Spiritual Life/Prayer
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

Spiritual Life/Prayer

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.
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