US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What is spirituality?

Building a relationship with God is a life-long process of transformation. The key is first figuring out where your heart lies.

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

What do you treasure the most? How do you imagine the world? Peter Feldmeier, professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo, says if you are willing to ask yourself these questions, then you’re on the way to defining your own spirituality.

An enchanted faith

Catholics understand that images, scents, smells, and even gestures are holy.

By Emily Sanna |
blog Your Faith

Catholicism hasn’t always come easily to me. As a religion major at a liberal arts college and then a woman at a divinity school where the curriculum was designed to prepare ministers for ordination, I was constantly asked to defend and explain my faith. “But aren’t you a feminist?” people would ask. Or, “Why don’t you become Episcopalian? They’re almost like Catholics—and you could get ordained!”

Prayer from scratch

Just like baking, prayer takes time, patience, and a dash of ingenuity.

By Emily Sanna |
Article Your Faith

Growing up, I spent one week every summer with my grandparents in upstate New York. It was a week full of traditions and rituals that were repeated year after year, immersing me not only in the love my grandparents and I shared, but also our family history. We went for walks in the woods, visited the tiny public library, and I played with giant pickle jars full of buttons. Most important, we baked molasses cookies.

A Catholic picks up the Anglican Book of Common Prayer

A weathered and worn prayer book reveals a spiritual life well lived.

By Jeffrey Essmann |
Article Your Faith

Ever since I first learned the Hail Mary, I have loved prayer. Perhaps Sister taught us the Glory Be first. It’s shorter, more repetitious; if you know the sign of the cross, you’re halfway there. But it’s the Hail Mary I remember, specifically the pleasure of the word amongst. It was the mystical heart of the prayer for me—at least when I was six. I also loved the hallowed in the Our Father, and that ignominious lurked somewhere among the stations of the cross. 

Desperately seeking Sophia

The biblical Sophia is more than metaphor; she is an expression of the presence of God.

By Joyce Rupp |
Article Your Faith

At a retreat where I referred to Sophia several times in my first presentation, a man suddenly stood up and blurted out: “Just who is this Sophia? Stop assuming that everyone here knows who you are talking about!” His interruption startled me, and it reminded me that many do not know this jewel in scripture, that Sophia is hidden from many.

Lessons from my garden

Gardening isn’t just an issue of environmental sustainability. It’s also good for your soul.

By Christine Lai |
Article Lifestyle Your Faith
I sat down on my parents’ front lawn in Los Angeles and breathed in the fresh air. I dug my hands into the dirt, relishing the feeling. Then I began tearing out the grass. I despised the grass, in particular the amount of water it wasted in California’s record drought. I hated how yellow, brittle, and bald it was. I hated how difficult it was to remove, because of the thick roots that ran deep.

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?”

Why running can be prayer

Running and prayer are siblings in repetition.

By Nick Ripatrazone |
Article Your Faith
My wife and I run together at a local state park. “Together” is optimistic; I can no longer keep pace with her. We ran track together in college, but I am a few pounds heavier than in those days when I whipped around the track for the half-mile.