This past weekend, I ran the DC Rock N Roll half-marathon with my little brother and a bunch of friends. My goal was to run it in 2 hours (cutting about 5 minutes off my previous time from almost 10 years ago!) But about two months ago, I hurt my knee and had to sit out almost a full month of training. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d even be able to run this race, but was hoping and praying that my time of rest would help me get out there!

Fast forward to this weekend: I was thrilled to be feeling a bit better, and ready to run. I still *wanted* to hit about two hours, but didn’t have the highest hopes considering the wrench thrown into my training plan. But at the start line, my friend Mary turned to me and said, “I’ll pace you.” For context, Mary is fast. Like fast fast. But her offer was genuine, and we set off together.

Mary stayed with me that whole race. We started running at a pretty quick pace, and I told myself I’d fall out of it by mile 8, 9, or 10. But Mary and I kept going. Whenever we hit a hill or I felt like I had to slow it down, she would turn to me and say “We’re going to hit your goal.” At about mile 10, she said, “I think we’re going to finish in 1:55.” I was floored.

We crossed the finish line at 1:55. It was not because of me; it was completely because Mary was running at my side, pushing me, distracting me from my exhaustion, and keeping me going. She was the ultimate pacer.

 

On Sunday morning, the homily at mass was about friendship with the Holy Spirit, and I realized that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate pacer of the spiritual life. He keeps us focused, strengthens our resolve, pricks our conscience, and gives us endurance. As St. Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians:

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.

In our friendship with the Holy Spirit, we are guided to follow the will of God, driven to grow in faith, hope, and charity, and reminded of God’s overwhelming love for us. He doesn’t want us to stagnate or slow down; the Holy Spirit is gentle but encouraging. He wants us to “run so as to win.”

As we enter the final weeks of Lent, I know I could use a little extra dose of endurance and encouragement. I want to finish this race strong. I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to help me be obedient to what God is asking me to do; whether in my relationships, at work, or in my Lenten observances.

How is the Holy Spirit working in your life this week? Are you making the space to hear His voice? God is always, always working. Let’s pray this week for the grace to say yes to Him.

In Christ,

Jane


What I’m loving lately….

Podcast Episode 98: Go to St. Joseph!! with Katie Mittel

We are blessed with three-peat guest, Katie Mittel, to talk about one of our very favorite people: St. Joseph! And what better day to have this conversation than on his feast day, March 19. Katie and I both have devotions to St. Joseph, and in this episode we share how he has interceded in our lives, and how his incredible virtue and holiness inspires us to grow in our faith, hope, and charity. Tune in here on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

Consecration to St. Joseph by Fr. Donald Calloway

In the above podcast, we reference Fr. Calloway’s “Consecration to St. Joseph” quite a few times throughout, and we couldn’t recommend it more! You can buy it here.

Letting God take His time

A friend and I had a conversation about growing in patience this week, and it reminded me of this Fr. Mike video that I absolutely LOVED about how God is working in our present circumstances to answer our prayers. You can watch it here!


Are you flinching away from God?

Another YouTube video here (apologies to those who gave up YouTube for Lent…) but this series by Ascension has been fantastic. I admit to having cried at most of the videos in this series. Here’s the one from last week that really hit my heart… so good!

What’s your plan for Holy Week?

Holy Week is coming up fast (Palm Sunday is this weekend!!) This is my favorite time of the year as a Catholic; the rich opportunities for prayer, repentance, and time with the Lord are so beautiful. I highly recommend looking at what is available in your parish and making a plan now:

  • Does your church hold a candlelit Tenebrae service on Wednesday?
  • I can’t wait for Holy Thursday’s Seven Church pilgrimage, where you visit seven churches for adoration after Holy Thursday mass (here’s the info for the DC event up by CUA next week!)
  • I’m taking half of the day off on Good Friday to attend services in the afternoon and plan to spend Holy Saturday outside and resting with friends.

How can you make this Holy Week unique and open yourself up to all of the graces that the Lord wants to offer you?

In DC this weekend: Fr. Pine Lenten Retreat!

To my DC girlies – Fr. Gregory Pine, OP is preaching a Lenten retreat at Immaculate Conception this weekend, Friday evening and all day Saturday, on the eucharist! It should be awesome. I’ll be leading a small group there! You can still register, here.

Also in DC… the cherry blossoms have arrived!

One of the best seasons of the year is here! The springtime (and cherry blossoms) always remind me of Isaiah 43:19: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

    Prayer requests

    • For two friends who had babies this week!!
    • For a fruitful retreat at my parish this weekend
    • For our endurance through the end of Lent!

       

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