Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mary's Touch Interview

On Wednesday, October 2, Cheri Lamonte will be interviewing Denise on Mary's Touch. Program TBA.

For more information about Mary's Touch, go to:


Saint Joseph Radio Interview

Bossert was interviewed by Saint Joseph Radio on Saturday, September 28th. She is the newest member of the Saint Joseph Radio Speakers Bureau. For more information about having her speak at your parish, go to: or contact her at


Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Eucharist - Finding Jesus in God's "Stereogram"

In the early 1990s, my sister lived in New Zealand and worked for a traveling science roadshow. We talked on the phone rarely. It was too expensive, and the voice delay on oversea phone calls was really frustrating. My sister began sending postcards to keep us current on her exciting adventure. One postcard stands out in my memory from that era. On the front of the postcard, there was a stereogram, a hidden 3-D picture wrapped in a blue-green 2-D design. The instructions on the postcard said to hold the image right up to your nose and slowly pull the picture away from your face. The reader was told to stare through the picture rather than try to focus on the 2-D pattern. “Let your eyes go beyond the obvious image, and you will begin to see the hidden image,” the footnote read.
I raised the card to my nose and tried it about ten times. My children figured it out almost immediately.
“I give up. I can’t see a thing!” I tossed the card on the table and my son picked it up, imploring me to give it another try.
“You have to let it happen, Mom. Don’t look at it. Kind of let your eyes go out of focus. And fight it when your eyes want to look at the design. You’ll never see it that way. The picture is deeper. Not here.” He rubbed the palm of his hand across the postcard. “It’s there.” He took his right index finger and pointed down to the postcard in his left hand. When his finger touched the picture, he slid it around the side of the picture, and kept on pointing to an imaginary place beyond.
He handed the card to me, and I took it reluctantly. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I thought about what my son had said and gave it one last serious effort.
And suddenly, I saw it. Three dolphins. Three 3-D dolphins in a row. It was SO cool.
There are times when the indelible mark of God on the lives of those around us can seem as elusive as the 3-D picture hidden in a stereogram. We don’t see Christ in our neighbor. We don’t see Christ in the poor. We don’t see Christ in the priest.
We just see a rude neighbor. A guy on the side of the road with a sign. A man with foibles like everyone else who sometimes wears a stole.
God tells us to look closer. No, not at the surface. Don’t fixate on the outward patterns. You’ll never see what lies beneath that way. Jesus is there, and you can see him if you let yourself get past the surface image.
He’s there, in the eyes of your neighbor.
He’s there, in the eyes of the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the immigrant.
He’s there in the ordained one. A priest forever. Marked with God’s indelible imprint.
Sometimes, the pattern on the surface throws us off. We become frustrated by what we see. God tells us to look a little deeper. Give it another try. True identity is sometimes hidden. Cloaked in external trappings.
And if we can begin to see Jesus Christ hidden in the faces around us, maybe we can begin to see Our Lord hidden under the appearance of bread and wine.
Fight it when your eyes want to look at the design. You’ll never see Him that way. Christ is deeper. He’s there.
No longer bread.
No longer wine.
Soon, we enter the “Year of Faith.” It’s time to put on the eyes of faith and see Jesus Christ.




Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Need Thee O I Need Thee - Acapella Arrangement


Awesome: listen to this one-man choir

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Something from Catholic Lane


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Someone Posted the Final Score on Facebook

My husband watched the football game today. He recorded it so he could fast forward through all of the commercials and uncomfortable moments when the Rams weren't playing so well.

I sat on the sofa with him, one eye on our two young grandsons and the other on Facebook. A Facebook friend posted that the Rams won the game.

My husband was only at half-time on the recorded game.

I sat there and listened to John (my husband) lament. The Rams were a mess. They didn't stand a chance. Their defense stunk. It looked terrible. This team was giving the win to the Cardinals Football Team.

I kept the final score to myself. John hated the way the game was going, but the only thing he would hate more would be for me to tell him that we really do win in the end.

I realized that I could watch the game without stress - because I knew how it all ended. I knew that John would be relieved in the end. All his fussing and fuming was just baseless fear.

Our team had already won.

And I thought of Judith. How she stood up to the fussing and fuming men in Israel and told them to buck up. Their God had never let them down, and He wasn't about to let them down now.

As a Church, we are going through some tough days. We can't sit around as though the game is over. We are in the middle of the fray. In a strange way, we are playing the game in real time, but we are also looking at the status report that says the game is ours. We have already won.

We are actively engaging the opponent. AND we have won the battle.

There is peace in this kind of assurance - a Judith kind of peace.

Judith knew what it meant to be in this both-and place. God had already won the victory, so they needed to quit acting like they'd already lost. But they needed to get off their butts and pray and fast and DO SOMETHING! Anything. Except throw in the towel.

Chances are, you are dealing with your own enemies right now. Chances are, you have a few struggles that have you feeling down and out.

Take a lesson from Judith and pick yourself up. Wash the tears from your face. Skip a meal or two and pray instead. Amazing what a little prayer and fasting can accomplish - or rather, what God can accomplish when we offer him our prayers and fasting.

