Tag: "suffering"

Loving God When Our Children Suffer
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Loving God When Our Children Suffer

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When we mothers see our children suffering, the slip off the cliffs of despair can be easy. When Pope Francis tells us, “Let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God” (April 7, 2013), the trust doesn’t exactly overflow. Mercy would be nice, Lord; how about a cure please. But we are commanded […]

I'm In The Olympics
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I’m In The Olympics

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Of course I’m not, really.  I’m probably one of the least athletic people I know.  But I love the Olympics, in a love-hate kind of way.  The hate part isn’t really “hate,” but I do end up feeling like there is a risk of an over-emphasis on one’s body, and that the soul can be […]

Shattered and Reborn
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Shattered and Reborn

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I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not experienced suffering, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice […]

Who Do We Trust In?
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Who Do We Trust In?

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Like Mount Zion are they who trust in the LORD, unshakable, forever. — Psalm 125 Do you ever think about how much we trust every single day? For instance, every time you turn on your car and pull out of the driveway, you are trusting the people who assembled that car and the mechanic who […]

What Can We Do in the Face of Suffering?
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What Can We Do in the Face of Suffering?

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I remember a couple of years ago seeing some TV reports about a heartbreaking situation in Somalia and Kenya that continue today. The commentator said, “We must warn you. Some of the images you are about to see are quite disturbing.” We proceed to see starving infants and children with distended tummies, crying children who […]

Learning from the Poor
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Learning from the Poor

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During a conversation with my 23-year-old son, he told me that a lot of his friends like our new pope. This isn’t the measure of the greatness of the man, but it is good to see some of Pope Francis’ major themes resonating with the young. Among the most prominent of these themes, something that […]

Lament and Wait Quietly for the Lord
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Lament and Wait Quietly for the Lord

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Far too frequently we look around our lives and find so much going so wrong.   Sometimes we know what we can do about our problems, and sometimes we don’t.  But that’s where faith comes in.  Here’s what I mean: The sixth century before Christ was a time of tremendous pain for the Israelites.  The Temple […]

Olympic Bronze Medalist Transformed Through Crucible of Suffering
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Olympic Bronze Medalist Transformed Through Crucible of Suffering

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If things had gone according to his original plan, Mario Ancic would have played tennis at the Olympic Games in London last year. However, his life took a different course than he expected. The 6-foot-5-inch Croatian was riding high at the end of 2006. He was already an Olympic bronze medalist, a Wimbledon semifinalist and […]

Making it Through the Storms
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Making it Through the Storms

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Sometimes you see the storm coming from miles away. The sky darkens long in advance, the thunder roars loudly from a distance, the wind whips up and turns cool. You expect those storms and can plan around them a little, or at least plan for them. I don’t mind a good storm. You can enjoy […]

The Measure of Humanity
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The Measure of Humanity

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Pope Benedict writes in Spe salvi, “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer.” These words recently took on new meaning for me as I encountered the story of Edwarda O’Bara, who passed away at the age of 59 in late November. In January 1970 Edwarda slipped into […]

Applying Jeremiah to Our Modern Jeremiads
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Applying Jeremiah to Our Modern Jeremiads

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Have you heard about how America is an evil nation, opposed to God, and destined to be judged? Or how about how rotten the majority of the Catholic Church is for its lack of fidelity to the Gospel, and how God will judge them for that?

Refusing to Suffer is Refusing to Live
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Refusing to Suffer is Refusing to Live

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After several years of rigorously defending and promoting the dignity and sanctity of all human life, it has been my observation that one of the supporting pillars of the culture of death (those kneejerk proponents of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, cloning/ESCR) is a desire to avoid or alleviate human suffering at all cost. A woman […]

Impregnable America?
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Impregnable America?

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On the evening of the Boston Marathon bombing I was doing a radio interview about a book I’d written. Before getting to me, the host asked listeners to pray for victims of the atrocity in Boston and for the nation. When my turn came, I said, “My prayer is ‘deliver us from evil.’” The host […]

How One Life Can Change Everything
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How One Life Can Change Everything

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In every person’s life, there should be a person who, as C.S. Lewis says, “hears the song in your heart and can sing it back to you.” Through this devoted love, one overcomes fears, hurts and selfishness, and the soul expands. For the Lovely family in Sherry Boas’ fictional Lily series, this person is the […]

The Apostolate of Suffering
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The Apostolate of Suffering

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The topic for discussion at my local Theology on Tap recently was evangelization and Christ’s instructions to His Apostles to go out and spread the Good News: Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in […]

Labor of Love: Suffering and the Motherly Vocation
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Labor of Love: Suffering and the Motherly Vocation

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This week I happened across this YouTube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVUZzgswJaY) in which two strapping young Dutch men experience the joy of childbirth … well, two hours of simulated labor pains. That’s almost the same thing, right? Sure. In his classic work Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen acknowledges that the mystery of suffering will remain […]

Book Review: <i>A Grace Given</i>
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Book Review: A Grace Given

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During the summer of 1998, our family faced the sudden death of our twelve-year-old son.  He was perfectly healthy that morning, but during the night, his airways had a spasm and closed up.  We discovered him blue and not breathing. I said “faced” because we came face to face with death; waiting for medical help, […]

CL18 -hbratton notxt
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For Those Who Suffer at Christmas

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As we begin the Christmas season, we contemplate in earnest that manger scene. The One who was all light emerged from the darkness of the womb. He who was perfect Love entered a world in which, in just a few short months, his parents had to flee their home in order to keep him from […]

When Life is Hard: Thoughts on Failure
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When Life is Hard: Thoughts on Failure

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Some days in life are just so stinkin’ hard. The most difficult part of hard days is the part I play in them. The failures that are mine, all mine. If I have twenty balls up in the air and manage to keep ten of them up, hoorah for me! But still I drop the […]

Opportunities to Glorify God
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Opportunities to Glorify God

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I was recently told I have cancer. We often hear that other people have the dreaded “C” word but now it is my turn. Initially it was hard to get my head around the news. The oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute was unsure how to approach my treatment. My situation is complicated by the […]

Suffering and the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood
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Suffering and the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood

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Yesterday the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of St. Thérèse, a lovable little saint whose example of humility and abandonment is a reminder of the strength that can be found when we embrace the limits of our human nature and place all our hope and trust in God who is “more tender than a Mother.” […]

Poem: "Part One: Life VI"
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Poem: “Part One: Life VI”

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Part One: Life VI IF I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. Emily Dickinson

A Happy Relationship Needs Sadness
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A Happy Relationship Needs Sadness

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Dear Anthony, The way you speak about marriage, I think I can say I have never seen it in anyone’s marriage, least of all my parents. All my family’s marriages were bad, unhappy. So, how can I expect to be happy?  And please do not mention God! Sadness is the key to being truly happy. […]

I am a Weakling
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I am a Weakling

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My name is Cheryl. And I am a weakling. That’s the kind of group I want to be in: the kind of group where we each take the stand and own up to who we are—who we really are. Not the avatars we put out in the world through our blogs and our tweets; but […]

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