guest columnist

MAN OF THE HOUSE | At wits’ end: Giving up the struggle for self-sufficiency and turning to God

A certain man carried an unrelenting burden: alcohol addiction on one shoulder, drug addiction on the other. One night, drunk and high, he could bear it no longer. He was, you could say, at his wit's end. Sitting on a couch in his basement, he set down the bottle and the marijuana, picked up a pistol and felt mentally ready to end his suffering.

He didn't consider himself a spiritual man by any means, which is why the next split-second surprised him completely. From somewhere he couldn't explain, these words came to him.

"Please, God," he whispered, "please help me."

FAITH AT HOME | How to honor fathers with love

Beer. Golf. TV. Mowing. Burping. Fishing.

According to greeting cards in the store aisles, this is all that modern fathers care about.

Father's Day is clogged with lowbrow stereotypes. Dad just wants to hog the remote control, crack a few crass jokes and drink a cold one.

He's not nurturing, caring or involved. He's not devoted to his wife, children or grandchildren.

But think about the fathers you know. Chances are they defy such silly typecasting. They're washing dishes and changing diapers. They're sacrificing to pay for college or moving to be near grandkids.

IN LIGHT OF FAITH | The life-changing power of joy

When you're in your 20s and 30s, you often feel invincible — like there's so much time to make mistakes because you'll fix them tomorrow. It's easy to boast that this is the time to do whatever you want.

But then something happens. Maybe you lose your job or your longtime friend stops returning your texts. Or, maybe you learn at age 35 that you have breast cancer — which is what happened to me.

FAITH AT HOME | How to widen our hearts on Mother’s Day

For mothers who have lost children.

For children who have lost mothers.

For women who long to be mothers.

For mothers who never got to meet their children.

As my husband and I are writing a book on miscarriage for Catholic couples, I've posed the question on social media: Has your parish's blessing on Mother's Day included prayers for women who long to have a child or women who have lost a child?

COMING OF AGE | Answering the call to evangelize requires overcoming fear

Every Catholic is called to evangelize and share God's love with others.

I recently attended some meetings that reminded me of this call. Through the theme of the V Encuentro (Fifth Encuentro) — a multiyear process of gatherings leading up to a V National Encuentro of Hispanic Ministry this September — people were reminded that all baptized are "Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God's Love."

Slowing down to see the divine in our lives

Erica Tighe was 26 when she made the leap: She would set out on her own to be a calligrapher. Full time. In order to pay her $800 rent and cellphone bill and $1,000 college-loan payment and also hopefully afford some food.

She had a sociology degree and lingering burnout from teaching in Brooklyn, her latest stint. She'd recently moved to Los Angeles, but after a few months of looking for a nonprofit job, she couldn't find one that would cover her rent and college debt.

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