US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The Bible through her eyes

Scripture scholar Barbara Reid says women have something powerful to offer when interpreting the Bible.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Your Faith

Scripture scholar and Dominican Sister Barbara Reid took her first Bible course when she was a junior in college. It was an elective. “I was just so amazed at how it opened up a whole world for me,” she says. “I was also a little angry and thought, ‘Why didn’t anyone ever teach me anything about the Bible?’ ” 

Start the new year with a beginner's mind

What's so new about the new year?

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

When someone wishes us a Happy New Year, too often the spirit of the cynic is tempted to rise up from its subterranean swamp in our souls. What’s so new about it, after all? Why be happy about turning a calendar page? The difference between December and January is an incremental movement of a second hand on an analog clock. Or the merest flicker on a digital timepiece. If you’re flooded with free calendars every year, as I am, January 1 is mostly about choosing whether to spend the next 12 months looking at pictures of monkeys, dolphins, flowers, or fruit bowls.

Why was Mary a virgin?

Mary isn't a virgin for biological reasons, but theological ones.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

My all-time favorite footnote involves a scholar’s wry gloss on the maps used by Jesus. Commenting on a passage in which Jesus had to cross into Gentile territory on his way to Jerusalem, the footnote reads: “This trip was evidently a theological necessity, not a geographical one. More direct routes were available.” 

Be the peace

Make the peaceable kingdom more than a Christmas card.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

It’s Christmas card season again. Expect an avalanche of Renaissance Madonnas in your mailbox. And there will be angels too, of course: both the cute and chubby kind who look like escapees from Saturday morning cartoons and the long, severe, ethereal models who actually appear capable of bearing fateful tidings from God. 

We are not alone in our grief and fear

Lament gives us space to let the pain breathe and a way to rail against God.

By Emily Sanna |
blog Your Faith

There are times when words fail us. When the future seems unbearable, when we see no way forward, when all we can do is scream at God, “Why, God, why?”

It’s tempting, at times like these, to give up. To curl up in bed and shut out the rest of the world. To turn our backs on God—who didn’t protect us from the tragedy. To wrap ourselves in a community of like-minded individuals and rail against the state of the world while simultaneously pretending it doesn’t exist. I think it’s safe to say most of us have felt this way at some point in the last 12 months.

When the world is falling apart, keep going

The future is a scary place, but we have to face it head-on—even if we’d rather deal with change by hiding our heads in the sand.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

What do you do when the sky is falling? This is not just a problem for Chicken Little to solve in the familiar children’s story. It’s a life question all of us have to answer sooner or later. As is the case with most fables and nursery rhymes, the famous fowl must address a certain grim reality nested in the experience of a world at risk.

It’s OK to push back against God. Moses did.

Like many Christians today, Moses' relationship was God was less than smooth. That's because it was a partnership.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

It can be a wee bit confusing, after a year dedicated to celebrating divine mercy, to spend any appreciable time with the God of Moses. It seems as if for those 40 years the Israelites spent in the wilderness, God threatens every five minutes to visit supernatural plagues and military catastrophes on various enemies—as well as snakes, fire, thunderbolts, leprosy, and earthquakes on God’s friends. At the end of the epic journey, God’s best pal Moses gets denied access to the land of promise. Where’s this mercy we’ve been talking about?