LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM

A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

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CATHOLICS NEED TO MOVE BEYOND THE CATECHISM AND DEVELOP THEIR 'PRAYER LIFE', POPE SAYS
Pope advocates deeper relationship with Christ through regular prayer, silent adoration and being conscious of sinfulness.
CHURCH NEEDS AN 'AWAKENING OF THE SOUL'
Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr said that unless Christians rediscover the "bigger heart" and "bigger mind" of the mystical and contemplative tradition, the church will be unable to make positive change in the world -- or reform itself.
DOUBT AS A SIGN OF FAITH
If we don’t accept both the commonality and importance of doubt, we don’t allow for the possibility of mistakes or misjudgments.
ENERGIZING SOULS
William O'Malley, S.J. argues that if we want the next generation to be spiritually adult, then parents, teachers and pastors have to rediscover their own spirits.
GATHERING THE GRACES OF OUR SECULAR SAINTS
As we come to the end of this [year], it might be worth our while to take some time with those for whom we mourn — to listen to their music, read their work or their biographies, watch their films and try to gather up for ourselves some of the graces they gave us.
GOD IN THE DETAILS
It is in the nitty gritty details of it all that God is not less real, but more real. Gerard Manley Hopkins observed that the Son of God became locked into the ordinary world. He who was great focused on what was small.
HAPPY ARE THE SPIRITUAL
A recent study suggests that people who are spiritual — religious or not — are a major part of the glue that holds a community together.
HOW CAN I LIVE OUT MY FAITH AT WORK?
You don’t need to have an openly religious job for your faith to be relevant. Any honest and upright work is holy, and an opportunity to grow closer to God.
LET'S CHALLENGE OUR PRESUMPTIONS OF HUMILITY, TRADITION
The topic is about as counter-cultural as one might get given the zero-sum nature of our politics and the culture-war approach many take toward faith. It's win or lose, victory or humiliation.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER?
If I love all the selves housed within me, including the flawed, human, insecure ones, then why would I need to hate you?
MERCY ISN'T A CHURCH THING
IT'S WHAT FAMILIES DO EVERY DAY - If God is love and love is mercy, which seem to be two keys ideas of the teaching of Pope Francis, then mercy is all around us.
NOT SETTLING FOR LESS
Hope has been called the forgotten virtue of our time. Although we live in an era of considerable technological and scientific achievements, it may also be an age of diminished hope.
NUNS AND NONES; UNLIKELY PARTNERS TACKLE THE BIG QUESTIONS
Global Sisters Report starts a three-part series on "Nuns and Nones," a movement that is bringing together experienced Catholic sisters and nonreligious millennials who share a passion for social justice, community and contemplation.
PARISH COMMUNITY AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
The parish exists to help individuals carry out the mission that Jesus proclaimed; namely, to proclaim the kingdom of God and to become living examples of Christ in service to God and to one another.
SACRED INWARDNESS
Why ‘secularism’ has no meaning. Secular is a term used within Catholicism to distinguish the world from the church, but the influence of the biblical insistence that God made the world and that he loves it seems to be very strong among religious traditions now.
THE BRUISED AND BLOODIED CHURCH WILL BE REBORN - OR IT WON'T
'Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.' In the shared simplicity of that clinging, the church will be reborn, the ideological divisions crossed, the wounds turned to scars. Or not.
THE SAINTLINESS OF FRED ROGERS
If we had Protestant saints, Dietrich Bonhoeffer might be the first one, and Martin Luther King Jr. might be next. But after that could come Fred Rogers, the still, small voice of love and truth, crying out in the television wasteland.
TODAY'S CHURCH; MORE CATHOLICS, FEWER RECEIVING SACRAMENTS
A new report mapping the Catholic Church’s more than 1.2 billion souls — on track to reach 1.64 billion by 2050 — holds some surprises.
WHERE THERE IS PAIN, THERE IS GOD
The presence of suffering is the one thing that most challenges our faith. Human suffering will always be a mystery. But the presence of God will always reach deeper, further, and wider.
YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU
One reason we Christians have misunderstood many of Jesus’ teachings is that we have not seen Jesus’ way of education as that of a spiritual master.
GOD CALLS YOU TO BE PRIEST, PROPHET AND LEADER
As Catholics, our call is "to live as a member of the body of Jesus. We carry out that life by being priest, prophet and leader." That's a tall order. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton explains how we can do it.
THE SACRED TENSION OF SOLITUDE
Just as each of us is made for togetherness, we all are made for solitude. This is a sacred tension of religious vocation. Let the silence teach you who are, and who you are meant to be.
OUR DIFFERENCES WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN OUR FUTURE
Benedict's second principle is crucial for nourishing a better tomorrow
SPIRITUALITY IN TIME OF DISRUPTION
Perspectives on how the current era of growing economic anxiety and increasing religious disaffiliation affects our traditional understandings of spiritual practice, and what may emerge to support, displace, or replace them.
EVERYONE IS IN
It’s easy to create unity by being against something or someone — by assigning a scapegoat. It’s difficult to create unity by being prepared to be the person who the others are going to throw out.
MODERN SOCIETY DOESN’T HAVE A CRISIS OF FAITH; IT HAS A CRISIS OF LOVE
Faith by itself is dead... Faith motivated by love, however, will want fulfillment and realize its need for a relationship with God.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT ST. FRANCIS, AMERICA’S MOST POPULAR SAINT?
How did this upstart from Assisi become a beloved saint?
THE BLACK HOLE PHOTO
A reminder that the are are some holy things beyond our vision: the closest we’ll ever come to a photograph of God.
FINDING OUR LIFE
Mystical experience connects us and just keeps connecting at ever-wider levels, breadths, and depths, “until God can be all in all.”
WHAT DOES BELIEF IN THE RESURRECTION LOOK LIKE?
To realize that we were made for eternity radically reorients our priorities. It makes us see each moment through the lens of an impending resurrection.
TAKE YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE
All of creation [is] invited to sit at the divine table, to participate in the divine dance of mutual friendship and love.
TRIALS OF A TRANSLATOR
What do Catholics think about the translation of the Mass we are now using?
MEN ARE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR SPIRITUALITY. CAN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HELP?
Notions of “the genuine Christian man” are likewise riddled with stereotype and anxiety.
PRACTICAL PARTICIPATION
God moves toward us so that we may move toward each other and thereby toward God. The way God comes to us is also our way to God and to each other: through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
IMPLANTED HOPE
The Indwelling Spirit is the ability of humanity to keep going, to keep recovering from its wounds, to keep hoping.
THE SPIRITUAL DESERT ISN'T OPTIONAL
That we wander in the desert is both a danger and a challenge, risk and providence.
CROSS-CULTURAL DISCIPLESHIP
If God is always Mystery, then God is always in some way the unfamiliar, beyond what we’re used to, beyond our comfort zone, beyond what we can explain or understand.
