About Claire Dwyer

Claire Dwyer is an unapologetically Catholic mom to six beautiful kids ages 17 to 3 and lucky wife to a great - and very patient - man, who finds joy in the surprising little glimmers God gives us of Himself - unexpected suggestions of heaven in the everyday, even in the crumbs and chaos. She delights in the sacramentality of daily life; and in the discovery that everything points to something beyond itself. With that lens that we find in the deepest pockets of our prayer, we see the glimpses of clarity in the shadows. And sometimes, by grace, the sun startles us with its brilliance.

Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo: Shining a Light on the Sanctity of Life

I love the Saints.  I love that the Church gives them to us, raises them up so that we can see what holiness looks like lived out in this life.  I love that they point to something better, brighter.  What we see in shadows, little hints in the sacrament of the everyday, the heavenly saints behold in full glory.  Here in the shadowlands we strain for a pale shimmer of heavenly sunrise, while they stand in full sun.

Read the rest…

Heaven Begins Now: Elizabeth of the Trinity

elisabeth_de_la_trinit_jouant_du_piano

Young Elizabeth

Next month the Catholic galaxy will become a little brighter as the Church receives a new cluster of saints. Among the holy handful will be just one woman, a French Carmelite considered by Pope Saint John Paul II to be one the most influential mystics of his life.

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity was born as Elizabeth Catez, “Sabeth” to her friends, in 1880. She was a hot-tempered child with sometimes “furious eyes” whose father died while she was young, forcing her mother to move Sabeth and her younger sister from their home in Dijon to a smaller second-story flat. From her window, little Sabeth could look down into the garden of the Carmelite convent. Read the rest…

A Mom on Mount Carmel

Along_Camelback_Mountain_trail_September_2008I took a fascinating online class on the nature of Mystical Theology in the Church this Spring. What precious time I could carve out from my busy life as a mom six, I spent delving into the works of St. John of the Cross and meeting a new friend, a little Carmelite mystic named Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, often called a “spiritual sister” to St. Therese, the Little Flower. Late at night, huddled on the couch while the household slept, I read about the ascent of Mount Carmel, the famous allegory used by St. John of the Cross to describe the spiritual life, the journey of the soul’s toward union with God.

Our professor asked us to write our final paper on our own journey on this mystical mountain. He challenged us to reflect on how we could embrace the self-renunciation necessary to climb closer to the summit. After a few days of mulling this over mounds of laundry and miles of carpooling, here is what I came up with:

Read the rest…