US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Fast break: Stop eating the world for Lent

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Lent is a good time to call time-out on our First World feeding frenzy.

"Eat the world” is the slogan of the food court at a high-end Magnificent Mile mall in Chicago—and it delivers. From sushi to stir fry, pasta to pancakes, all that stands between an eater and a defenseless world is the cash to pay for it. Since the slogan was once plastered all over Chicago’s buses, it was hard to escape. I still notice it most often during Lent, when I am supposed to be curtailing my own consumption of the goods of creation, though rarely with much success.

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.

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.

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."

Escape to reality

By Sarah Sharp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Vacations can make a difference

All work and no pray

By David Liners | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Anne Satorius ia a pretty typical hardworking, faithful Catholic. She teaches catechism at her parish in Milwaukee; she and her husband, Tim, edit the newspaper at their daughter's school (where they also serve on the PTO); she looks after her aging parents, helping with yard work and more; she is a full-time dental hygienist.