THOMAS MERTON: THEORY OF PRAYER
Not in the streets, not in the white streets, Or in the crowded porticoes, Shall we catch You in our words...
FRANKLY SPEAKING: SPIRITUALITY FOR THE STREET
A blog offering weekly reflections to help us make it out here on life's street - as it really is, and as we really are (so far).
JESUS REVEALS GOD IN HIDDENNESS
The kind of God whom Jesus reveals is a God who remains hidden among those whom the world is most likely to overlook
ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT LIVING A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL LIFE? SEEK A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR.
The Examen with Fr. James Martin, SJ: Spiritual direction is a skill, and one that is learned.
NEW VATICAN DOC DISPLAYS SIMPLIFIED, DECENTRALIZED CURIA
The constitution “is aimed at putting into practice in a more radical way the work of the Curia today,
BOOK EXPLAINS HOW TEILHARD FIT HIS FAITH WITH HIS EXPERIENCE
At pivotal points in its history, the church has stood squarely in the path of scientific inquiry in an attempt to block the way. This has never worked out well for the church.
SMALL GRACES
The closest one can probably come to understanding prayer is knowing that you don’t - A Meditation on Urban Prayer
PRAYER IS NOT A BURDEN - IT IS A WAY TO REST
What happens if your prayer feels like a "chore"? Some tips here.
IF PRAYER STARTS TO FEEL STALE, DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHAKE THINGS UP
There’s nothing wrong with setting a particular practice aside for a time and trying something else.
GLEAMS OF LIGHT
An hour-long discussion between Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert, including how grief, properly understood, leads us to empathy and to deeper love for others.
BEYOND THE 'BIRDBATH INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX' IS THE RADICAL ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
As long as we ridicule this clear danger, we perpetuate the lies of the "birdbath industrial complex" and promote a culture of death.
WE'RE NOT MYSTICS
The devout Christian of the future will either be a ‘mystic,’ one who has experienced ‘something,’ or he will cease to be anything at all.
HOW BENEDICT’S RULE CAN GUIDE YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Benedictine wisdom helps us become monks in the world - an alternative way of being, one rooted in slowness and spaciousness, one inspired by the “inexpressible delight of love."
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.
POPE DECLARES SPECIAL SUNDAY EACH YEAR DEDICATED TO WORD OF GOD
Salvation, faith, unity and mercy all depend on knowing Christ and sacred Scripture
STRENGTHEN YOUR SPIRIT BY BULLET JOURNALING — WITH AN IGNATIAN TWIST
When integrating the Bullet Journal method into the Daily Examen, the whole day becomes a prayer.
PRAYER LIFE ISN’T ABOUT BARGAINING OR PERFORMANCE, IT’S ABOUT GOD
Prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the all-holy God and living in communion with him. We have the possibility of this communion because he loves us and calls us to himself.
NOUWEN A WITNESS TO COMMITTED PRIESTLY MINISTRY
Today's priesthood stands in need of reform. Michael W. Higgins and Kevin Burns agree; In Impressively Free: Henri Nouwen as Model for a Reformed Priesthood, they make their case.
WHY NON-CHRISTIAN ‘SEEKERS’ ARE TRYING SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Even among devout Catholics, not everyone correctly understands the purpose of spiritual direction, and many people have never experienced it.
GOD AND THE MYSTERY OF A “SCREWED UP” WORLD
Evil is not a thing, like a table or a cup. What if evil is a lack of a good that should be there? Evil is the name we give to a privation.
WHAT I LEARNED BEING SILENT WITH MONKS
Come back to peace with John Gehring, who shares what he learned from a retreat with Trappist monks.
STOP CELEBRATING THE SACRAMENT OF DEPARTURE
How can we change our approach to Confirmation so that teens stop seeing the sacrament as a “graduation” from faith?
POPE ENCOURAGES A DEEPLY TROUBLED WORLD NOT TO LOSE HOPE
But Francis also offers a sober analysis of a number of global problems and challenges in annual address to ambassadors
HOW TO PRACTICE CONTEMPLATIVE MEDITATION
Contemplative prayer according to The Cloud of Unknowing, what later came to be known as “centering prayer. Just give God twenty minutes.
CELEBRATING JOYFULLY THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
Celebrating for the first time a new feast, established to accentuate the importance that Sacred Scripture is meant to have in the faith, prayer and lives of believers.
WHY FAITH MATTERS
Faith by its nature concerns itself with humanity’s deep, abiding and meaningful questions. It is a search for, and embodiment of truth, meaning, a well-lived life and similar earnest endeavors.
LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS
So begins the world’s most popular wedding reading, one we have heard so often it no longer grabs our attention. No longer profound or challenging, it just seems worn out.
GOD CAN EMERGE IN NEW WAYS THROUGH TEILHARD'S 'TROUBLED WORSHIP'
Science and technology show us that when the level of our awareness changes, we start attracting a new reality. Can the church be part of a new reality?
12 CELTIC SPIRITUAL PRACTICES THAT CELEBRATE GOD IN OUR WORLD
Renew your spiritual life and community worship with these adaptations of ancient Christian practices.
AN AVID READER? CONSIDER THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF LECTIO DIVINA
Through this meditation, texts both secular and sacred become part of a reader’s heart and soul.
THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Encountering Death as a Daughter. Cathleen Kaveny reflects on death, memory, and Augustine's fullness of time.
WHERE IS GOD IN A PANDEMIC?
The honest answer is: We don’t know. But even non-Christians may find understanding in the life of Jesus.
TEACHING & PREACHING
Preachers should emulate teachers at Mass, striving to be adaptable. To energize the faith, it's time to let more people — including women — preach.
THE EMPTY TOMB: OUR REASON FOR EXISTENCE
We are gradually moving farther away from each other, enlarging the "empty tomb" in size and depth. Absence is slowly defining human life in a world wrapped in universal grief.
REMEMBERING OUR MORTALITY IS A PRACTICE WORTH REVIVING
Memento Mori — meditating on one’s death — has a rich Christian history.
WHERE IS GOD RIGHT NOW?' HOW IMAGINATION CAN AID OUR FAITH IN QUARANTINE
When you can't attend Mass, receive the Eucharist, or even go to church, where do you find God?
A RETREAT FOR A TIME OF ISOLATION
This retreat has been prepared by the staff of Jesuit Communications for the use of people who have to isolate themselves for 14 days during the coronavirus crisis.
TRAGEDY AND THE LONELY PLACE OF SELFISHNESS
The world is fighting a war with something we can't see, yet we feel its damages as thousands of people around the world die.
WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT: AN ONLINE RETREAT
Spend the days between Ascension and Pentecost in prayer with the online retreat, Waiting for the Spirit - a nine-day online spiritual retreat series starting May 22, 2020, and conclude May 30, the Vigil of Pentecost.
THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD'S LOVE
Every Eucharist is a celebration of uncalculating, over the top, love. God’s love is unrationed. This is just how God does things, profusely. It permeates his creation.
PRAYERS FOR HOPE AND SOLIDARITY IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC
We – you, me and all our fellow human beings – are in the midst of facing a mighty challenge. It would be superstitious to believe that prayer will find a vaccine and banish the menace of the contagion.
READING G.K. CHESTERTON THROUGH THE EYES OF FATHER BROWN
G.K. Chesterton is known as the most frequently cited of any writer . . . and the least read. Why? He was too Catholic, and he defended the faith, directly or indirectly, in everything he wrote... and he wrote volumes.
PAYING ATTENTION — AT A TIME WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS
As we begin to emerge from the lockdown, still bearing some of its griefs, it might help us get to grips with a world trembling both in despair and hope of equality.
ACTIVE & CONTEMPLATIVE ORDERS
There are paradoxes in the history of Christian spirituality and not the least of them is the apparent contradiction in the relation between the active and contemplative lives. (Original article by Thomas Merton, 1947)
WITH PARISHES CLOSED, FIND COMMUNION IN CREATION
Where is God in this long stretch of not gathering for public worship as Catholics? What grace or growth might there be in this unchosen asceticism? The earth becomes our altar when Mass is suspended for the common good.
WORRY NOT
As cases of the novel coronavirus rise again across the United States, we’re reminded of our mortal fragility, but also of God’s promise of eternal life.
WISDOM IN TIMES OF CRISIS
Job’s story reveals that God cannot really be known through theology and law. God can only be related to and known in relationship, just like the Trinity itself.
PANDEMIC LIFE MAY MAKE MYSTICS OF US ALL
We don’t know where we’re going or how this experience will change us. We are all in the strange position of being forced to abandon our wills to providence.
10 VALUABLE LESSONS FROM THE PANDEMIC SO FAR
Our world has been turned upside down, but this time has led many of us to realize important, life-changing truths.
WHEN FEAR OF TOMORROW BECOMES AN OBSESSION
It’s natural to worry about the future, but it can deprive us of the joy of living in the present moment.
PRAYER WITH OPEN HANDS
Too often in our prayer, we do not trust God’s character but rather hope that God will negotiate, taking into account our best efforts and good intentions.
THE IMPORTANCE AND CHALLENGE OF DOING NOTHING
In an age of constant distraction, of meaningless argument online fueled by hate and anger, of persistent pressures demanding every moment of every day be accounted for by some measure of productivity, the exhortation to "do nothing" is a welcome corrective.
ARMCHAIR PILGRIMAGES ARE MEDITATIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC
These armchair pilgrimages bring me closer to people around the world, the possibilities and problems they face, and provide an occasion for me to examine my own life.
CAN WE MAKE RETREATS BETTER?
How modern Catholics are reinventing an ancient tradition. The term retreat implies an action that is also a location; we withdraw to some place away from our normal lives.
CREATING MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS ONLINE
As we continue to explore virtual possibilities, we will learn more best practices about how to use the gift of technology to help people create meaningful connections online.
DISCERNMENT CAN BE HARD—BUT GOD DELIGHTS IN YOUR CHOICE
Making a good choice does not mean that you will avoid all suffering or that you will be able to predict all outcomes. It means that you are using the gifts of intellect and will that God has given you and that in the very act of using them you are glorifying him.
THE AIR THAT WE BREATHE
In spring we deepen our association with the element of air, and of wind, and its invitation to open ourselves to a God who flows in directions that we cannot predict.
IN THE WORKS OF C.S. LEWIS, FIND CHRISTIAN TRUTH IN FANTASY
Imaginative storytelling can baptize our imaginations and pave the way to receiving the gospel. This notion of teaching through story is inherent to Christianity.
GOD IS TRYING TO CATCH OUR ATTENTION
We know that much of prayer is simply paying attention. A prayerful person learns how to tune in, more and more, to the details of daily life and notice where the Divine is showing up.
MOUNTAIN MAN: THE JOYFUL FAITH OF THOMAS MERTON
Because Merton spent most of his adult life in the out-of-the-way monastery, few of his readers had the chance to meet him, but through his books he had friends all over the world.
SEVEN WAYS TO USE THE IMAGINATION IN PRAYER
Imaginative prayer invites us to place ourselves in Gospel scenes to deepen our connection with Jesus. Using our imaginations also allows us to create a better world as God calls us to do.
EVENING OF PRAYER FOR OUR NATION
An Online event, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2020 AT 6:30 PM EST – 7:30 PM EST: Hosted by Adrian Dominican Sisters. Please join us for this live streamed Taizé Prayer Service.
THE MULTICOLORED PRAYER LIFE OF JOSEPH BERNARDIN
In 1985, the editors of 'U.S. Catholic' asked Cardinal Bernadin about his spiritual practices and where he finds God.
FORGIVENESS IS FOR LOSERS
Christian forgiveness is a revolution. It does what revolutions always do: it overthrows the old, decaying order and replaces it with something new. Political revolutions bring change by way of violent struggle, but God’s revolutions bring soul-altering change by way of spiritual renewal.
THOMAS MERTON, THE MONK WHO BECAME A PROPHET
Fifty years after his death, Thomas Merton’s contradictions have made his work all the more instructive. The Modern Monkhood of Thomas Merton
WHY SHOULD ANYONE CARE ABOUT THOMAS MERTON TODAY?
We should care about Thomas Merton today because in many ways he reveals something to us about who we are: modern women and men, religious and laity, striving to connect the faith of Christianity with the particularity of our lives.
FAITH COMES THROUGH HEARING
Some days, although we cannot pray—because we are too busy, or because we are in too much pain, or simply because the words will not come—a prayer utters itself.
THOMAS MERTON AT COMMONWEAL
The Monk, Poet, and Social Critic’s Spiritual Writings. One of the most influential mystics of the 20th century, Merton was also a prolific Commonweal contributor. Here, they've compiled some of his most lasting spiritual writings.
THIS IS YOUR SOUL ON MYSTICISM
Since Covid-19 stripped away many of the distractions with which we would normally fill our days and forced us to slow down, a renewed interest in contemplative practice has meant that more people have time to be open to mystical experiences.
DANCING WITH THE STARS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ASTRONOMER GEORGE COYNE, S.J.
With 10,000 billion billion heavenly bodies in the cosmic ballroom, God has created a grand universe of possibilities.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PEACE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
What will surprise many readers is that no serious scholar today, Franciscan or otherwise, would place the Peace Prayer among the authentic writings of Saint Francis. In recent decades it has become evident that the prayer originated during the early years of the 1900’s...
