Category: Disability, Sickness & Suffering

Five Things my Mother (and Daughter) Taught Me about Caring for People with Dementia
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Five Things my Mother (and Daughter) Taught Me about Caring for People with Dementia

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My mother developed Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, in her early 60s. Later on, she was diagnosed with an aggressive thyroid cancer that required a surgical opening in her throat called a tracheostomy so that she would not suffocate from the tumor. My father and siblings were naturally distraught and overwhelmed. I […]

Be Present: A Suitable Place For The Lord
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Be Present: A Suitable Place For The Lord

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My Lenten meditation and prayer this year has yielded some spiritual fruit. I am trying to work toward a renewed focus on something in my life: Be Present. It’s a simple idea. I want to pursue a life that does less looking backward to where I have been and less looking forward to where I […]

Natural Family Planning as Self Defense
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Natural Family Planning as Self Defense

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My comment was met with a blank stare, a look of confusion. Fortunately, it only lasted a few awkward seconds. I was visiting my nurse practitioner for a nagging abdominal pain. Having concluded that I should have a CT scan (a detailed, in-depth x-ray) she had asked me if there was any chance I might […]

The Ever-Present Affliction of Spiritual Depression
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The Ever-Present Affliction of Spiritual Depression

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Clinical depression borders on being an epidemic in our world. Consider that about 15 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with the illness. And the number of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder has been increasing by about 20 percent annually. Although about a third of those people won’t get much relief […]

God Wants You to Get Help
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God Wants You to Get Help

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In a recent conversation with a friend, she confided in me she had been suffering for an extended period of time from what she suspected was depression. Her family had requested she see a professional, but she was hesitant. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. “At what point do I turn to a doctor and feel […]

Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life
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Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life

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Thousands braved severe weather last week to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C., giving a vital public witness to the sanctity of life. In this column, however, I will reflect on a very personal situation with my wife’s first pregnancy six years ago, when abortion was presented to us as an option. Our […]

Seize Eternal Life in the Here and Now
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Seize Eternal Life in the Here and Now

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Jesus’ prayer in the 17th Chapter of John is often referred to as the High Priestly Prayer. In verse three we read “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” In the past, I have plowed through this verse without giving […]

Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine
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Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine

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I like wine, red and dry. My preferences are Chianti and Merlot. A bottle of Cabernet, Pinot Noir or Petite Syrah will do in a pinch. Some brands and years taste better than others, but I’m not a connoisseur. I’m not picky about the wine coming from Italy or California. For me, good wine is […]

The Unborn Down Syndrome Refugee Crisis
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The Unborn Down Syndrome Refugee Crisis

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The daily headlines are filled with stories about the refugee crisis spreading across the globe. Tensions are high as governments assess the security risk of admitting groups of these displaced citizens, and the vetting and screening processes for refugees is under intense scrutiny. A refugee is defined as “a person who flees for refuge or […]

Jesus's Door
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Jesus’s Door

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I have always been pro-life, and so when we were faced with an unexpected prenatal diagnosis with our 5th daughter at her 19 week scan, there was no question we would bring her in to this world and face her challenges along side of her.  Immediate thoughts included just keeping her alive, getting her through […]

Faith in Suffering: Kristi's Gift to All of Us
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Faith in Suffering: Kristi’s Gift to All of Us

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I crawled into the bed with Kristi and we lay together all afternoon talking and laughing. We talked about everything under the sun: our childhoods, our hopes and dreams, our disappointments, homeschooling, our faith, our husbands, our children, and her cancer. It’s been a year ago already and I can remember everything about that day. […]

Active Parenting and Grandparenting With a Wheelchair
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Active Parenting and Grandparenting With a Wheelchair

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Parenting can be daunting, but it becomes more complicated for a wheelchair user. But it can be done with great success. No obstacle is insurmountable with innovative thinking. And there are many agencies in most communities to teach techniques for parenting to wheelchair users. My children were seven and five years old when I was […]

