Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Sea of Galilee at Sunrise

Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Act As If for Spiritual Growth

As a young sister I was taught that “act as if” is a spiritual principle for growing in virtue. This strategy works on the natural level. For example, if you dread speaking to a group, imagine that you are an accomplished speaker full of confidence. Ask yourself what the signs of a good speakers are. Picture yourself demonstrating them: speaking without your voice or knees shaking, smiling, using pauses and gestures. Then go out and act as if you are a great speaker. The mind is a powerful tool. It can shape our actions. Before you know it, what you imagined will become reality. (It works the opposite way too. If you picture yourself failing, chances are you will.) So how can we use this strategy to bolster our spiritual life? (more…)

Holy Boldness in the Face of Crosses

In my backyard there is a sapling that was planted directly under a chain-link fence probably by a squirrel. As it grew, the tree not only wove itself around the bars but swallowed them into itself. Nothing could inhibit the life force that impelled the tree upwards. You can see it in the photo. This tree right now is a symbol for me of the Christian life. As we follow Jesus, we encounter all kinds of obstacles. We can either succumb to them and let our faith wither and die, or we can plough our way through them. (more…)

A Trick for Praying Psalms

I muse on what your hand has wrought. Psalm 143:5

Praying the psalms in the Divine Office every day, I found that often my eyes glide over the lines but the words don’t register. When I close the book, I wonder if I said anything to God! Lately I’ve been applying a tip St. Ignatius gave for praying the Gospels: use your imagination. Call on all your senses to bring the psalms to life and hold your attention. It’s a though there is a movie screen in your head and you see the verses acted out. You also hear, smell, and feel what they describe. To do this you draw on your own experiences. Here is an example… (more…)

The Holy Spirit Takes 911 Calls

A spiritual director once asked me, “Do you pray to the Holy Spirit?” When I said, “No, not specifically,” he was surprised and replied,  “You, a writer, and you don’t pray to the Holy Spirit!” Since then I’ve addressed prayers to all three persons in the Trinity: the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who has been dubbed “the Cinderella of the Trinity.” I’ve learned that this Spirit is all that Jesus promised: a powerful helper. On Pentecost the Spirit of Jesus whooshed down as strong wind and inflamed the disciples so they spoke in languages foreigners could understand. This same Spirit inspires me with ideas and words when I have writer’s block. But more than that… (more…)

Let’s Reclaim Sunday

Do you know why God rested on the seventh day? Because he had created man and woman who would help with his work! At least that’s according to one wit. Ordinarily we interpret God’s “rest” as a model for us. Jewish people rest on Saturday. Christians shifted this rest to Sunday because it was the day Jesus rose from the dead. This first day of the week is our “Lord’s Day.” Rev. Andrew Greeley wrote, “If we have not had experiences through the weekend that deepened our faith, that heightened our religious sensitivity that bring a little bit more of tranquility and serenity into our lives, then religiously speaking, the weekend has been a waste.” (more…)

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Jesus depends on us to spread the Good News of God’s love, offering the world hope and joy. Mary Kathleen, a Sister of Notre Dame from Chardon, Ohio, responds through writing, speaking, giving retreats, and teaching. Her motto, adopted from Eddie Doherty’s gravesite, is “All my words for the Word.”

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A Child’s Book
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Here is a simple version of verses from favorite psalms, followed by a one-line prayer. Colored photos enhance the 24-page booklet.

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