spiritual life

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Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

by Sister Timothy Marie, OCD Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, […]

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God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

St. Thérèse of LisieuxSt. Thérèse of Lisieux

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what You want me to be – and becoming that person.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux — of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church) October 1 is the Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1873 – 1897) Print this entry

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]

"St. John of the Cross" (detail) by Francisco de Zurbarán"St. John of the Cross" (detail) by Francisco de Zurbarán

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. John of the Cross

“Whoever does not seek the cross of Christ doesn’t seek the glory of Christ.” (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church) December 14 is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (A.D. 1542 – 1591). Print this entry

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How can I pray when I can’t even think straight?

Dear Dan, How do I pray when I am sick and can’t think? I feel as though my words are just going out into thin air and no one in heaven hears me. What words do I use and Who will listen? Dear Friend, This is a difficult question both to experience and to answer. I have suffered significant ongoing […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Is being “slain in the Spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me […]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Pray Like Jesus to Transcend Suffering

“God loves you,” we tell our children. “And your guardian angel watches over you.” Then they go and skin their knees. “Go to God with your needs,” we say. But how do we respond to: “I prayed and prayed, so how come things still aren’t better?” It’s hard to know what to say if we are wondering that very same […]

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How to to Overcome Sins and Faults of the Tongue

Sins and Faults of the Tongue: To Speak or not to Speak—That is the Question Dear Sister, There is a lot of noise around me—constantly. So much chatter. It seems to me that conversations in general are getting more superficial. I’m reminded of the title of one Shakespeare’s plays. It seems to fit what I am trying to say—Much Ado […]