Prayer Promotes Bonding, Study Says.

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Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, is famous for the slogan, "the family that prays together, stays together."  In our books, our radio program and counseling practice, we strongly recommend both couple and family prayer as a way of increasing intimacy and responding to the differences that can divide.  Of course, this isn't just true for families.  Prayer is the means by which Jesus' own wish that all might be one in him (John 17:21) will be fulfilled.  As Pope Francis has demonstrated rep … [Read more...]

Putting Faith to Work Linked to Job Satisfaction.

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(H/T PsychCentral)Regular attendance in a church that stresses faith as a component of work is associated with high job satisfaction and employment commitment.Baylor University sociologists discovered the influence depends in part on how involved that person is in the congregation, not merely on occasional attendance.“We already knew that about 60 percent of American adults are affiliated with congregations, but we wanted to delve into whether that carries over from weekend worship s … [Read more...]

What Stage is Your Faith?

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We have a tendency to think that faith is faith.  But we all recognize that faith grows and changes with time.  What if faith evolved over specifically definable stages? What stage of faith would you be in?  What stage of faith are you called to be moving toward?Universal Stages of FaithIn his classic book, Stages of Faith:  The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Dr. James Fowler looks at how faith evolves over time. He identifies 6 Stages of Faith Development.   I … [Read more...]

Faith, Spirituality, Belief, Religion…What’s the Difference?

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Conventionally, we tend to use words like, "faith", "spirituality", "belief" and "religion" interchangeably and, generally speaking, there isn't anything wrong with that. But it may interest you to know that for those who study the psychology of religion, these words do have different meanings.  More than just an academic distinction, these differences can actually be quite enlightening and helpful for you in making clearer sense out of the different aspects of your own faith journey.  Let's l … [Read more...]

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Against You: Mental Health, Medication, Healing, and Holy Week

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One of the most liberating teachings of our Catholic faith is the idea that suffering--though undesirable and not part of God's original plan--is an inescapable part of living in a fallen world.  That might not sound terrifically liberating on the face of it.  Who wants to suffer?  No one, of course.  But although life is filled with trials and problems, much of the suffering we endure is brought on by the idea that suffering itself means that there is something wrong with us.  As a culture, … [Read more...]

Attachment and Faith Style: How Parenting Affects Your Experience of God

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Yesterday, I linked a study reporting that 40% of US children suffer from insecure attachment.  To the degree that anyone thinks about attachment at all, most people tend to think of it in terms of its psychological and relational ramifications.  What fewer people realize is that, because attachment style predicts people's attitudes toward all their relationships, it also impacts our experience of God.  Let's take a look at four of the most common attachment styles and how each influences our fa … [Read more...]

The Antidote to DIY Catholicism (Part II of Guest Blog by Dave McClow, LMFT, LCSW)

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(Read Part One Here)The Catechism and FatherhoodWhat gets in the way of knowing this love deeply?  The Catechism of the Catholic Church knows the power of parents.  In the section on the Our Father, it states:2779 Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord's Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn "from this world." … The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural his … [Read more...]

Why Johnny Can’t Pray– Why Catholic Religious Education is Doomed to Fail.

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Over at Egregious Twaddle, my fellow Patheosi, Joanne McPortland, has a provocative post about What's Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education?  You should go read it.  Chances are, it will do two things.  First, I suspect,  it will piss you off.  Then, I suspect, you'll find yourself agreeing with it.  At least, that's what happened to me.Her argument is essentially that the academic model of the religious education of children is a completely wrongheaded approach that should be scrap … [Read more...]


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