viewpoints

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 AND CULTURE | Remembering, renewing and rejoicing in the fire of the Spirit

In our contemporary life, transitioning from one event to another often occurs with ease and little reflection. We enjoy the thrill of the moment without paying attention to every detail. The fervor of a birthday celebration, for example, soon gives way to the excitement over the family graduation or another emerging fiesta. In short, our lives reflect a series of historical, social and political happenings that seem to come and go out of our lives with little pause for thought.

GROWING UP CATHOLIC | Theology of processions

The Feast of Corpus Christi is June 3, when many parishes process with the Blessed Sacrament.

Church processions are serious business. I learned this right about the time I felt like my kneecaps were going to fall off from kneeling and I was going to collapse into a puddle of perspiration under the pitiless June sun. As a Protestant, I'd been used to worship spaces with cushy chairs with cup holders for my coffee. For Catholics, though, prayer is physical.

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.

STEWARDSHIP | The best of both worlds

Many of us probably don't need more evidence that God exists, but in case you do, take a trip to Italy. My wife and I just returned from a two-week vacation there. Venice, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, Assisi, Rome and Vatican City, the best of both worlds, a little taste of heaven here on earth.

I had no idea what was in store for us. What I thought was going to be a sightseeing trip quickly developed into a religious pilgrimage.

Two things have stuck with me from the trip. First, the beauty of God's creation. Second, the beauty of man's creativity inspired by God.

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?

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