The Christian creed is cloaked in mystery.
I believe in the communion of saints.
These words take flesh in the early morning quiet of my apartment. I sink into the worn recliner and flip open my Bible. The aroma of dark roast rises like incense across the space, still as an empty sanctuary.
Thin paper crinkles between my searching fingers. Soon their stories sit before me: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James.
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.”
How might our spiritual lives flourish by entering into intimacy with our own bodies?
In our daily rush through life, we so often neglect the body’s wisdom. We work through fatigue and illness, pushing our bodies and feeling frustrated when they don’t keep up. Or we look at our physical selves with disdain when parts don’t measure up to some external standard (which is always designed to sell us something).
My mother’s illness made me more aware of the crosses that others carry.
My mom rose at 4:30 a.m. each day to start the laundry. With seven kids, born within a span of 10 years, her days were full with cooking, cleaning, and inquiring about our day, gently encouraging us as needed. Each night she managed to carve out a few minutes for herself. She sat in the living room to silently read the devotions in her tattered, black prayer book.
Six ways to walk humbly with God.
“Hey men, I say to you: whoever believes in me shall have everlasting life.”
Prayer is made easier with a four-legged faith companion.
"Your walks feel like a second childhood, when you ran the woods with a pack of dogs and belonged in a way you can't with humans." —Rachel Lyons, Becoming a Dog Person
My dog and I rise every morning before the sun, 4:30 a.m. to be exact. I put on my shoes quietly so as to not wake the household and buckle the collar around his neck, asking him to sit briefly as I do so. I quickly press start on the coffeemaker and we head out.
Silent prayer can be the catalyst for justice and solidarity.
A teaching evaluation once observed that I was “not afraid of silence” in the classroom. In reality, learning to be comfortable with silence was the hardest classroom management tactic for me to master. Spiritually, teaching has helped me begin to appreciate the role of silence in both prayer and moral theology. Silence as prayer—in all its relational and contextual complexity—can help us approach God and find spiritual clarity to speak in the face of unspeakable injustice.
Like a supportive gym buddy, faith and fitness are fine alone but better together.
Stretch, bend, . . . pray? From group fitness classes to mindfulness apps, health and wellness is a part of our cultural fabric more than ever. But where does faith fit in? When I was asked to write about health and wellness through a Catholic lens, my initial thoughts were that fitness is for the gym, faith is for prayer time. What does my Zumba class have to do with God?
Despite having a bad rap, social media can create a rich faith community and deeper spiritual life.
One bright morning in December, I broke my usual Sunday fast from technology to scroll through Instagram. My kids were dressed and the diaper bag was packed, so I had a few minutes before Mass to slump down on the couch overlooking our bay window and watch the snow on our lawn begin to melt due to the balmy 43-degree temperature in Fort Wayne.
How to pray with earth, wind, fire, and air.
How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the sun, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: these are our spiritual directors and our novice-masters. They form our contemplation. They instill us with virtue. They make us as stable as the land we live in.
—Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas
According to the Celtic Christian tradition, there are two books of divine revelation: the book of scripture and the book of nature. Creation itself is a sacred text through which the presence of God is revealed to us.
‘U.S. Catholic’ readers share how they pray.
In 2018 Pew estimated that 50 million Catholic adults live in the United States. That’s a lot of Catholics—and we don’t all practice our faith the same way. From daily Mass to meditation and yoga, there are many ways to pray. U.S. Catholic surveyed readers to find out how they connect with God.