HOPE FOR 2021 AND THE LOVE OF GOD
What is your hope for 2021? Maybe it’s that life will go back to normal. Maybe your hope is to return to an “in-person” life. Or to not just survive, but thrive? Hope is the underlining feeling of expectation or desire...
THOMAS MERTON AND THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE
We all have a fundamental need to be seen and heard. A failure to be present can spiral downwards, feeding more failures, in the same way that fear can provoke more fear.
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
It isn’t always comfortable embracing those who differ from us—and rarely is it convenient. Shedding our worldly selves for such a higher purpose doesn’t count unless it challenges us.
A LESSON IN PEACE FROM ST. FRANCIS
Peace is a work of justice; it does not come about by a display of superior strength or military might. In fact, it can be argued that those who live among social outcasts... most truly effect the cause of peace and justice by changing society at its very roots: its people.
THEOLOGICAL RESISTANCE: BOOK REVIEW: KARL BARTH AND DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Wolf Krötke, a close reader of both theologians, is able to hone in on the brilliant essentials of their work and to prod the reader to reexamine her thoughts about the relationship between us and God in light of their claims—to ask again and again: Is this what I believe?
BREATHE IN THE SPIRIT
One of the great blessings of technology is the easy availability of a wide variety of daily prayers. Through email, smartphone apps, and websites, we can find new ways to access the great spiritual riches of our tradition.
“BLESSED ARE THEY WHO MOURN” IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
Over 502,000 people have now lost their lives to Covid-19 since the first case was reported in the United States. The numbers of ...are staggering. It’s easy to become numb to the reality they conceal.
PENCIL PREACHING: PRAYER LIFE
Jesus did not want his disciples to have a formal or fearful regard for God as a judge who had to be approached based on merit but experienced as an attentive parent who automatically cares for his children.
THE PASSION PATTERN
There are many ways to express this passion pattern in our lives. Christians are called to be people of the Resurrection, people who are joyful, and aspire to be life enlargers, ready to spread their joy wherever life takes them.
FAITH AND FRESCOES: CELEBRATING HOLY WOMEN THROUGH ART
When COVID-19 prevented artist Mark Balma from traveling to Italy to paint frescoes of holy women, he devised a solution: Paint them in the United States and ship them there.
THE WAY OF ST JAMES AWAITS
For more than a thousand years, the Camino de Santiago been Europe’s most venerable pilgrimage route, carrying pilgrims to the cathedral that tradition maintains is the final earthly resting place of the Apostle St. James the Greater.
ON THE EDGE OF THE INSIDE: PROPHETIC IMAGINATION
Somehow our occupation and vocation as believers in this time must be to first restore the Divine Center by holding it and fully occupying it ourselves.
A STIRRING THAT WILL NOT BE DENIED
The divine greening power calls us to embrace the mystery of growth and of transformation. It’s a process that’s exciting and mysterious and scary, all at once, especially for those of us who want to know.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN MISSING
This year of physical separation from our loved ones has taught us in an unprecedented way what it means to hope for resurrection of the flesh.
RICHARD ROHR ON THOMAS MERTON’S LEGACY
America’s best-known monk is still having an effect on Christian thought, says Richard Rohr, a longtime admirer of Thomas Merton
PRAYING FOR REFORM OF THE FINANCIAL WORLD
Pope Francis knows that all human reform, including that of the financial world, depends on a conversion of heart and mind.
10 CATHOLIC PILGRIMAGES THAT DON’T REQUIRE A PASSPORT
As pandemic safety restrictions begin to lift, we hope you can visit some of the sacred sites in this story, or discover your own, when the time is right.
BEING ANGRY WITH GOD IS A WAY TO PRAY TOO
We must learn to say: “Even though You, my God, seem to be doing everything to make me stop believing in You, I still continue to pray to You.”
AN EVOLVING FAITH INCLUDES DOUBT
Doubt need not be the death of faith. It can be the birth of a new kind of faith, a faith beyond beliefs, a faith that expresses itself in love, one can save your life and save the world.
PRAYING THROUGH PAIN
When you pray to God, mental and physical changes occur that help you with physical discomfort. A physician shows us how to pray through our pain.
PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM AND HIDDEN ACTS OF FAITH
The kingdom of God, by its very nature, is something that can only be passed on through “indirect communication.” That is, through hidden, elusive, subversive means of communication, sneaking in through the cracks of our self-reliance.
MOMENTS OF DOUBT
Counseling the doubtful is a spiritual work of mercy... is a concrete act and the first work of charity, interpreted as the ability to understand the difficulties of another person; it also gives meaning and direction to the other works of mercy.
IN SEARCH OF PERFECT JOY
When we learn to love with something like the love God has for creation, we arrive at the end for which we are made. We grow into our Godlikeness. We live fully and richly.
CONTEMPLATION IN ACTION
Contemplation in action is about learning how to be, learning how to see, and learning how to love.
THE SYMPHONY OF YOUR DAY
We are invited to be still and listen for the sounds we’ve been too busy or too distracted to hear through the day. In the pauses between the movements of the symphony of our lives, we are invited to listen to God’s voice hidden behind the fanfare.
BREATHING AS PRAYER
Breathing, then, within the context of spiritual resilience, is not only “the necessary” that St. Francis talks about, but it also helps us find what’s necessary—to do, think, feel, and become.
THE HARD WORK OF TRANSFORMATION
Transformation is always a process of letting go, living in the confusing, shadowy space for a while, and eventually being spit up on a new and unexpected shore.
BECOMING RADICALLY OPEN
We do not know where we’re going, how to get there, what it will look like, or how long it will take. And that might seem daunting to us at first.
LEONARD COHEN’S BIBLICAL VISION
If Leonard Cohen failed to live at the center of righteousness, he maintained a sense of where that center remained, and of how to find it again in prayer.
OUT OF CONTROL BUT VITAL TO GOD
We humans are straddling a precipitous moment of cosmic history. If we continue to ignore the signs of decline all around us, beginning with climate change, we will become an extinct species.
POPE FRANCIS: MY SPIRITUALITY COMES DIRECTLY FROM VATICAN II
“The council became the horizon of our belief, our language and our praxis, that is, it soon became our ecclesial and pastoral ecosystem...”
BROKENNESS AND BEAUTY, HEALING AND WHOLENESS
The invitation is to step into that river of healing and to let it take us toward a kinder, gentler way of treating ourselves, each other, and our common home.
THE GIFT OF VULNERABILITY
Jesus’ call to be servants is an invitation to embrace our vulnerability by serving one another. This is what brings a real sense of satisfaction in life. It transforms our anxiety over being vulnerable into joy.
HEALING DIVISIONS: BREATHE, PRAY, LISTEN
When the deep breath is engaged as a symbol of our intention to reground in the stillness and presence of God, it becomes a practice of prayer.
GROWING MY TRUST IN GOD
Actively looking for God during my day keeps my focus away from self and keeps God at the center. Keeping God at the center of my life gives me hope.
