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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 AND CULTURE | Lessons learned from the shop on building the Church

In the current scientific and digital culture, working with one's hands or learning to play with mechanical systems and structures seems to be a thing of the past. We're more adept at engaging digital and virtual realities, yet our familiarity with physical labor often goes lacking.

Some may recall a family member or acquaintance whose mechanical abilities were impressive. He or she would easily break down and rebuild something that needed fixing. Others remember visiting friends or colleagues and discovering wood-working or craft shops in their homes and garages.

FAITHFUL FAN | Author gives plenty of reasons to embrace Blues hockey

Have faith, St. Louis sports fans. The Houston Astros baseball team began in 1962, and it took them 55 years to win the World Series. That brings hope for the St. Louis Blues, which became an NHL franchise in 1967.

Despite the lack of a Stanley Cup championship, the Blues have missed the playoffs only eight times and have a plethora of highlights throughout their 50 seasons.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Finding ways to give thanks despite feeling empty

Even before she was married, Emily Stimpson Chapman asked for baby prayers.

"I'd be in an antique store buying little trinkets for the wedding decorations, and I would be asking strangers: 'Pray that we have a baby!'" she said.

The Pittsburgh-based Catholic writer had long yearned to enter into motherhood, so when the love of her life got down on bended knee, she began dispensing prayer requests. She was 40, and math was not on her side.

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.

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