Praying for a simpler, more spontaneous faith

About 30 years ago, one of my brothers-in-law, Chuck, bought a tattered old scrapbook at a thrift store. It was apparently compiled by a young woman in the 1870s. Not having a blank book in which to preserve her treasures, she had glued all sorts of mementos to the pages of an existing book. Inside one finds newspaper clippings, poems, serial stories from “ladies’ magazines” of the day, and bits of homespun wisdom.

Catholic Voices - What I like about being Catholic

A friend once asked me what I liked about being Catholic. The question seemed a bit odd to me. I told her I liked the fact that Catholicism is true. I don’t think that was the answer she was expecting. I have since discovered that many people have never considered the possibility that a religion could actually be true, or that a person might become religious after being convinced of the truth.

Catholic Voices - The power of art in the home

Mass on Sunday, grace before dinner, some religion classes — that about sums up my Catholic upbringing in New York City, except … over my bed as a child hung a picture of a woman in blue lovingly gazing down on three children: Our Lady of Fátima. Little was said about Mary, but she was always there, looking not just at those Fátima children but also at me. I grew to believe Mary cared about me.

The disturbing fact of the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the be-all and the end-all of the Christian faith. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, all bishops, priests and Christian ministers should go home and get honest jobs, and all the Christian faithful should leave their churches immediately. As Paul himself put it: “If Jesus is not raised from the dead, our preaching is in vain and we are the most pitiable of men.”

Prayer that ‘rocks your world’

One of the most impressive literary figures of the 20th century was the Irish writer Iris Murdoch. You may have heard of her surprising and thoughtful novels such as A Severed Head and The Good Apprentice; or perhaps you are conversant with her more abstract philosophical texts such as The Sovereignty of Good and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals. She reached her greatest notoriety posthumously in the work of her husband John Bayley, who penned a moving memoir of his wife’s slow and emotionally wrenching descent into Alzheimer’s disease.

Turning off the noise to listen to God

I sit at the desk in my little home office. A fall sun streams through the window, pouring brilliant light on my plant. If a plant could speak, I know it would tell me how happy it is.

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