BREATH PRAYER HELPS YOU MEDITATE IN THE MOMENT
To pray without ceasing means to pray while doing the dishes or the laundry, to pray while waiting for the bus or sitting in traffic, to pray in the middle of the night when we awaken filled with anxiety.
JESUS ASKS FOR MORE THAN THE BARE MINIMUM
Hearkening back to Our Lord’s commandments, holiness is not achieved by simply avoiding the most obvious sins, but we must also be holy in our hearts and minds.
WHO KNEW BEING SILENT WITH MONKS COULD BE SO LIBERATING?
I thought that silence was the absence of a relationship, but in fact it was the opposite. Their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are not confining but liberating.
RECOVERING THE ART OF GENTLENESS
Is there perhaps a version of gentleness that is more practical, and that we could more readily admire?
THOUGH PROBLEMS ABOUND, GOD-GIVEN HOPE NEVER FAILS, POPE SAYS
Christian amazement is not the result of special effects, of fantasy worlds, but from the mystery of reality: there is nothing more amazing and stupefying than reality!
RESOLVING TO PRAY MORE IN 2022? HERE ARE 5 TIPS FOR FOLLOWING THROUGH
It is God who invites us to pray, God who helps us to pray and God who gives us the fruits of prayer. It is not you just white-knuckling it and gritting your teeth. God is on your side.
FAMILY SPIRITUALITY BENEFITS EVERYONE, SAYS THIS THEOLOGIAN
In the Catholic tradition, we try to make sure people understand that a spiritual relationship doesn’t just impact you and God. Rather, it is also a relationship with the community...
MARK, A GOSPEL FOR ORDINARY TIME
Of the four Gospel writers, Mark is the one you would not want to invite to dinner. But he is the one who will challenge you to listen more carefully and to think more deeply about Jesus.
EARTH: ONE OF GOD'S FAILED EXPERIMENTS?
Why would God create such a huge universe with so many possible sources of life if he did not want thousands of species to bloom? Do we think that God has so little imagination that we are the only possibility he could come up with?
FALLING IN LOVE WITH GOD
To be in relationship with God means traveling on the two-way street of shared experience, opening ourselves up to God in a way that allows God into our lives.
HENRI NOUWEN: HOW TO (ACTUALLY) PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
To pray does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people. Rather, it means to think and live in the presence of God.
FIVE SPIRITUAL TIPS TO HELP YOU AVOID PANDEMIC DESPAIR
The pandemic is a terrible reality, but it is not hopeless. James Martin, S.J., offers a few tips drawn from Christian spirituality that have helped him avoid despair.
THE CREATIVE SPIRITUALITY OF THOMAS MERTON
Thomas Merton was a man of contradictions. He was a deeply human man — down-to-earth, direct, and spontaneous. Those who knew him best recall the infectious humor, the belly laughter. But he could also be a restless spirit, questioning, provoking, pushing at the boundaries.
7 EASY TIPS FOR PERSONAL PRAYER
We struggle to know how to pray or how to sustain ourselves in prayer. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced in prayer, these seven tips will encourage you in your practice of prayer.
PRAYER AND SERVICE
Prayer is an adventure that takes us through ever changing landscapes traveling through cactus patches, tranquil meadows, dry deserts, lone prairies, rolling hills... Each terrain has its own majesty and mystery.
HOW TO PRAY THE LORD'S PRAYER WITH ALL CREATURES
What if we expanded the boundaries of the neighbor whom we are charged to love? What if we prayed the Lord's Prayer with all creatures?
SAYING ‘YES’ TO GOD
God speaks through all creation. — Everything is gift. Grateful living is a celebration of the universal give-and-take of life, a limitless “yes” to belonging. Our challenge is to learn how to listen.
A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE FOR A TIME OF DIVISION AND UPHEAVAL
In order to heal, wounds first have to bleed. In the crucible of our suffering, we so often learn what is truly important to us and where we are called to go.
A FAITH PRAYED
When we allow prayer to hold us steady in faith, we experience the ups and downs of daily life with significantly greater peace.
THE MAGNIFICAT: CANTICLE OF MARY
The greatness of Mary’s Canticle is that it embraces the whole sweep of the Incarnate Word—and the whole sweep of Mary’s trust in God.
EMBRACING OUR OWN MORTALITY
Living a deep, intentional, fully present, values-aligned life is also one of the most pleasurable and satisfying things you can do in the face of your mortality.
GOD IS GREATER FROM A CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW
Childlike wonder is fragile and fleeting. If we become the right kind of small, we can recover a truly epic sense of wonder for the giant one who looms over us but is so often obscured from view.
HUMANIZING GOD
We understand how our own hands are so important in expressing our love and care for one another—a touch, a protective hold. That image also tells us about God.
A CLOSER LOOK AT HEAVEN
Eternity will be the revelation not only of all God’s love and goodness, but also of all that we have meant to each other.
REMBRANDT'S TECHNIQUE SHEDS LIGHT ON HOW PARABLES WORK
The parables of Jesus illuminate some things as clear as day. Other aspects become clearer as we learn more about the first-century contexts in which his followers preserved, transmitted and transformed his words.
FIND SOLIDARITY IN THE STORIES OF THESE 5 GOSPEL WOMEN
The challenges they persist through—scandal, shame, suffering, insult, and pressure—ring true for many women today. We can find solidarity with our sisters in scripture.
AT PLAY IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD
Many of us grew up praying to what we considered the God of the Old Testament: This God rained pestilence on a defiant Egyptian pharaoh and directed Moses to lead the Israelites through the desert to the promised land.
BROKEN OPEN
Sr. Simone Campbell talks about how the courage to confront our own brokenness can bring about personal and political healing in this fractured moment.
ST. FRANCIS AND PRAYER
Francis was as much subject to self-doubt as any of us. His motives were purified in prayer; his ego became right-sized there. His prayer was both private and public...
MEDITATION MADE EASY
They say prayer is talking to God. Meditation, on the other hand, is listening to God. Here are three simple steps for a richer, more meditative life.
GOD DOES NOT ABANDON US, BUT SOMETIMES (GOD’S) PEOPLE DO
The story of the bleeding woman in the Gospel of Mark demonstrates God’s limitless love and compassion.
CULTIVATING HAPPINESS
The urge that drives people to seek a spiritual teaching has always been the simple yearning to experience more happiness. Happiness is the true experience we are constantly pursuing and trying to grasp.
FALLING AWAY TO GOD
If we’re going to live peacefully with each other and with our God-given Earth, many of us are going to have to let some things fall away.
SERVICE AND SELF CARE GO HAND IN HAND
Caring for others requires caring for yourself first—it’s what Jesus would do. When your light is rekindled and your battery recharged, you may go forth and serve.
