guest columnist

LIVING WELL | Problems with packaging

Do you struggle with packaging?

In opening a fresh box containing an over-the-counter pain reliever, I now need a double dose because of the discomfort caused by opening the bottle.

My neighbors probably think I ordered all of my Christmas gifts in one purchase because of the huge cardboard shipping "crate" blocking my front door — but all I did was order a few, small items from an online retailer.

And oh, the puzzle of plastic wrapping tightly around my latest compact disc purchase. I really didn't need my fingernails, did I?

FAITH AT HOME | The ones who won’t be home for the holidays

This season sparkles with joy. We open our homes to family and friends, greeting each other at the doors under twinkling lights.

But a small moment often catches in our throat. We set one less place for Thanksgiving dinner. Or we cross a name off this year's Christmas list.

Wherever we gather around holiday tables this year, there will be holes left by those who aren't there. Relatives who have died. Loved ones lost to addiction. Babies who never got to be held. Families divided by divorce. Gaping holes left by grief.

STEWARDSHIP | In God we trust: We are called to be generous with everything

Putting complete trust in God is one of the characteristics of living a stewardship lifestyle. It means being generous with all of our gifts; not just one or two things we pick and choose.

If we're honest with ourselves, when it comes to sharing, many pick the path of least resistance, the path that causes the least discomfort. We tend to share from our surplus.

Many of us know people who go to daily Mass and regularly attend parish religious events, yet they don't participate in parish ministries or make a weekly financial offering at Mass.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Addressing the scourge of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a serious problem affecting millions of people throughout our country. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to maintain power and control over another within an intimate relationship. It turns a loving relationship into one of violence, fear and control.

IN LIGHT OF FAITH | Whole-life perspective: How one young activist thinks about social justice

As a college student, I spend much of my time deliberating the great questions of our day, not least among them: the limp salad or the pizza? Shredded carrots and dressing could spruce up the former; the latter's grease I could dab off.

But increasingly, the minimal effort required to render the inedible appealing is daunting enough that I choose not to eat at all. It's a pathetic defeat. I'm not blind to the privilege of a cafeteria at my disposal, but I know that neither will satisfy my hunger.

GUEST COLUMNIST | A vocation to serve and protect

In June, at an audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City, Italian police officers were thanked for their service. The pope emphasized to them, "your vocation is service," and he highlighted how their mission as police officers "is expressed in service to others" through their "constant availability, patience, a spirit of sacrifice and sense of duty."

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