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Entries related to: faith

What a Monk Taught Me about Faith

“The cross is steady while the earth is turning.” Those words really hit me. They are the motto of the Carthusians, a Roman Catholic order of monks founded in 1084 by Saint Bruno in Chartreuse, France.
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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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Humanizing God

We are all familiar with the ways in which Jesus used imagery to help us understand who he was. He described himself as the shepherd and we are his sheep. Of course, we know we are not really sheep, but we understand the loving care of a shepherd for his flock. That’s just one example.
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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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