US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Too many distractions to pray? Lectio divina can help

There's more to praying with scripture than the words on the page.

By Sister Sheryl Frances Chen |
Article Your Faith
At my 30th class reunion, one of the lectures offered was by a young psychologist doing cognitive research. He showed us a three-minute video, and our task was to watch two basketball teams, one in white uniforms and one in black, and count the number of straight passes and the number of bounce passes made by the team in white.

 

He advised us to do this in complete silence to help our concentration and not disturb our neighbor. After the video was over, he said the correct answer was 12 straight passes and 2 bounce passes. Then he asked, “Did you see the gorilla?”


I was attracted to faith by magnets, yes magnets

Learning about electromagnetic fields gave me new language to understand God.

By Arthur Suggs |
Article Your Faith

I came to faith because of magnets.


Go outside, it’s good for your soul

Let your interior life be enriched by time spent outdoors.

By Beth Haile |
Article Your Faith

On a recent trip through Yellowstone, I encountered a couple crouched next to a tall spruce tree, binoculars up and muttering to each other. Then they grew excited, both spotting something, the man going for his camera, the woman on her smart phone. “I’ve got it!” she finally exclaimed. “A mountain chickadee!” They high-fived, overflowing with giddiness. 


Abundant life: The art of Martin Ramirez

The artwork of Mexican artist Martin Ramirez reminds us that the spirit is always free.

By John Christman |
Article Culture

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Postal Service issued a collection of stamps honoring the art of Martín Ramírez. At the time of his death, in February 1963 at California’s DeWitt State Hospital, such an accolade would have seemed like a dream.


A guide for our complex selves

St. Columba was a man of dueling natures—both peaceful pastor and warring politician. He needed both to do God’s will.

By Kenneth McIntosh |
Article Your Faith

“Know who you really are and how God can use you,” one of my seminary teachers exhorted. Living this injunction, simple albeit powerful in message, has been an unfolding journey over my three decades of pastoral ministry and my current calling as a minister in the United Church of Christ.


Go to God on the Compostela

The point of a pilgrimage is not simply moving from point A to point B in order to collect a coupon at the final destination.

By Angelo Stagnaro |
Article Your Faith

Those who practice Zen refer to sitting in meditation as zazen. The Japanese word means “just sitting.”

They do nothing else except sit and wait. Shedding the unnecessary. Allowing the world to reorder itself into its simplest form.


The spiritual life of American teenagers

Catholic teens are looking for quiet spaces to develop personal relationships with Jesus through prayer and contemplation.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith |
Article Your Faith

When I think of my teen years, I mostly remember a dark road. When I turned 15 I got my license and, with a small sum of money my dad gave me after he sold my childhood home, I bought myself a real beater of a car that you could hear coming from blocks away. I didn’t want to go home; my mother had died the year before, and my Dad had remarried and had a whole new family and a new house where I felt like a stranger. So I was always driving.


Mary Undoer of Knots

Mary Undoer of Knots has come to serve as a touchstone in my daily life, assisting me whenever new knots arise.

By Jennifer Szweda Jordan |
Article Your Faith

It was time to call in the big guns—Mary, the mother of God, and some industrious cherubs. I’d been wrestling with several impossible problems. Talk therapy worked to a degree. But certain issues are beyond copays and conversation. As a manager, I distributed work to capable employees, and I now imagined turning my personal issues over to celestial coworkers.


Tune into silence

Silence is not an battery-charging pit stop on the road of apostolic work. It is—or at least aspires to be—uniting one’s own heart with the heart of God.

By Rhonda Miska |
Article Your Faith

According to Trappist Father Thomas Keating, a decades-long practitioner and teacher of centering prayer, contemplative prayer is about relationship, not method. It’s your intention and your relationship with God that counts. 


Liturgy gives college students a space to heal

The course of grieving is never smooth, but worship gives students a place to process their loss.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Lifestyle

Not two minutes after transcribing my last interview for this story, my phone rang. An undergraduate student at St. John’s University, where I work, died suddenly just before Holy Week. I had just spent weeks listening to stories of loss from students and ministry professionals across the country. Now here was death, seeping hurt into my own home. My heavy heart grew heavier. I felt helpless.


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