PRAYING WITH THE GENESIS CREATION STORY AFTER A HURRICANE
One of the lesser-known facts about the story of the seven days of creation is that it was written in response to a disaster, and its comforts can be applicable even today.
THE VIRGIN OF VLADIMIR: THE AFTERLIVES OF A BYZANTINE ICON
The history of the “Virgin of Vladimir” icon involves veneration and appropriation and demonstrates the rich cultural heritage of Ukraine.
PATHWAYS TO GOD IN EVERYDAY LIFE
How can we more actively and securely follow Jesus’ guidance amid our daily tasks? People who had ordinary encounters with Jesus in the Gospels can aid our daily journey as disciples.
A GUIDE TO PRAYING WITH AN ICON
From the archives: Icons are not just beautiful paintings. The purpose of icons is to help us pray. Jim Forest offers instructions for putting them to good use.
BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL #BLESSED
You are beloved, even when there is no reason to believe it. What happens when our lives are proof of very little except that things have come apart?
WHEN PRAYING IS DIFFICULT
Let’s consider what we all run into from time to time in our journey from here to eternity. It’s the feeling that we no longer seem able to pray or that our prayers don’t really mean much.
FAMILY SPIRITUALITY BENEFITS EVERYONE
Families don’t always include children. They could be a married couple, or a single mother and child, or an LGBTQ family. There are lots of different ways that people will define families for themselves, and we have to allow that.
LESS 'WHAT' AND MORE 'WHY' IN SHARING THE FAITH
Too often, we lead with rules and regulations and proscriptions and the kinds of facts you might find on the Wikipedia page for the Catholic Church.
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO ‘DECONSTRUCT’ YOUR FAITH?
“Religious deconstruction” is deeply personal. Deconstructors reexamine their religion’s key assumptions and discard beliefs in anything that appears contradictory, harmful, or unsubstantiated by evidence.
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI’S SONG OF PRAISE
The Canticle of Brother Sun sings in simple words of praise all that Francis discovered of the glory and goodness of God.
SPRINGTIME WORKERS
Sowing seeds: Teaching is always an act of great faith, but if we keep an eye on the teaching authority of Jesus, a great harvest will be there for the gathering.
INSIGHTS FROM OUR ANCESTORS
It is impossible to measure the magnitude of the loss several generations of American youth have suffered from their contempt for the wisdom of the past.
RAISING A CULTURE OF MISSION TO MAKE DISCIPLES
Our silence about the need to make disciples of Catholics - and others - is not without consequence as we have seen over decades.
THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE IS FOR EVERYONE
It at first seems like a little bit of a contradiction: Our current age calls for more action and engagement, not for a retreat from the world. When the world seems topsy-turvy, Benedictine contemplation offers stability.
CORRECT GODLY VISION
What men have believed about god has caused more wars and fiercer wars than any other thing whatever. Error about God cannot be a private affair. It can only end to a diminished and distorted life for everyone.
BUILDING A ‘CULTURE OF US’
The challenge of our time is to shift from criticism to construction – from fighting old wars to creating new institutions of shared flourishing.
SPIRITUAL REALISM IN A DIVIDED AMERICA
The past few years have made evident a deeply discomfiting truth about contemporary American life: we may be a country, but we are struggling to be a people.
HOW CAN I AVOID DISTRACTIONS DURING PRAYER?
With many things clamoring for our time and attention, it can be easy to lose focus while praying.
HOW TO PRAY WITH OUR EYES OPEN
We need to take up the task of embracing the goodness of the palpable, analog world, whether it be to make time for a hike or to notice the sweetness of gentle rain or to revel in the bitterness of good coffee or to listen to the laughter of children.
TEILHARD DE CHARDIN, CONSECRATION AND THE COSMOS: HOW A JESUIT MYSTIC EXPANDED THE SCOPE OF THEOLOGY
We live in the bosom of a great cosmic Eucharist that will culminate in each of us when, at the Omega Point of our individual history, we approach a definitive communion.
COVID-19 AND THE DECLINE OF RELIGION IN AMERICA
Is epidemic disease a spur to religious practice? Not, it seems, in the United States. Evidence that in the United States, pandemics depress faith
THE STRUGGLE TO PRAY IS THE STRUGGLE TO BELIEVE IN LOVE
There is no hidden agenda by God. There is no fraud or deceit. Prayer is truly the invitation of God to be in a living and vital relationship with him.
BRING YOUR PARENTING WORRIES TO ST. JUDE
There is value in naming our deepest desires, whether or not we truly believe that our prayers will accomplish tangible ends.
THE WISDOM OF TREES
Resurrection and redemption will happen. Creation will not hurry. Yet, as life thrives and evolves, God will accomplish everything.
JULIAN THE THEOLOGIAN
We ignored her for hundreds of years. Then we reduced her to a slogan. I don’t think she’d mind if we understand that only love matters. In the end, she is adamant: it is all love.
AWAKENING MY SOUL
Prayer and worship move us towards lives that are filled with God’s love and open to each other and the world. When our soul is awakened, we magnify the Lord, and this leads others to encounter God.
HOW COSMOLOGY CAN ENRICH RELIGIOUS LIFE
For scripture scholar and Dominican Sister Laurie Brink, science gives new language for talking about vocation and community.
SCRIPTURE INTERPRETATIONS ARE NEVER SET IN STONE
Contemplation of scripture is a process, not a done deal. Any use of the Bible that insists “this means this, period” puts blinders on the process of revelation.
PRAYER IS HARD, AND IT’S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO LEARN
Prayer isn’t easy. It involves our whole being. We have to understand what prayer truly is and further clarify what we’re ultimately doing when we pray.
PERFECT LOVE
When we try to love others in God’s Name, even if we feel little more than indifference toward them, our Heavenly Father is nonetheless very pleased.
GOODNESS, TRUTH AND BEAUTY ARE ALL PATHS TO THE ONE GOD
We all have a yearning in our hearts to be united with God. Whatever we may own or enjoy in this world, to be joined with God exceeds them all.
HOW BABY BOOMER CATHOLICS ARE KEEPING THE FAITH
Amid cultural upheavals in the church and the world, Catholics of the baby boomer generation have had to reevaluate their faith and affiliations.
EXPLORE THE RICHES OF CHURCH’S ‘TOP SEVEN’ METHODS OF PRAYER
Of the many prayer methods, there are certain ones that rise up to the top in popularity and frequency. As such, it’s good to walk through them and see what each prayer method offers.
IN LECTIO DIVINA, WE ‘MUNCH’ ON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD
Lectio divina is all about the revelations of God, now contained in the Sacred Scriptures. Lectio divina is a deep dive into the Bible.
IN A MILLION TINY WAYS, GOD’S GRACE WORKS IN THE WORLD
Catholics could do with a reminder of just how potent and powerful our small acts of kindness, incarnate in the material world, can be.
