denise bossert

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | What we were born to do: Sharing Christ with others

Denise Bossert

When I sit down to write, I think about my encounters with our Catholic faith, what's on my heart and in my spirit. That has been the starting point for my column for 10 years.

But this time, it's different. This time, I start writing by pondering the ending.

I have sensed that the Lord is sending me down new roads. Monthly syndication is ending. After 10 years of writing a column, it's strange to know that things are changing.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | Our faith is worth treasuring

Denise Bossert

My friend attended a class on life after a divorce. She is Catholic. She loves the faith and simply wants to heal and be whole for Christ and His Church. She lives in fidelity to the faith she has received.

Her counselor suggested that she attend a post-divorce class which was held in a non-denominational church in the area. My friend went once, and she didn't go back. On the night of the first class, she walked down the hall and read signs on the doors as she looked for her class. One sign read, "Decluttering Catholicism."

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | On refugees and pilgrims: Finding holy people and holy places in Jordan

Denise Bossert

It's not so hard to imagine anymore: You are middle to upper class. Christian or some other minority faith group. And ISIS presses toward your city, sending messengers ahead of them, saying, "Leave the city with only the clothes you are wearing, or we will kill you."

There are very few places to go. Lebanon is a possibility. And Turkey.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | The wonder and awe of the piligrimage

Denise Bossert

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the most out of this faith journey. How to go about it. How to open myself up to Jesus Christ.

How to engage the faith like a saint. I mull it over.

I'm not certain that is the right approach anymore. It seems more efficient to just be docile, like falling into the swimming pool on that old Nestea commercial. Don't try to figure it all out. Just give yourself to it, with abandon.

It's a pilgrimage, not a vacation.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | Seeing God's plan in action on pilgrimage

Denise Bossert

A few days ago, my friend and former RCIA instructor about the year I came into the Church -- how he'd talked to us about the Immaculate Conception and how I'd struggled with the teaching, how that particular RCIA lesson had fallen on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and how I made my first petition to Mary that day after class. I didn't know the significance of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe because all I could think about was the talk he had just given about the Immaculate Conception, which seemed so unbelievable to me that nothing else hit my radar.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | Embrace God's plan for you found in Kairos

Denise Bossert

The Greek words chronos and kairos always remind me of Frank Kermode's book "The Sense of an Ending" -- required reading for my master's degree comprehensive exams at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

I remember three writers from the long list of required reading for comprehensive exams: "Four Quartets" by T.S. Eliot; "The Writing Life" and "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard; and Frank Kermode's "The Sense of an Ending."

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