The National Catholic Review

Faith in Focus

  • August 18-25, 2014

    I was introduced to centering prayer after Laurie, my 18-year-old daughter, died from cancer. In the 24 years since then, centering prayer’s embodiment of kenosis, or self-emptying, has helped me in many ways to live with grief, especially by bringing to light one of grief’s most insidious manifestations: the creation of a false self caught up in a false drama.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    His name was George Adlerhurst.

    I was 8 years old, and he lived upstairs from us on the third floor. He had one leg and I liked him a lot. He was a nice man and he seemed to like me. I never knew what happened to his other leg. Then, one morning he became the first dead person I ever saw.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Why can’t we finish this house?

  • July 7-14, 2014

    When my little girl became a teenager, I didn’t flinch. Raising a daughter who is so solidly grounded in her faith has made this journey (so far) a less stressful experience than those I’ve heard described by other parents. A very modest young lady, my daughter Vanessa and I don’t argue about short skirts and makeup, parties or boys. Our conversations seem more focused on her grades...

  • July 7-14, 2014

    My great-grandfather and I both have lived lives closely intertwined with religious orders. I have freely given my life to service through the Sisters of Mercy. My great-grandfather, on the other hand, had no choice regarding his service. He worked as a slave, owned by the Society of Jesus.

  • June 23-30, 2014

    My grandmother was one of the most faithful people I’ve ever met. In my fondest memory of her, she is walking through the house on a warm summer day, watering plants while singing spirituals—those Christian songs created by enslaved people in the United States as a form of prayer and worship. Whether Grandma was caring for her grandchildren, assisting people in the community or doing chores, she presented her faith through song.

  • June 9-16, 2014

    It was the use of the third person that confused me utterly in third grade, when we began to discuss the Trinity. We understood, if vaguely, the first person, the original idea, the progenitor, the instigator of all things, that which spake from the burning bush.

  • May 26-June 2, 2014

    Several years ago, I spent five days on a silent retreat at the motherhouse of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph in Kentucky. While this wasn’t my first retreat, it was my first experience of extended silence. As the days went by, I had the sinking feeling that nothing was happening. After all, I was on retreat. I was doing my part, so where were all the heavenly graces and consolations that were supposed to be flooding my heart and soul?

  • May 12, 2014

    The first Jesuit I ever met was about eight feet tall and weighed 400 pounds, and his robe alone was so vast that probably it could cover a small state like Delaware if necessary, as another one of us altar boys said, awed.

  • April 21, 2014

    St. Ignatius suggests that in prayer we contemplate Jesus appearing after his resurrection first to the Virgin Mary. He explains: “Though this is not mentioned explicitly in Scripture, it must be considered as stated when Scripture says that he appeared to many others.” The meditation that follows imagines how that encounter might have unfolded.