LOVE, SEX AND DOROTHY DAY
Dorothy Day synthesized seemingly contradictory values with insight and nuance. Perhaps the most perplexing of her beliefs were those on sexuality and romantic love.
THE SPIRITUAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF AGING
Life is asking us to confront ourselves and to come to terms with the fact that the days ahead of us will be shorter than those that went before us.
TAKE A BREAK THIS SUMMER — FOR YOUR GOOD AND THE GOOD OF THE COMMUNITY
As we look toward the months ahead and the mountains of things that could or should be done, why not spend some time away with friends, family or God (or all three!)?
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, we lost the essence of the gospel as “good news for the poor”
WHAT DEATH HAS TAUGHT ME
Each of our lives is a thread in a consecrated tapestry of divine love entwined with sorrow and hope—a tapestry that survives our bodily surrender and endures forever.
THE JOY OF CONVERSATION
God reveals himself to his people through biblical stories, through words of friendship, and through conversations in which no one is left unheard
THE EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL IS MISSING SOMETHING: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
Christ shed his blood for love of us; the shared reception of his blood should lead to our overflowing love.
A PASTORAL LETTER TO THOSE LEAVING THE CHURCH
If you’re walking away from the church, there are three heresies about Christianity you should leave behind as well.
GIVING GLORY BACK TO GOD
The weight of something suggests its importance or value—and ultimately its glory. However, one must always distinguish true glory from false glory.
MODERN MODELS OF HOLINESS
All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love.
MEET THE PRAYER METHOD THAT’S ALL ABOUT THE ADORATION OF GOD
Every Christian is called to be a person of prayer. Such a tall order can seem daunting, which is why the spiritual treasury of the Church provides us with various prayer methods.
WE WANT GOD TO BE LIKE BATMAN
Deep in our hearts, we want God to beat up our enemies and punish evildoers. We want a God who gets mad and gets even. But that is not the God of Jesus.
A WALKING PRAYER
Here you will find a sample walking meditation. It is divided into sections correlated with each of the senses and punctuated by prayer, using a psalm.
PRAY ABUNDANTLY AND IN ANY WAY YOU CAN
It is 90 years since the Catholic Worker movement began, and more than 40 years since its founder died. What is Dorothy Day still teaching us?
JAMES MARTIN, S.J.: ‘DOES GOD EXIST?’ AND OTHER FAQS ABOUT FAITH AND RELIGION
Questions asked by people who aren’t sure about faith, some by those not sure about religion and others who are believers but struggling how to believe and how to belong to a church.
EVANGELICAL JOYFULNESS - RISE AND REJOICE!
Happiness is fleeting; it’s ephemeral. It’s a feeling and emotion that at its core is certainly good, or at least neutral, like all human feelings—and like the full range of human emotions, happiness comes and goes. And that’s OK.
I DO NOT SEE THE ROAD AHEAD OF ME
Job loss and the ensuing job search... often feels like you’re trying to make your way without a clearly marked path.
VISION AND VIEWPOINT: THE PROPHETIC TASK
Unfortunately, the vision of Jesus the Prophet has become quite domesticated over the centuries. As life got more comfortable from generation to generation, prophecy became reduced to Christian rituals, to public “witness” of our own private spiritual lives.
PRAYER TRANSFORMS US
We rely not upon our own ability to pray as we ought.  Rather, we have confidence that God will be true to the prophetic word and transform our lives by means of a new heart.
SACRAMENT OF FRIENDSHIP
Part of the process of becoming ourselves, however, lies in having someone against whose wisdom we can test our own. It lies in learning to tell our truth.
TO SEE GOD'S REAL PRESENCE IN THE EUCHARIST, WE MUST SEE GOD EVERYWHERE
If we can’t see God at our own tables, in our coming and going, and in the poor and in our neighbor, how will we ever see God in the changed substance of bread and wine?
WHAT MAKES YOU YOU? INDIVIDUALITY IN EDITH STEIN
Full individuality must be attributed to more than our personal core or individual form. It also — and even primarily — involves our ability to transcend ourselves.
LETTING GO OF CHURCHINESS
Different emphases in Franciscan alternative orthodoxy: incarnation instead of redemption, cosmos instead of churchiness, and an emphasis on the union of humanity and divinity in Jesus instead of just his divinity.
NO ONE CAN AVOID SUFFERING, BUT JESUS POINTS A WAY TO HEALING
In this life, trouble will come. But it is possible to face it in a way that is fruitful and restorative.
GOD’S CHALLENGING CALL – ARE YOU UP FOR IT?
You may not think about it. You may not pray about it. You may not even know about it. But like it or not, if you’ve been baptized, God is calling you to be a prophet!
FROM DUST TO PINNACLE OF CREATION
All that we can learn from the natural sciences about human beings comes to fulfillment in Jesus Christ who opens everything we are to eternal life.
WISDOM FOR ANY SEASON
“The risen Christ shows himself in the wounds of the world,” writes regular Commonweal contributor Luke Timothy Johnson in his review of Tomáš Halík’s recent collection of essays.
FOLLOWING ST. FRANCIS: LESSONS FROM STUDYING THE SAINT’S CLOSEST FRIENDS
Following Francis’ practice of seeing good in someone who may at times annoy us enriches our lives and improves our personal and professional relationships.
WHAT DOES OUR SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION SHOW ABOUT OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?
How long could you avoid checking your social media posts? Is there a connection between our social media addiction and our spiritual life?
"I AM NOT AFRAID TO DIE"
A simple, personal reflection on the spirituality of death and dying, within the themes of "Heaven," "Loved Ones," "Blessings" and "Signs."
WHAT’S IMPORTANT IN LIFE?
When all the stages of life have passed us by, these things alone remain: the spiritual treasure that stretches our souls to see what our eyes cannot, the remembrance of how beautiful life really is under all its ugliness, and the love of those around us who make the journey gentle as we go.
REMEMBERING THOMAS MERTON - THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN
Now widely considered a spiritual classic, The Seven Storey Mountain has never gone out of print, and it continues to find new readers every year.
Pope John XXIII: A Holy Life
Gregarious and open, John exuded an enthusiasm for life that in itself set a positive tone for his pontificate and raised hopes for a season of change
LEVIATHANS, GIANTS, AND BEARS, OH MY! MONSTERS OF THE BIBLE
Sanitizing biblical stories of violent monsters erases an entire facet of who God is, says this biblical scholar. For people who want to think seriously about the complexity of God in the Bible, this facet of the portrayal of God is something to ponder.
JESUS ACCORDING TO MARK
It is interesting to note that of the Synoptics, only Mark’s starts with the word euaggelion, the Greek word for “good news” or “glad tidings.” The word has usually been translated in English as “Gospel” but that is not the best way to translate it
HOLY, WHOLLY HEALTHY: FINDING A SACRED SPACE
We are all called to prayer, to talk to our God about what is happening in our lives. When we are worried about life-changing health issues, who better to talk with?
