US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Sermon on the mound: John Sexton on baseball and God

By James Breig| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In the classroom and the stands, the president of NYU roots for God.

John Sexton, the president of New York University, holds tight to some deep truths: that his late wife is still with him, that there’s more to life than science, and that baseball and God are connected.

He is also a man of intriguing contradictions. A native of Brooklyn, he roots for the Yankees. He works within an environment of science and learning, but he holds

on to his belief in the reality of the ineffable. Surrounded by doubters, he remains steadfast in his Catholicism.

She's Nobody: Remembering Emily Dickinson

By Joan Sauro, C.S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Emily Dickinson may hve found it dreary to be Somebody, but some still find her worthy of remembrance.

Blessed among women, Robert Ellsberg calls her in his book of the same name. Here Emily Dickinson appears with other spiritual giants, sharing Teresa of Ávila's mysticism, her soul in white heat; Joan of Arc's courageous wrestle with belief and unbelief; the little way of Thérèse of Lisieux, whose battles, like Emily's, were mostly fought within.

Here is Catherine of Siena: "All the way to heaven is heaven, because He said, ‘I am the way.' "

Work hard, pray hard: More on Dorothy Day

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The editors interview Jim Forest, biographer and friend of Dorothy Day--and a former Catholic Worker himself, about Dorothy Day's abortion, conversion to Catholicism, and what she might think about women's ordination.

How did Dorothy Day become Catholic?

Angels we have heard on low

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Angels are the personal manifestations of the earthbound grace of God. John Shea comments on the role of angels in the spiritual lives of people in an excerpt from A Month by Month Guide to Entertaining Angels by Mark Boyer.

A recent novel begins with a spaceship surging into outer space. One of the astronauts glances out the portal at the vast empty expanse. An angel wings by.

My guardian dear: Guardian angels in action

By Robert Reilly| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A personal cherub, ever this day, at your side? How else do you explain those close calls?

No one likes to be taken for granted. I suppose even pure spirits bristle at neglect. That's why I've spent a lot of time these past few years apologizing to my guardian angel.

Many adult Catholics dismiss the presence of these protectors as harmless residue from their parochial years. The widespread belief that each person receives a special angel to watch over their bodily and spiritual health has often been associated with the protection of children in both prayer and art.

Eating is believing: A U.S. Catholic interview with Chef Kevin Gillespie

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
What you put on your plate says something about the kind of person you are, says this Catholic gourmet chef and reality TV star.

Kevin Gillespie comes from a long line of Southerners: “My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents are all from the South,” he says. They hail specifically from the Appalachian Mountains, where the traditional diet depended heavily on what was in season and grown locally, thanks to minimal opportunities for preservation.

I'm open: Finding grace in sports and life

By Joan Sauro, C.S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Grace follows us around, but sometimes we have to get into the right position to receive it.

In the poet Chaucer’s day—that is, 14th-century England—April came with shoots, buds, and singing birds, the air tinged with the sweet breath of zephyr winds. It was then that folks rose from a long winter sleep with thoughts of pilgrimage on their minds. In merry fellowship men and women journeyed to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury to thank the martyr and seek his continuing protection. On the way the pilgrims told stories and welcomed a stop at the Tabard Inn.

Road tripped: Finding grace in life's unexpected bumps, twists, and turns

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Life’s unexpected twists and turns need time to reveal the lessons they offer.

Mowing the grass doesn’t rank high on the list of major life events, but when the left leg and arm of the person working next to you suddenly stop functioning properly, you realize pretty quickly that some major life events—maybe the most significant ones—are not calendared in advance but burst upon you like an unwelcome surprise.

No pain, no gain: Offering it up

By Bill Harkins| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Sometimes the struggles we choose can unite us with those whose suffering comes unbidden.

At about mile 22 I practically forgot the reason I was running-or at this point barely jogging-my second marathon in as many years. My feet were screaming at me to stop "offering it up" and lay my aching body down in the grass. It would feel so good to stretch out and soak up the Florida sunshine. A little voice asked, "Couldn't praying a rosary in the prone position be just as effective as pounding out 26.2 miles?"

War stories

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Faith on the line in Iraq and at home