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 […]

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, […]

Do My Ancestors Matter?

The road to Bethlehem began in the northern town of Nazareth, a tiny backwater town in the Galilee region known for heavy accents and backward thinking. José hoisted the last of the luggage before helping his betrothed María, now with child, onto the animal. Together they set out on the long journey to fulfill the […]

God’s Glory

We get a lot of portrayals of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In fact, when I was in the first grade, my name was pulled out of the hat at the Wednesday Night kids program and I got to play Mary in the Christmas play. I still remember my one line: “I am Mary, I […]