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Entries related to: faith

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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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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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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My Faith Helped Me Forgive

It took a long time to think of my dad as human. His presence loomed in my head as a larger-than-life monster who was guilty of sexually abusing girls when I was a teenager. The things he did drove me to the brink of suicidal thoughts throughout my life.
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Our Belief in God

In his lifetime, Jesus’ mission was not about building himself up. He came to love and to save every human being. And he would do that no matter what the cost—even death on the cross. He worked all of his public life to show how much God loved everyone—including those rejected by the religious leaders who were convinced God couldn’t love people who broke the law.
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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 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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