US Catholic Faith in Real Life

During crisis, prayer leads to peace

What the New Testament story of Jairus says about placing trust in God in times of despair.

By Ferdinand Okorie, C.M.F. |
Article Your Faith

While nurses continue to wheel patients with suspected COVID-19 infections into the ICU, Dr. Felix and his team frantically try to stabilize a patient brought into the unit a day before as his condition goes from bad to worse.

Before leaving the patient’s bedside, although exhausted and out of breath, Dr. Felix laboriously lifts his hand, and crosses himself, muttering a prayer under his breath as his spirit is tested yet again by the virus that has infected so many people.

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Pandemic life may make mystics of us all

Will extraordinary circumstances and collective crisis put us in touch with eternity?

By Jessica Mesman |
Article Culture

If you’re a regular consumer of media, you’ve surely reached your saturation point of hot takes on the cultural implications of the novel coronavirus. Within the first month of lockdown restrictions, we heard from those who committed themselves to self-improvement—taking free courses from Yale, planting victory gardens—and from those for whom this can’t be anything but a time of survival. We heard from parents grateful to have more time at home with their children and from parents who would eat glass to get their kids back in school.

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How moments of pause can open us to new possibilities

Time living in an unusual context could guide us toward who we're called to be.

By Meghan J. Clark |
Article Justice

I live in what was once the epicenter of the American COVID-19 pandemic—Queens, New York. We lived through 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, yet the pandemic feels different. An indeterminacy and isolation to the current moment elude quantification or categorization. So, as I think about the pandemic, grief, and hope, I find an upwelling of questions without answers.

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With parishes closed, find communion in creation

The earth becomes our altar when Mass is suspended for the common good.

By Rhonda Miska |
Article Your Faith

Every Holy Week, we move through the paschal mystery with our bodies: We carry green palm branches, baskets of bread, bottles of wine, towels and basins; we walk shoulder to shoulder in procession; we smell the clouds of smoky incense and reverently feel the wooden cross beneath our hands.

We move through the paschal mystery with the heat and crackle of fire, the scent of beeswax, the slick wetness of chrism slathered on face and hands, the blast of trumpets, the sweet smell and bright sight of blooming lilies.

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Small things bring comfort in times of crisis

From quilts to teddy bears to masks, useful purpose comes in many forms.

By Evelyn Bence |
Article Your Faith

Forty years ago, my mother gave me a ragged patch-work quilt made of earth-toned wools—warm except where it was moth-eaten or worn through. I first used it as a bed covering in a cold New Jersey apartment but eventually repurposed it.

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COVID-19 is not the only pandemic our nation is fighting

The virus of fear leads to violence in a racialized U.S. culture. The antidote is courage and love.

By Kevin P. Considine |
Article Lifestyle

Across the nation, attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise. There have been stabbings in Texas, assaults in New York and San Francisco, and physical attacks, racial slurs, and spittle hurled in other locales. In Chicago and its suburbs, people of Korean, Cambodian, and other “Chinese-looking” ethnicities have been spat upon, called “chink,” assaulted while jogging, and told to “go back where you came from.”

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It’s time to treat essential workers like the cornerstones they are

An invisible army supports our modern lives every day.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Your Faith

As quarantines and stay-at-home orders roiled the United States and  nations around the world in late March, in a matter of days more than 4 billion people worldwide faced some form of home lockdown. Economic distress is now widespread because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the suffering that COVID-19 will engender will not be equally distributed. Social and economic vulnerabilities and inequities that make the difference between life and death for thousands have quickly become apparent.

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To make sense of the new normal, look to the Christian ethical tradition

Amid the uncertainty of a pandemic, rely on the familiar grace of a God who makes all things new.

By Father Bryan Massingale |
Article Your Faith

I write from New York City three weeks after life has been disrupted and upended in ways that I could never have imagined. The novel coronavirus and the threat of COVID-19 have suddenly forced upon us all dramatic changes in how we work (or even if we are able to work), socialize, communicate, shop, and worship.

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During pandemic, the Trinity provides new hope

There is no God without relationships.

By Emily Sanna |
Article Your Faith

I’ve always been drawn to the Catholic liturgy,” a (non-Catholic) friend of mine once told me over breakfast, “but I can’t get past the Trinity. Three persons in one God. What does that even mean? It doesn’t make any sense.”

At the time, I think I deflected her remarks. I probably said something like, “Yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of logical sense” or “Yep, that’s why it’s called a mystery.” Now, though, I wish I had been braver, less afraid of diving into the deep questions over coffee and French toast.

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During a pandemic, a reminder that darkness is only temporary

Christ’s light shines through—now and in days to come.

By Eric S. Fought |
Article Your Faith

On a Friday night in early April, a rare occurrence took place on the banks of Lake Superior. The beacon on Minnesota’s Split Rock lighthouse lit up the sky for a few hours, an intentional offering of light—hope amid significant darkness.

Lighthouses are, for the most part, historic sites now. Places we visit and images we put on postcards and Facebook covers. But at one time, they provided a vital role in saving lives and ensuring the flow of trade in this region and others.

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