The Deadly Fruit of Brittany Maynard’s “Private” Choice
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The Deadly Fruit of Brittany Maynard’s “Private” Choice

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29 year old Brittany Maynard made headlines last year for announcing her decision to end her life with doctor-prescribed suicide after being diagnosed with brain cancer. A Californian, she was, in her own words, “forced” to move to Oregon to exercise her “right to die” because of California’s ban on assisted suicide. At the time, […]

The Saint Knows: God is All You Need
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The Saint Knows: God is All You Need

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My mind has been calmed by, among other things, a bookmark and a simple prayer. I’m writing these thoughts late in the evening Thursday, October 15. For the Catholic Church, this has been the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila. Among those in the Discalced Carmelite order – be they priests/friars, nuns or lay […]

When Death Knocked on Her Husband’s Door
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When Death Knocked on Her Husband’s Door

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Beth stared out the hospital blinds as the sunrise crept through. The beauty of it did not register with her as her thoughts raced, wondering how her husband was doing, and how long it would be until things were back to normal. Finally, the doctor came in. “Please step out into the hallway with me,” […]

We Must Listen to the Voice of the Lord
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We Must Listen to the Voice of the Lord

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Suddenly, quite surprisingly, I find myself deep in despair. Despair for my family and friends. Despair for my parish and my Catholic Church. Despair for myself, my work, my apostolate and my health, for my community and my country and my fellow human beings, for my prayer life and my faith and the souls of […]

Movie Review I Am Potential
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Movie Review I Am Potential

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The new movie, I Am Potential, is based on the true story of the Hughes Family whose son was born without eyes and unable to walk. I almost didn’t want to even tell you that, because I had the experience of coming at the story cold, and was hit by the element of surprise at […]

Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank
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Filling Up My Nearly Empty Gas Tank

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For as long as I can remember, I have been an “11th-hour” guy. Some might call it procrastination. I prefer to say “I thrive under deadline.” That was a marketable skill for much of my life. Now, it has become an occasionally debilitating burden. It began, commonly enough, with working on high school term papers […]

Take A Friend On The Journey
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Take A Friend On The Journey

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A March weekend in 2005 has affected my life as profoundly as almost any other event. Not only did my two-day experience improve the quality of my life, it probably saved my life. Numerous times. I gained a true understanding about the invaluable importance of making my spiritual journey with companions. And to think it […]

Cross Bearers Needed
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Cross Bearers Needed

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In March of this year my father sent out an email to his family marking an important date in his life. It was the anniversary of the day, at thirty years old, he woke up paralyzed. Forty-eight years had passed. I was only eight years old, and the oldest of five children. I cannot remember […]

I Believe in Life
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I Believe in Life

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I am for our children born and unborn. That means giving love and nurture to them and providing environments where they can thrive and rise to their full potential. I believe we must call out the cultural bigotry that does not view unborn children as part of the human family deserving equal care and protection. […]

A Simple Prayer, A Simple Peace
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A Simple Prayer, A Simple Peace

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On a retreat some years ago, several of us were spending time in prayer together. Each man in the circle took a turn at sharing with God and the rest of us in the group an intention or request or thought that was weighing on his heart and mind. There was talk of family members […]

Eternity: A Special Woman's Journey Home
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Eternity: A Special Woman’s Journey Home

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On Tuesday morning (May 19), a few hours before my mom, Madge Eisenbath, underwent brain surgery, I went to 7 o’clock Mass at my home Catholic church. I knew my family was in for a challenging time, so there was no better way to prepare. Little did I know … In the first Scripture reading, […]

There Will Be Much Rejoicing
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There Will Be Much Rejoicing

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There is so much suffering. Homeless men, women and even countless children on the sidewalks of our cities. … Refugees from war-torn Syria and numerous African countries. … Immigrants fleeing dangerous circumstances in Central America and risking everything to sneak into the United States. … People whose lives are turned upside-down by drug abuse – […]

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