God’s Early Morning Gifts


Walking on an early summer morning, Sister Sheila is greeted by the sun. The darkness of fall and winter beckons her as much, as she prays her rosary and gives thanks for God’s gifts.

By Sister Sheila McGrath, OSB

Peaceful … quiet … dark. What am I describing? My morning walk!

God’s gifts are so evident as I take my morning walk at the beginning of each new day. Continue Reading

Part 4: Get down off your cross!

blurry to clear cross

There’s lots of talk about resurrection this time of year, from the good news of the Easter story to what we witness outdoors in every new flower. But what does it really mean to us, in a practical way? The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery collaborated on this 10-part answer to the question of How to Practice Resurrection Every Day. We will publish it in installments over the next couple of weeks!

As long as we’re alive, choosing resurrection is always worth the risk. – Parker Palmer

Rev. Debra Jarvis, a hospital chaplain and writer, had been listening to a patient retell her story of diagnosis and treatment for cancer.

Jarvis had heard it all before. Despite getting a clean bill of health during her one-year follow-up exam, the patient was sharing how she had suffered and struggled all year, finally concluding, “I felt crucified.” Continue Reading

Going from "No" to "Yes" in One Summer Afternoon

As a Catholic girl growing up in Peoria, Ill., Margaret Mary “Marmee” McGrath (shown in red at left) never dreamed of becoming a nun. Nicknamed for the mother in Little Women (“My mother loved that book!”), Marmee attended Catholic school, prayed the rosary before morning Mass, and helped her teacher Sisters keep the sanctuary clean. She also had 2 cousins enter religious life.

During her junior year in high school, Marmee’s choir director even asked her point blank, “Have you ever thought of religious life?” Marmee said simply, No.

“And the question didn’t get me started thinking about it, either,” she laughs today. Continue Reading