BETWEEN THE BIBLE AND ME
The God of the Bible is rooted in events and encounters, relationships and reckonings. This incarnational aspect of our faith didn’t end with Jesus’ ascension; it went on and on, touching real people in real circumstances in real time.
THE ALTAR OF THE EARTH
It was exactly a century ago, in the summer of 1923, that the Jesuit priest penned the essay “The Mass on the World” during a four-month expedition in northwest China, trekking on the back of a mule.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS A WILD THING
The Spirit of God moves us to new heights of understanding, to new types of witness, to new dimensions of life needed in the here and now.
10 PROMPTS FOR SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS
When was the last time you had a conversation with real depth and meaning, a conversation that left your worldview broader, your heart stronger, or your step lighter?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY?
Religion and spirituality do not have to be at odds. But in a time of cultural upheaval that we are living through, many see them as such.
A FAITH HEALER IN SKINNY JEANS IS BRINGING CATHOLICS BACK TO MASS
Leda Bergonzi is Catholic. She describes herself as an intermediary — an instrument for God. And local Catholic leaders are fully behind her.
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
It’s not uncommon to measure happiness against something we can see or something we have or something we want. One thing for sure: the nature of happiness is one of the great universal riddles of all time.
TOWARDS THE METAHUMAN IN 2024
While we anticipate crossing the threshold into 2024, we are anxious about what the New Year may hold for us. The world has become vastly complex, and we are struggling to make sense of it on a daily basis.
POPE FRANCIS ON DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
Discernment means to think through our decisions and actions, not just by rational calculation but by listening for His Spirit, recognizing in prayer God’s motives, invitations, and will. There is a principle worth remembering in these times: ideas are debated, but reality is discerned.
ACCUMULATED FAITH
Faith is a way of life that acquires its layers and contours incrementally, often imperceptibly. However gradually and unceremoniously faith may evolve within us, it provides a life that can hold and carry us through all kinds of circumstances.
THE PATRON SAINT OF IN-BETWEEN THINGS
I wonder what our faith looks like when it is defined by not the certainty of boundaries but the expansiveness of the all-of-the-aboves that permeate our lives. What might it mean to embrace the messy mixtures?
MEDIEVAL WOMEN MYSTICS OFFER A VISION OF JESUS BEYOND GENDER
These women's mystical writings invite us to look beyond cultural assumptions and deepen our relationship with Christ.
A NO-NONSENSE THÉRÈSE - SEEING THE LITTLE FLOWER IN A NEW LIGHT
A new depiction of the saint could change how we connect to the Little Flower.
WHEN DID JESUS BECOME GOD? - RECOGNIZING THE TRANSCENDENT DIVINE GROUND WITHIN US
As long as the human psyche remains evicted from its natural home in divinity, we are empty human shells seeking our deepest ground of meaning. It is time to recognize the transcendent divine ground within us and undergo the mutation that can lead to a richer reality of planetary life, fully alive in the glory of God.
IN A CULTURE OF DEATH, FIND WAYS TO NOURISH LIFE
What might it look like to be present with dark realities while prophetically manifesting hope?
DEATH ANXIETY AND THE CROSS
Jesus changed the human boundaries, showing himself to be human and Godly at the same time. The power of Abraham’s God was now expressed in a human person.
PILGRIMAGE STANDOFF: ASSISI OR SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
It’s a tough call choosing between the Way of Saint Francis and the Way of Saint James as both have so much going for them.
THE UNEMPLOYED TRINITY AND A FRAGILE EARTH: REFOCUSING THE CHRISTIAN GOD
The Christian understanding of God is upside down. For some odd reason, we emphasize a God of power and might when the God of Jesus Christ was hidden and humble.
THE WISDOM OF NOT KNOWING
To say “I don’t know” as a prayer, confession, or meditation is not to give up but to witness to the gap of unknowing between us and God.
WE, THE ORDINARY PEOPLE OF THE STREETS
We, the ordinary people of the streets, believe with all our might that this street, that this world where God has placed us, is, for us, the site of our holiness.
ACTING ON THE BEATITUDES
Jesus says that those who are truly blessed are those who suffer (poverty, mourning, and the like) not because he wants us to suffer; it’s because he wants us to realize that nothing in this world can ever fully satisfy. Only he can.
MAKING SENSE OUT OF SCRIPTURE
Reading through the lens of the four senses of Scripture can help us better understand the Gospel and deepen our faith.
REFLECTIONS ON MOTHERHOOD DURING THE MONTH OF MARY
Join OCP's Angela Westhoff-Johnson in this short video reflecting on Mary, motherhood and some beautiful Marian choral music for the season.
THE PARACLETE IN OUR LIVES
How the Holy Spirit makes God’s plan for each of us real. The Holy Spirit makes God’s plan for each of us real, and we know the Holy Spirit by what he does in each life.
TRINITY AND PERSONHOOD - LOVE IS OUR DEEPEST REALITY
A trinitarian theology of personhood requires just that: persons in relationship. Personhood is key to human identity and to divine life; the distinction of person is precisely in relation to the whole.
POPE FRANCIS PROCLAIMS YEAR OF JUBILEE THEMED AROUND ‘HOPE’
Everyone knows what it is to hope. In the heart of each person, hope dwells as the desire and expectation of good things to come, despite our not knowing what the future may bring.
THREE PARABLES TEACH US THE ESSENTIALS OF PRAYER
The way of humility is the way of the Lord, and so humility is the way of prayer.
BEYOND THE PRACTICAL: THE VALUE OF “USELESS” KNOWLEDGE
Most people are drawn to clear purpose and application in everything they do. And still, there’s power in “useless” knowledge.
THE TRUE MEANING OF "MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT"
Some may interpret "my yoke is easy" as a call to avoid responsibility or effort. However, this misses the point. The Christian life requires dedication, commitment, and a willingness to grow in faith.
WITH CHRIST AS OUR GUARANTEE, WE KNOW OUR PRAYERS ARE HEARD
Since the Lord Jesus, meditator of the new and everlasting covenant, was a man of prayer, his prayer becomes the foundation and to source of all prayer within the covenant.
I’D LIKE TO SAY: WE NEED TO STOP ‘OTHERING’
From St. Anthony Messenger: The time-honored practice of labeling and excluding those who differ from us is eating away at our Christian call to love one another.
FINDING FAITH ON YOUR PHONE - A LOOK AT THE "HALLOW" APP
An American Catholic prayer and meditation app has harnessed the powers of celebrity, smartphone culture and patriotism to engage an audience that no offline church has been able to reach in such numbers or at such speed.
THE HUMILITY OF GOD
Faith is more than a magical formula to conquer the worry, regret, shame and resentments that cloud our visions and make us jaded and tired.
Too many filters are selected.