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Clare, COVID-19, and the Communion of Saints

“He died alone!” “We were not with her!” These lamentations are heard daily as people recount the most bitter experience of losing a loved one to COVID-19. This cry from the heart expresses the deep suffering the crisis creates. But dare we ask the question: Did they really die alone?
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Seven Things Catholics Should Know about Suicide

So many people live with the pain of losing a loved one to suicide. I rarely go for even a week without receiving a letter, an email, or a phone call from someone who has just lost a family member to suicide. In virtually every case, there is a corresponding sorrow that there really isn’t a lot of material out there, religious or secular, to help console those left bereaved. Those left behind literally gasp for human and theological oxygen.
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The Annunciation in the Time of COVID-19

In the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as in all diseases, we wait. We sit or stand or lie down and wait. We wait when there’s nothing more that we can do. We wait impatiently or with panic or anger. We wait and fidget and walk or run.
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COVID-19 and Solitude

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity once said, “I have within me a solitude where He dwells, and nothing can take that away from me.” Comforting words, especially in the times we’re in now, but many still battle loneliness. Father Clifford Hennings, OFM, has words of wisdom as many of us are forced to embrace solitude.
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Finding Light in the Darkness

Because my father was the parent who slept lightly, he was the one we awakened if we felt sick or troubled in the middle of the night. There was always a soft night light glowing by the radio in the kitchen, and I’d find my way to the kitchen table while my father set about making two cups of tea. As we waited for the water to boil he would open the back door and look out at the night sky. 
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Body and Earth: Reclaiming the Connection

It is said that when Rene Descartes, one of the philosophical fathers of modern science, vivisected a dog (dissected it alive), he paid no attention to its cries. He didn’t bother with any anesthesia for the animal; it was, to his mind, merely a machine. It had no soul, no real spirit—the whimpers and howls the dog let out as it was cut open were to Descartes like the creaking of an ungreased wheel.
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Saint Francis: An Instrument of Prayer

Our lives are so easily fragmented between responsibilities to friends, family, employers, neighbors, and the larger human family that we may think we don’t have the time or energy for prayer. That was the experience of Saint Francis of Assisi up until his mid-twenties. Then he discovered that prayer was more real than many of the things he had been considering more important.
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God's Peace, Our Reward

Believe it or not, a crisis can be positive. It can strengthen us, bond us more tightly with loved ones, reveal talents we did not realize we had, teach us about skillful and healthful coping, and give us a greater appreciation for this world and this life.
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In Search of Perfect Joy

Twenty-five centuries ago, Aristotle wrote a book called Nicomachean Ethics, in which he concluded that the ultimate goal of human beings is and ought to be happiness. 
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Making Sense of Suffering

Suffering does not make sense to this modern world. Not even the most scientifically astute minds or advanced mathematical theorems can explain the purpose of suffering. Science cannot give us an answer, so technology attempts to give us hundreds of ways to avoid it.
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