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Entries related to: faith

Finding God in the Darkness of Depression

  I have a passionate devotion to Divine Mercy. I sing the Chaplet and pray this prayer of surrender, “Jesus, help the signature of my life be the signature of your Divine Mercy, ‘Jesus, I trust in you.’ ” And I strive to live that surrender minute by minute. But as I fell deeper and deeper into the dark hole of depression a couple of years ago, the prayer began to sit on my heart like a heavy weight. It made it hard for me to breathe.
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Notes from a Friar: The Mysterious Workings of Grace

When speaking of the word grace, it is important to clarify what grace really is. Grace is not something that we get from God. Grace is actually God working within our whole person. Sometimes you hear people speak as though God would ladle out grace. Rather, grace is the presence of God within us. Grace is God’s presence and strength given to us at particular times when we are called to act virtuously. 
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Transformative Waiting

It isn’t difficult for me to identify with the theme of waiting throughout the Advent season. I am someone who is always longing for someone or something. Longing is a part of who I am. It carries me into the mystery of the day. It fills my heart with hope, birthing dreams and desires within me. It feeds my determination and drive. Of course, there is a dark side to longing. Sometimes it leads to obsession. Sometimes it’s difficult to live in the present. Sometimes I even self-sabotage to get back into a state of longing. But overall, longing usually serves me well, as long as it doesn’t pull me out of the intimacy that is always attainable in the present.
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Trusting the River

It can be agonizing to share what is deepest within you but then be met by apathy or rejection. For me, this struggle has often unfolded in the arenas of art and writing. I spent six years writing my first book, and, like many artists looking to find a home for their beloved project, found myself in the desert of unknowing as I queried agents and publishers. Staying disciplined for over a half-decade was difficult enough. The fruits of that discipline hinging upon the opinions of others was excruciating.
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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Oftentimes we have a false hope when it comes to life—that everything is going to work out perfectly for us. But that's unrealistic, Brother Casey Cole, OFM, says. Life isn't easy. It will almost constantly throw challenges our way. The key is to clear our minds and hearts of expectations and allow God to lead us.
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Spreading God’s Love

Early in the spring, when the sun first begins to warm the Earth, the sweet smelling fir trees growing high in the Mexican mountains begin to come alive with the sound of millions of fluttering wings. The Monarch butterflies, which have migrated all the way from Canada to find their safe haven amongst these branches, will awaken from their long winter’s nap.
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On a Wing and a Prayer

What you are about to read is scientifically inexplicable. Try as they may, no one can figure it out. The Eastern Migrating Monarch (Danaus Plexippus) is an anomaly in nature. As stated, it goes through several changes to reach the Imago stage of mature adulthood: egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly--each stage of development having the identical DNA as the one before.
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Embracing Our Faith Journey

After about two weeks of being enclosed in its chrysalis, the newly formed Monarch butterfly is now ready to emerge from its metamorphic chamber and get on with life. The butterfly has to strive to emerge from its capsule of transformation and burst on the scene. The struggle to get free is exhausting, but without the workout, the butterfly would not be strong enough to successfully engage all that it is about to encounter. 
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Soaring with God

Can you recall a time when you looked at your life and thought, “There must be something more than this”? Have you ever longed to experience something more? Something better? Something greater? 
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Finding Courage in Suffering: Blood, Sweat and Tears

I didn’t read the Bible growing up. The truth is, aside from Sunday Mass, holy days, weddings and the occasional greeting card or crossword puzzle, I was never really exposed to Holy Scripture. As I became friends with other Christians of all denominations, I was often amazed at their command of God’s Word. I also felt somewhat cheated by my own church for leaving me so ignorant of the Word of God.
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