US Catholic Faith in Real Life

U.S. Catholic writers and readers share their reflections on their Lenten journeys. How do you plan to <a href=" target="_blank">"upgrade now"</a>? If you'd like to share a reflection, e-mail <a href=""></a>.

Soup's on

By Meghan Murphy-Gill |
blog Culture

What is it about a meal of soup and bread that generates a sense of holiness? Is it its sheer simplicity, that it’s a no-fuss, one-dish, and one-pot meal? The fact that a meager serving of a cup of hot soup and a piece of bread can actually satisfy us, keeping our bellies full for longer than we expect? Is it how it can warm us from the inside out, radiating from within like a joyful thought that makes you smile?

If I had a million dollars...


...I'd likely feel poor, according to a survey of millionaires.

But I neither have a million dollars nor feel poor. In fact, I know I'm quite rich.

"They compare themselves to their peer group," Michael Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, says of the "poor" millionaires. Wealth seems to be about who we think of when we think of our neighbors, and Jesus, of course, challenges us to expand our concept of neighbor.

Making a Dent this Lent

Online Editor |
How do you get through a roomful of laundry? One pile at a time, says Bridget Purdome. The same goes for the upgrading process during Lent: Just take it a day at a time.

Go Slow. Fast.

Online Editor |
In her second "last Lent," Lisa Calderone-Stewart still finds value in fasting.

Anticipating caffeine withdrawl

Online Editor |
Skipping a Lenten fast is even harder than skipping morning coffee.

Are we serious about fasting?

By Bryan Cones |

I've had some friends ask me what the value of fasting is: Why give something up instead of "doing" something, or helping someone in need?

I'm not sure those things are mutually exclusive, but I do think there's something valuable in just "giving up," too, in just fasting. For me that's going to be meat this Lent. And, no, that doesn't mean I'm going to be eating lobster everyday!

Ten ways to put new life into Lent

By Tom McGrath |
These Lenten practices can help your spirituality to blossom this year.

Have you lost track of Lent in recent years? Has it lost substance and grit? Here are a few ideas you might consider to help you get more traction along your spiritual path.

Fast break: Stop eating the world for Lent

By Bryan Cones |
Lent is a good time to call time-out on our First World feeding frenzy.

"Eat the world” is the slogan of the food court at a high-end Magnificent Mile mall in Chicago—and it delivers. From sushi to stir fry, pasta to pancakes, all that stands between an eater and a defenseless world is the cash to pay for it. Since the slogan was once plastered all over Chicago’s buses, it was hard to escape. I still notice it most often during Lent, when I am supposed to be curtailing my own consumption of the goods of creation, though rarely with much success.