Religion & Spirituality Affect Health in Different Ways

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Are people who say they are "spiritual but not religious people" not as healthy as people who are both spiritual and religious?  That could well be the case. Religion and spirituality have distinct but complementary influences on health, new research from Oregon State University indicates.  "Religion helps regulate behavior and health habits, while spirituality regulates your emotions, how you feel," said Carolyn Aldwin, a gerontology professor in the College of Public Health and Human … [Read more...]

Will Your Kids Stay Catholic? (UPDATED)

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Most parents hope that their adult children will remain in the faith in which they were raised.  Lisa and I often hear, both on the radio and in our counseling practice, from parents who are profoundly upset that their adult children have left the Church. Obviously, parents can never guarantee that children will follow in their footsteps with regard to their beliefs but there are things that can be done to stack the deck.  When it comes to raising kids to stay Catholic, the research is … [Read more...]

Coming Wed on More2Life: The God Connection (Plus, Win a Free Book! Details Below)

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Coming WEDNESDAY on More2Life-- The God Connection:  God loves you so much!  He is reaching out to you in so many ways.   Today on More2Life, we'll look at the ways we can draw closer to God and how to remove the obstacles that stand in our path. Call in at 877-573-7825 from Noon-1 Eastern (11-Noon Central) with your questions about experiencing God's love more fully in your daily life. WIN A FREE BOOK!  (Details below). Wed Q of the D:  (Two-Fer.  Answer one or both). 1. … [Read more...]

Why Don’t Christians Blame God When Bad Things Happen?

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When terrible things happen, such as the tragic events in Moore, Oklahoma, non-believers often challenge Christians by saying, "You Christians are so quick to thank God for every little good thing that happens, as if God is personally causing the sun to rise on your rear end.  But you never blame God when bad things happen.  Why the double standard?  If God is responsible for every little good thing, why isn't he responsible for the messes too?" This is a truly important question, and one … [Read more...]

Coming Wed on More2Life Radio: The Family that Prays Together…

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The Theology of the Body reminds us that families aren't just biological units or relationships of convenience.  They are spiritual signs to each other and the world. Today, we'll talk about family prayer, and how your family can both encounter God and love each other more deeply in everyday life. Don't forget to answer the M2L FB Q of the D:  1. What ways do you pray together as a family?    2. What do you find to be the challenges to regular family prayer? Call 877-573-7825 from … [Read more...]

Notes Like This Make It All Worthwhile

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I got an email today that really touched my heart.  I've removed any identifying information, but I wanted to share it in the hopes that, perhaps, even more lives could be touched. Dr. Popcak,  I just wanted to say thanks for writing the "holy sex" book. My husband and I have had some difficulties, and it was so comforting to find out we weren't crazy. One of the most painful things was this idea that if you're generally faithful to Church teaching on sexuality, you won't have problems. … [Read more...]

What Does It Take to Create a CATHOLIC Home?

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What does it mean to create a Catholic home?  To some, it primarily has to do with the customs and traditions a family celebrates.  To others, it has to do with the art and sacramentals (e.g., crosses, statues, holy pictures, etc) that adorn the house and remind the family of Christ's presence in their everyday lives.  Still others might point to the charitable works their family is involved in.   And, of course, it has everything to do with celebrating the sacraments--especially the … [Read more...]

The Mindful Catholic

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"Mindfulness" is a quality psychologists define as the ability to be (1) present in the moment and (2) consciously able to choose the best response out of a number of emotional possibilities.  Mindfulness is the opposite of being reactive.  For instance, if my kid was getting on my nerves and I was being reactive, I would feel angry and yell at him  But if my kid was getting on my nerves and I was being mindful, I would feel angry, be aware of that anger, and be able to decide whether this … [Read more...]

What is the Mission of the Church?

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A commenter ("Midwest Lady") in my post entitled, "Catholics and Mental Illness:  Are We Doing Enough?" asked an interesting question that, frankly, we Catholics don't spend nearly enough time thinking about (IMHO).  She wrote, "What is the basic mission of the Catholic Church?" I thought the question was worth its own post.  What is the basic mission of the Church?  Is it to give people something to do on Sundays?  To solve social problems (as "social justice" Catholics assert)?  To … [Read more...]

“Should I Force My Teen to Go to Church?”

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Over at the National Catholic Register, Matt Archbold discusses his frustration with parents who give older kids and teens a pass on going to church. I thought I'd throw my .02 in as well and say that Matt is on to  something when he encourages parents to insist that their children of every age attend Mass.  The Eucharist is the food our souls need for eternal life.  "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and Drink his blood, you have no life in you" (Jn 6:56).  If your children were … [Read more...]