Nativity

Last night I stepped outside into the bracing cold to let the dog out one last time before bed. Already, the ground glinted with heavy frost. I breathed in sharply. My nostrils burned. Instinctively, I shoved my hands deeper into my coat pockets. I looked up and waited for my eyes to adjust to the […]

Glory is a Woman Fully Alive

St. Irenaeus of Lyon is known for the quote, “Glory is man fully alive.” The true quote from his work, Against Heresies, is this:  “Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God.” Growing up, I got to witness firsthand what it means for glory to be a woman […]

Labor of Pain, Labor of Love

I grew up Catholic. Not an Easter-and-Christmas Catholic. But an every-week-we-went-to-mass-and-my-great-grandmother-taught-us-the-rosary Catholic. We were Irish, loud, played bingo, had the priest over for dinner and I just assumed that everyone else lived the same way we did. I went to Catholic schools, wore the plaid skirts and knew the Stations of the Cross before I […]

The Hope for Which We Now Labor

It’s true what mothers say about forgetting the pain of childbirth. My births are now seven and nine-and-a-half years ago and I have to strain to remember the details. Giving birth is a moment we spend countless hours preparing for. It is the culmination of reading and birthing classes, showers, reordering our lives and homes, […]

Making Room for Glory

I keep thinking that the container matters when it comes to God’s glory. But it doesn’t. A poor, unwed Jewish girl was not a container that would have been chosen for glory. And yet she was. A place for animals would not have been a container chosen for the birth of the Glory One, and […]