Home » Articles posted by Maureen Pratt

This Lent: A different kind of sacrifice

February 24th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

If doing the same thing this Lent as in Lents past seems a bit hollow to you, two Catholics’ experiences with doing something different might help bring a fresh perspective to your own Lenten practice.

A few years ago, dissatisfied with the “same old” way of moving through Lent, Gary Jansen decided to blend what he does for a living with a new Lenten practice. An editor and author (“Station to Station and Life Everlasting: Catholic Devotions and Mysteries for the Everyday Seekers”), Jansen started a daily gratitude journal. Read more »

Don’t worry, be reconciled!

January 25th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

For many baby boomers and other Catholics, the childhood experience of reconciliation was “old school” — a daunting, opaque confession of transgressions in an anonymous, confining confessional capped off with a recital of the act of contrition.

Today, reconciliation is one of the least practiced sacraments, but for many adults who return to it, it can be a powerful way to grow in faith and encounter God in a profoundly merciful context. Read more »

Comments Off on Don’t worry, be reconciled!

Who’s really in control?

December 22nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

Nations against nations. Rulers abusing their power. Fear, uncertainty, even despair taking hold in fragile hearts because of threats to safety abroad and at home.

The world into which Jesus was born was rife with many of the same problems our world faces today. Yet, the readings for the Epiphany of the Lord help us understand that because of Jesus’ birth, there is more light than darkness, more hope than despair. Read more »

Comments Off on Who’s really in control?

Joy from the inside out

December 11th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

The crunch is upon us! Christmas is near, and there is too little time, too much to do and still more to come. We’re supposed to shout, “Joy to the world!” but the actual feeling of joy might seem quite distant or exhausting, forced, like a photographer’s insistence that we “smile” when we really don’t feel like it.

The wonderful readings for this Third Sunday of Advent come to the rescue of our harried hearts. Each in its own way brings this blessed time into comforting focus, and, as a gift for today and tomorrow, provides effective ways that we can grasp and cultivate lasting joy, not from external sources, but from deep within, where Christ dwells and the Holy Spirit moves. Read more »

Comments Off on Joy from the inside out

Domestic abuse: A parish response

September 20th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

As places of faith, compassion and respect for life, parishes are in a unique position to raise awareness about domestic abuse and support families as they find help. But misinformation and a hesitancy to talk about such a tough issue can make this challenging.

Catholics for Family Peace Education and Research Initiative, housed at The Catholic University of America within the National Catholic School of Social Service, was formed to help parishes respond to domestic abuse in an “informed, compassionate way,” said director Sharon O’Brien. Read more »

Comments Off on Domestic abuse: A parish response

Healing a heart

June 30th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

Cheryl Wunsch was a new mother and a recently baptized Catholic when she received the awful news that sent her on a 39-year journey to healing and forgiveness.

Her parents had recently divorced, and she had been out of touch with her father. But one day, unexpectedly, he called. Read more »

Comments Off on Healing a heart

Spiritual direction for today and tomorrow

June 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

Spiritual direction is not only for those seeking to discern a vocation to the priesthood or vowed religious life. Often, a life crisis or deep desire to better clarify someone’s relationship with God can be the catalyst to seek a spiritual director.

Father Bill Murphy, director of spiritual formation at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, says, “The benefit of spiritual direction for someone who engages it is that there’s a relationship with someone that’s ongoing and who can help the directee connect the dots in his or her life regarding the movement of the Spirit in his or her own life.” Read more »

Comments Off on Spiritual direction for today and tomorrow

Saints to know during Lent

March 27th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

Catholic News Service

Who is your favorite saint?

 Oh, what a simple, yet very complicated question!

As a child, I learned about saints from mostly secondhand sources and had no clear “favorite” of my own. My first childhood religious book, whose tattered red cover and well-worn pages show just how much I enjoyed it, was laden with illustrations and stories of several saints, including St. Elizabeth, St. Bernadette de Soubirous and St. Joan of Arc — too many amazing examples to choose just one. Read more »

Comments Off on Saints to know during Lent

Divine connection: The positive effects of prayer on health

February 13th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

By

 

Catholic News Service

For people of faith who face health challenges, turning to God in prayer is not unusual. But over the past few decades, medical professionals have focused attention on whether prayer has effects that go beyond spiritual solace to impact physical health.

The Rev. John K. Graham is president and CEO of the Institute for Spirituality and Health at Texas Medical Center in Houston. An Episcopal priest and experienced physician, he is one of a growing number of medical professionals who study the effects of spirituality, including prayer, on health and coping with health challenges such as cancer and chronic illness. Read more »

Comments Off on Divine connection: The positive effects of prayer on health

Viewpoint: Read for your life

December 22nd, 2016 Posted in Senior / Health, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

By

 

If the winter days seem dingy and drab, I have a suggestion to perk things up: Read a book.

I recently attended a lecture that is part of the UCLA’s Alumni Association program about lifetime learning called “2nd Act.” Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Longevity Center at UCLA, presented the latest research on neuroscience and aging, and touched on some activities that might improve cognition as we advance in age and (hopefully!) wisdom. Read more »

Comments Off on Viewpoint: Read for your life