US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Mercy me!

By Sascha T. Moore | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Sometimes we all need to have a heart-to-heart with God and own up to our shortcomings. Psalm 51 shows us how to do it.

"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.
For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always.
Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.
Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart, and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom.

Lake Effect

By Karen Skalitzky | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Surviving grief, looking for a path back home

The stillness of my apartment is deafening. I wake to the sun beating through my blinds and the drone of the air conditioner echoing my loneliness. My day feels as empty as my insides. I’ll reach out, call a friend, run some errands, do some work. But the path is solitary. The grief is mine and mine alone.

My father, our Father

By Mary Cleary Kiely | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
It can take a lifetime to step past a history of hurt, but 12 steps is a good way to start.

When my young son asks me what God looks like, I want to tell him what he will probably only understand much later, that for children especially, God looks like the people in whom they vest their trust. God can be merciful or terrible.

Bless me, mother

By Annemarie Scobey | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In a special bedtime ritual, this mother does more than just lay her children down to sleep.

Away from the manger: An Advent Essay

By Frances M. Leap | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
As pieces of Teresa’s nativity set traverse afar, her niece catches unexpected glimpses of the Incarnation.

Do this in memory

By Ann O'Connor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Gathering and displaying reminders of lost loved ones can connect us to our own personal communion of saints.

One day a friend of mine called a classmate from college with whom she had not talked in years, only to learn that the woman’s 7-month-old baby had recently died. Resisting her impulse to end the conversation quickly, my friend was inspired to ask what the baby was like. She must have been the first person to ask this question of the mother because her simple question released a flood of memories and they talked for a good, long time.

Six ways to be a conscientious Catholic consumer

By Tom Beaudoin | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Tom Beaudoin looks at our "branded" economy and says it's time to integrate who we are with what we buy.

"I'm gonna have to check on that."
Lite jazz, then "Mail room, this is Jimmy."
"Um," I stalled, conjuring his face from the Midwestern twang of his greeting. He had a mullet and cranked the Allman Brothers and was one of the few people on earth to whom you would unreservedly loan money or confess besetting sins.
"Hello," he semi-drawled, radio in the background.

A reading from the prophet Bonnie: An Advent essay

By Father Ronald Raab, C.S.C. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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.

The billion prayer march

By Sarah Sharp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The billion prayer march: a play in three short acts

Act I. Enter Extreme Poverty. Much wailing and grinding of teeth. She falls to the ground and crawls offstage. Enter Jon Denn. Much pacing and wringing of hands. He sits down at his computer and creates

Act II. Enter Minister and Congregants. All turn toward audience and pray, "The world now has the means to end extreme poverty, we pray we will have the will." Repeat one billion times.

Pray your own way

By Christina Capecchi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
These aren't your grandma's devotions. Young adult Catholics are using non-traditional ways to get in touch with their spiritual side.

It's 11 p.m., and 31-year-old Tara Turner is wearing cotton pajamas, lying on her bed, deep in prayer. Her hands aren't folded; they're clasping a pink Game Boy.

As she digs to the center of the earth, attacking monsters en route, Turner communes with God.

"I pray as I play," she says. "When you've got your fingers and your eyes focused on this little critter on the screen, then your mind is more open to hearing God."