God has won the battle.

We know who wins in the end.

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen. Jude 1:24-25



Saturday, September 7, 2013

The First Time I Prayed the Rosary - years before entering the Church.

Trivia for the day. I prayed my first Rosary for peace in 1990 when I was teaching in a Catholic school in Iowa. I wasn't Catholic and had no idea how to pray the Rosary. I didn't pray another Rosary for 15 years. But, I organized my Spanish club to join together and pray the prayers in Spanish that day in 1990. Back then, I found the Spanish version easier to say/pray - because I still had a strong anti-Catholic bias against things like the Rosary. Strange how praying in another language freed me from that bias long enough that I could join with my students in prayer. I still remember how to pray those prayers in Spanish. Padre Nuestro... Dios te salve Maria...
Nikki, a student at Beckman High School, taught me the order of prayers and helped me to lead the students. We prayed in the Adoration Chapel. I had no idea that Jesus was truly present in the Tabernacle. I knew that the Communion bread was there - but that is all I knew.
Today was the first time since that day that I prayed a Rosary for peace - this time as a Catholic.
I suppose I will always feel like a little girl, the little sister of the Cradle Catholics, but I have come to love my little place in the Church. I am blessed to learn by watching and listening with an open heart.
And it is good.
May Our Lord hear our prayers for peace and spare our world the tragedy of more violence. May our leaders exercise restraint so that no one suffers at the hands of our country's leaders.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Once Upon A Time, when I was in a non-sacramental marriage

I've been in a marriage deprived of marital grace.

I lived 13 years in a non-sacramental marriage. I remember feeling like I was living in a black box with a locked door. The door was locked from the outside - and I was trapped within.

I remember thinking that my husband had the key and that he could unlock that door at any time and let me out. And I would live. And I would be filled with joy.

I thought he held the key in his hand. That my loneliness had everything to do with him. With his choices. What he did. What he failed to do.

The truth is, the other spouse does not hold the key in a non-Sacramental marriage. The truth is, the key is marital grace. I was blaming a man.

God held the key. But we had entered the marriage without letting God form it and seal it and remain in it.

No one is qualified to determine whether a marriage is sacramental or not. Only Mother Church - the venue for God's marital grace and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony - can make that determination. But I do know this, if there is no marital grace, there is only sadness. A box.

And a lonely soul inside of it.

In 2005, a went through the annulment process and realized many things about myself - and that marriage. I took a long hard look at the two people that met that day and took vows. And I realized what Mother Church determined after looking at it all very closely. We were not ready. I . . . I was not ready.

The details don't matter here. It is enough to say that no woman (or man) can make up for the absence of marital grace in a non-sacramental marriage.

That grace is mystery. It is beauty. It is serendipitous. It is always on time.

I know these things because, today, I know the strength and joy of marital grace. This month, my husband and I celebrate 17 years of grace-filled marriage.

I still have a box. Inside that box, my soul abides with Christ. Grace is there - that key is there. And grace opens the door and lets me go out and love my husband and my family and live for Christ and do tough things and give of myself. Then, I go back to the quiet place, the door is always open, and I enter into that intimate space where Our Lord waits. He fills me up. He even shuts the door and locks us in together if I desire it.

And then, He walks with me to the door and we walk through it together. And I am filled with what I need to live my vocation.

That same miracle happens to my husband.

And to both of us together.

Grace is always there.

Marriage is no longer a trap. I am no longer imprisoned by fear. This life of marriage - it no longer feels like a box I want to escape.

It is life.

Where love holds me. Where grace reigns.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Life is Surreal

Life can be surreal sometimes.

I spent the last two days working on a marketing plan for a book I'm writing. The proposal is in the final stage of evaluation.

I suppose that is why I am remembering something I did almost two decades ago. I hopped on a plane and headed to Chicago and Minneapolis to interview book publishers - Evangelical book publishers, that is.

The article I was writing was about Christian fiction. The question I was asking was whether or not Christian fiction would ever hit the cross-over market. Would it ever make it in the mainstream and hold its own.

I was given good interviews and stacks of galleys. One set of galleys was for the Left Behind series.

Lo and behold, Tyndale had a cross-over book in galley stage in 1995, and we didn't even know it. I packed the galleys in my suitcase, including the Left Behind galleys, and headed home.

Now, almost 20 years later, I am writing a book. That's nothing new; I've tried it a few times.

But this time, it's not fiction. It is non-fiction.

And it is Catholic.

Life can be surreal sometimes.

God prepares us for every good work. And sometimes, the preparation is in the most unusual places. Like a restaurant in Chicago, seated with Protestant publishers who hope to get exposure from your column for their up-and-coming book.

And then, God leads you down another road. He had something else in mind all along.

I'll keep you posted on the book. I'm excited. But the really important decision has already been made - the one to come home to the Catholic Church. The decision to say yes to grace and the Eucharist and the ongoing conversion that brings us into communion with Christ.

For that, I say, thanks be to God.