US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Mountain man

By Jim Forest | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Forty years after his untimely death, Thomas Merton continues to inspire us to climb new spiritual peaks.

Few writers of the past century have had as big an impact on so many people as Thomas Merton (1915-1968). His readers ranged from popes to high school students, from astronauts to taxi drivers, from mystics to people trying to decide if God exists. His interests were as wide ranging as the Milky Way, from prayer and contemplation to war and peace, from every aspect of Christianity to aspects of Buddhism and other religions.


Standing room only: Creating a crowded creche

By Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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When admittance to the nativity scene is free and open to the public, Bethlehem can get a little crowded—but the creche is enriched because of it.

I don’t have pictures of myself sitting terrified on Santa’s lap. Despite his slow but certain infiltration into the traditional Spanish Christmas, he has never been able to dethrone the Wise Men who, flanked by pages, still sit in department stores and city squares to listen to children whose wishes they will fulfill the day after their parades on January 6.


Watch: 5 questions with Laurie Brink, O.P.

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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We shouldn’t get hung up on the details surrounding Jesus’ birth, says this Bible scholar. As with any scripture story, there’s more here than meets the eye.

Open some doors this Advent

By Joyce Rupp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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"Listen! I am standing at the door knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me" (Rev. 3:20).

What child is this?

By Megan McKenna | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Christmas Day of the year of the Lord 2000. Two thousand years of the reality of the Incarnation of God in human flesh, the coming of the holy into our midst, the poor son of Mary and her husband, Joseph, son of God and son of Man, firstborn of all creation.

What are you waiting for?

By Father Robert Barron | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Try this for Advent: Next time you are forced to cool your heels, see the wait as a spiritual invitation.

Advent is the liturgical season of vigilance or, to put it more mundanely, of waiting. During the four weeks prior to Christmas, we light the candles of our Advent wreaths and put ourselves in the spiritual space of the Israelite people who, through many long centuries, waited for the coming of the Messiah.


A reading from the prophet Bonnie: An Advent essay

By Father Ronald Raab, C.S.C. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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God’s messengers are often just as surprising as the words they bear.

Advent always opens me up. Just when I think I am in control of my life and ministry, I am confronted by the challenges of a new liturgical year. The prophets get under my skin. The gospels splash my soul to surprise and awaken me.


All in the family

By Justin Catanoso | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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A journalist tries to get the real scoop on his cousin the saint.

The halls of Riuniti Hospital in Reggio Calabria were bustling that summer day with white-coated doctors and orderlies. The P.A. system blared as southern Italians waited in long lines for care. I had come for something else. I had come to see a medicine man about a miracle.


Death takes a holiday

By Paul Conklin | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In San Marcos de Tlatazola—and throughout Mexico—El Dia de los Muertos reunites the living with the dead.

San Marcos de Tlatazola must have been old when Columbus reached the New World.

Hemmed in on all sides by the cloud-mottled peaks of the Sierra Madre, the village is located in southern Mexico in an arid landscape of few trees, abundant cacti, and an occasional field of spindly corn.


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