Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Have you ever been trucking along doing what you are called to do and then be overwhelmed by doubt? I know I have. I always hate it when this happens. I suddenly find myself questioning every decision I have ever made. I know, Chris, my hubby, will read this and laugh because sometimes when I have moments of doubt they can get rather extreme-- I doubt my abilities as a mom, as a wife, as a lay minister in the church, as a blogger, as a gardener, as a friend, and on and on.

These moments of doubt sometimes sweep into our lives from out of nowhere. We suddenly find ourselves overwhelmed with questions and fears. We question is this doubt from God? Or is this doubt not from God? There have been many times in my life when a moment of doubt came that I started trying to change decisions I have made or make new decisions. This never tends to work in my favor though. When I try to make decisions in a period of doubt they are never sound decisions! They are typically emotional decisions I have made out of fear or uncertainty.

When doubt comes these days, I have learned to do two things. First, wait it out and make no decisions. This period of doubt always passes. Second, and most importantly, I bring all of my doubts to prayer. I find through prayer, consolation will eventually come. Through prayer, I will be reaffirmed as to the direction I am heading in or I will be nudged into a new direction. This is one of the great tools I have learned from Ignatian Spirituality.

Prayer roots our discernment in God and frees us from our doubts so we can be the beloved daughters and sons of God we already are. Prayer reminds us that we are undoubtedly loved by God, and that, rather than doubt, is something worth clinging too!

How do we overcome doubt in our lives?
Do we allow God to help us overcome our doubt?
Do we need to sit with God and be reminded of God's unconditional love for us?

~Becky E.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finding God in All Things. Really?

Join Charis tonight for our final Living Ignatian Speaker of the year! Lee Hubbell will guide us through an evening of reflection about finding God in the 'non-obvious' times of our lives. Come for some thoughtful reflection and meet or reconnect with other young adults! Tonight, 7:30pm, Holy Name Cathedral. Hope to see you there!

-Mary Ellen

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"I happen to have a Ph.D. in scandal..."

As we move through the Easter season, our Scripture readings tell about the early Church leaders and the growth of the early Christian community. In the news, we continue to hear about how the failings of a few of our Church leaders, past or present, have caused suffering for so many.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York points out the connection between the early apostles--who were far from perfect--and present day leadership. We aren't perfect now, but we weren't perfect then. "If the survival of the Church depended upon the brightness, the virtue, the courage, the holiness of her bishops and priests," he says, "the Church would have collapsed only hours after the ordination of her first ones, the apostles."

By far my favorite line from this article (which is highly worth a read!) is the archbishop's response to a reporter asking if he was shocked and scandalized by the latest reports on abuse. He responds: "Well, yes. But I happen to have a Ph.D. in scandal, so it doesn't shake my faith. I have my doctorate in Church history, which is one long tale of sin, scandal and shock, always redeemed by the grace and mercy of God."

As we continue to hear about the failings of some of the leaders of our Church, let us pray for them, for the victims, and for our own faith. After all, our faith is not in an institution, it is in Jesus.

~Lauren G

Monday, May 17, 2010


The last couple weeks, I’ve found myself at some different graduation ceremonies and parties for people in my graduate program at Loyola University. For my JVC Magis community, this means we are just a short time away from saying goodbye to a couple of our members who are graduating. So it is a celebration, but one with some sadness.

Looking back at this time if year since high school, this has often be a time of bittersweet transition for me. I’ve been blessed to know many friends and neighbors during this time, but moving from place to place and having others do the same, a lot of these relationships have been temporary. So it can be difficult at times, but it also reminds me of the importance of making the most out of the relationships I have.

Now as (hopefully) we can finally get into the summer, I hope people find ways to enjoy some quality time with those around them.

-Jesse K

Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Least of our Brothers and Sisters

This weekend, I had the privilege of being on the For the Least retreat with three dozen young adults who are passionate about promoting peace and justice. Our team gave some wonderful reflections on their experiences of working toward justice. Kyle talked about his growing concern for the environment as God's creation and the choices that he, and we, can make to be better stewards of the earth. Steve told of the ways that God has been knocking at his heart throughout his life and how he was finally able to answer the call to become a social worker for those with mental illnesses. Kate spoke about her work with refugees from Bhutan, Burma and Iraq and the challenges that come with resettling these groups. Megan talked about her experiences working with abandoned children in India and teaching kids in rural North Carolina and sent us forth to answer the question "What are we doing in God's name?". Our keynote presenter, Jonathan Currie, spoke about his job at Interfaith Worker Justice and the work that the organization does to prevent wage theft and other injustices against workers.

In listening to these inspiring young adults share their passions and gifts, I found myself reflecting on my own "growing edge" (as Kyle put it). I will probably never go to India like Megan. I know that I am not called to work in refugee resettlement. But what is it that I can do in my life that brings me more into solidarity with the least of my brothers and sisters? What is it that you can do?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Who Can Mock This Church?"

New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof offers a reflection on his experiences with the humble priests and nuns he has encountered in Sudan. They have shown him the heart of the true Catholic Church at a time when the sinfulness of the hierarchy has tempted him to disregard the institutional church. A great piece that left me with a sense of renewed hopefulness that we, as the community of believers, can be the true heart of the Church.

-Mary Ellen