US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Borderline Christianity

By Moises Sandoval | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

During Mass each Wednesday at Casa Juan Diego in Houston, immigrants speak of not eating for days, having nothing to drink for a week, seeing people die of thirst or because they drank irrigation water with chemicals in it.

The Creed: Do you believe what you just said?

By R. Scott Appleby | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

I once knew a young priest, an affable fellow and gifted liturgist, who nonetheless had the annoying habit of omitting the Creed when he presided at Mass. On one occasion when I served as lector and he as presider, he explained to me privately his aversion to the profession of faith.

What in Hell Can We Believe?

By Lawrence Cunningham | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

As a child I have a vivid memory of thumbing through a large book owned my grandfather that riveted my attention. It was a collection of the illustrations done by the 19th-century artist and illustrator Gustave Doré for an edition of Dante's Divine Comedy. I would love to report that Doré's depiction of paradise enthralled me, but the truth is I spent most of my time looking at the punishments suffered by those in hell.

Why sacrifice?

By Christine Gudorf | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Sacrifice was certainly a central factor in the catholic spirituality of my youth. We attended the "sacrifice of the Mass" daily. Sacrifice was not onlystrongly suggested as the appropriate response to the suffering ofothers, as in appeals for the missions or the poor; it was also taught as a good in its own right, as an important part of theprocess of following Jesus Christ. We were encouraged to veneratethose who sacrificed for others, including fathers, who sacrificed intheir jobs to provide for children, and mothers, who sacrificed oftheir time and energy to care for children.

You're holier than you know

By Father Robert Barron | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

In June of 1997, while on retreat at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, I had an opportunity to talk at some length with Father Godfrey Diekmann. One of the giants of the liturgical movement in this country and a major player in the shaping of Vatican II's document on the reform of the liturgy, Diekmann was in his upper 80s but his mind, wit, and tongue were as sharp as ever.

How do we deal with death?

By Mary Smalara Collins | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Someone to watch over me

Marie Allen, of Charleston, South Carolina lost her husband when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack only a few months after their wedding. "That next morning, around 5 a.m., I remember sitting on my bed and thinking that surely this was all a dream, and when the light of day came, it would all be back to normal. I was just full of despair, when suddenly I felt my husband's presence very strongly telling me he was okay and that I would be, too. A peace washed over me. No, the grief wasn't gone, but I could bear it."

Editors' book picks

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Catherine O'Connell-Cahill, Senior Editor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling (Arthur A. Levin, 2007) I stood in the Walgreens checkout line after work in downtown Chicago. It was Friday; the seventh Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been out less than one week.

Don't get lost in translation

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Once you've decided to get a Catholic Bible, you're still faced with eight choices. Undoubtedly, some translations will be a better fit than others. Here's some basic background.

New American Bible

Step one: Open the book

By Alice Camille | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
My older sister gave me my first Bible when I went away to college. It sat on a shelf in the dorm for months unopened. Frankly I might never have used it if not for the example of my Protestant roommate, who read her Bible every night. I admired her dedication and even envied it. But like many folks, I found the Bible intimidating. I was pretty sure I wouldn't understand it, would find the language confounding and the ancient context alienating. Also I secretly expected to be bored silly.

The greatest story never foretold?

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us... he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." These lines from Isaiah 9:6 are some of the most recognizable of the scriptures we hear at Christmastime in the Catholic Church. But was Isaiah really talking about Jesus of Nazareth?