these lines, a big topic of conversation among my mom friends has been the issue of self-discipline:

I've come up with a great schedule for my family, but how can I work up the self-discipline to implement it?, one homeschooling friend remarked recently. I was hoping that with the kids gone...READ MORE

Filed under motherhood

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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, 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.