US Catholic Faith in Real Life

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

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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

Island Queen: A reflection on Our Lady of Charity

By María Ruiz Scaperlanda | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Our Lady of Charity warms the hearts of Cubans both on the island and dispersed throughout the world.

As Cuban refugees in Puerto Rico, my parents made it a priority in our upbringing for my brother Ignacio and me to learn Cuban history and traditions, from music and family stories to geography and José Martí’s poetry.

Is your faith working? A Labor Day survey on faith and work

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
When U.S. Catholic readers punch the clock, they don't forget that they are still on God's time, according to a Reader Survey in honor of Labor Day.

Lasting supper: Alice Camille on Jesus as the Bread of Life

By Alice Camille | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Fruit of the vine and work of human hands, a meal shared in communion with a friend becomes for us the bread of life.

"How much do you want to know?" The question I asked my good friend was hardly casual. Dale and I were sitting in a hospital room, and he was in bad shape.