If you don’t know what to put in your daughter’s stocking this year or gift to an older god-child or Confirmation candidate, I’m here to help. You want to grab a copy of Radiant Magazine’s latest edition (Winter 2018). You can buy just one mag for only $10 (the cost of an ornament these days), or a nab subscription for quarterly infusions of beauty for the eyes and soul for only $32. I know, I sound sales-y. But, honestly, I would have loved a copy of a magazine like this on my coffee table as a teen or young professional woman. [Fun fact: There is a companion magazine for young men called Valiant.]

In this most recent edition, I paired up with my sister, the incredibly beautiful Nora Mulhern, to write an article on discerning what is truly good in our lives. She was the perfect co-writer, because, at Annunciation Heights, she works with young women every day to help them to get outside of their normal surroundings and mental state and to open themselves to beauty, stillness, and the whisper of God in their hearts.

Here’s a sneak peek at our musings about goodness and how we master our feelings when we’re trying to make a good decision…

Imagine that inside of you is a mysterious, hidden landscape. Your favorite people and places reside there, as do characters from real life and from books and movies you have seen. Your greatest fears lurk in the shadows, and the weather changes with your mood. A king rules the land and controls the little dramas that play out day to day. A poor ruler is willful and impassioned and doesn’t control his borders so evil people work their way into his advisory council and monsters ravage his lands. A good ruler is welcoming but firm, reasoned but not insensitive, and wise and just. We crown the ruler of this secret place, or, frequently, we don’t choose a king, and the loudest, most charismatic contender wins.

This interior landscape is just a way of looking at the inner life of our soul. We would certainly love it to be all sunshine, harmony, and roses. But sometimes it feels as though we are not in control of this hidden kingdom. Perhaps you would like to be …