practical faith

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Help! I need Practical Ideas for Living the Faith

For the last several years, there has been an increased interest in practical advice on how to practice their faith.  Certainly, the uncertainty and growing chaos in the secular world have something to do with this. More recently, we have seen more obvious clashes between our culture and our Church. We can look back through Salvation History and see the pattern. The [...]

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A Recent Convert Struggles in her Relationship with Mary

Dear Sister, I just recently became Catholic and I’m still struggling with the Church’s teachings on Mary. I respect her, but I don’t feel the need to ask her for prayers if I can just ask God directly. Do you have any suggestions on how I can have a relationship with Mary? Dear Friend, Yes, I do! Being a convert [...]

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Five Practical Lessons to Become a Better Disciple

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey to Jerusalem where redemption will occur and the Church will be born. St. Luke uses nearly 10 chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to which he has called [...]

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Ten Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me – working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. [...]

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What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the 40 days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that [...]

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Suffering Transfigured Through Love

The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of this love, we are continually invited by God into a deeper communion of prayer with Him… to come to know Him as He [...]

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Send My Roots Rain

When teaching my personal development course called ‘Ordinary Hero’ I show the students a picture of an ancient tree and explain how our lives have three levels: the branches and leaves represent our everyday concerns — our daily worries, joys, tasks and choices. The trunk of the tree symbolizes our conscious beliefs and values. We can discuss our religious and [...]

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Want to Conform to Christ this Lent? It’s Simple, Serve More.

Since I am freshly out of the confessional, I feel the need to be completely honest with myself as I prepare for Lent—the time we set aside to ready ourselves for the greatest day of the year, Easter Sunday. To me, preparing for Lent instantly conjures up thoughts of what I can give up that will cause me a little, [...]

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The Practical Practice of Almsgiving

One of the dreariest tasks of a parish priest is to stand up and ask for money. One can almost hear the moans of the parishioners and hear them thinking, “Here we go again. Father’s always asking for money. That’s all he ever thinks about is money.” This complaint is more accurately aimed at the complainer. Father Frugal — like [...]

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How to Recognize and Rid Yourself of Attachments

Dear Sister, In your series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice [...]