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Catholicism Archives

10 Reasons Why Catholicism Is the Best Religion For the Mentally Ill

posted by Beyond Blue

Sorry in advance if this post offends. Just though I’d write out why I think Catholicism is, hands down, the best religion for the mentally ill. Here are a few cool devotions and traditions within the Catholic faith that work […]

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Mindful Monday: A Moment of Oneness

posted by Beyond Blue

The following excerpt is one of my favorites from a wonderful new book called “Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question” by my long-time mentor and friend, Mike Leach. He also just started a blog, also called “Why […]

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Depression: It’s Spiritually Incorrect

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been politically incorrect for as long as I can remember. I really should wear a sign around my neck that says “I apologize if I say something offensive,” because it feels like I am eating the soles of my […]

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Fr. Jim Martin on The Colbert Report: He’s the Show’s New Chaplain

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m going to do a little name dropping here and say that my FRIEND Jim Martin has become Stephen Colbert’s chaplain. This is his THIRD appearance on The Colbert Report, and Jim invited me to be part of the audience! […]

Pope Benedict XVI on Facebook

posted by Beyond Blue

Okay all you “loyal” readers and friends, which one of you ratted me out to the pope? Apparently he doesn’t approve of my “friend-collecting” habits on Facebook. I wonder if the Vatican set up a webcam on my desk. Of […]

A Catholic Approach to Internet Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Okay, let’s say there really IS something out there called Internet addiction. What does one do about it? Recently an old pal, upon seeing that I went from 50 Facebook friends to 500 in only two months (yah!) sent me […]

For the Feast of St. Therese: These Roses Are For You

posted by Beyond Blue

Since today is the feast of my patron saint, Therese of Lisieux, and it’s video day (Wednesday), I thought I’d republish my video on the roses that came when I prayed for all of you, especially those that had been […]

Tribute to St. Therese the Little Flower

posted by Beyond Blue

I found another cool video that featured several images of St. Therese set to beautiful music. If you love this saint, like I do, you’ll like it. To view the YouTube video, click here. To read more Beyond Blue, go […]

Crunchy Con on Saints and Signs

posted by Beyond Blue

Beliefnet’s Rod Dreher wrote an interesting post on saints and signs while back. You can get to his post by clicking here. I’ve pasted it below, but you should go to his post to read the interesting stories on the […]

7 Saints for Healing and Comfort

posted by Beyond Blue

Beliefnet recently created a lovely gallery of saints with text by Thomas Craughwell. To get to the gallery, click here. For centuries, the saints of the Roman Catholic Church have served as both inspirations and intercessors. From the lives they […]

Don’t Cancel That Guilt Trip! Why We Need a Little of It

posted by Beyond Blue

When I was an assistant editor at U.S. Catholic magazine, I remember publishing a piece by Christine Gudorf called “Don’t Cancel That Guilt Trip.” She makes a strong case for why we should, as a society, hang on to a little guilt […]

Suicide and Eternal Damnation: Who Is Going to Hell?

posted by Beyond Blue

Group Beyond Blue member SurvivorForce started a discussion thread called “Are we damned if we commit suicide?” at Group Beyond Blue on Beliefnet’s Community. He wrote:   I have heard that some believe suicide is unforgivable, and that God will […]

Learning from the Saints

posted by Beyond Blue

Because I’m on vacation this week, I’ve decided to publish posts from the two-week test pilot of Beyond Blue back in October of 2006, two months before its initial launch in December 2006. We’ve come a long way! Throughout my […]

There Is No Such Thing as Catholic Guilt???

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to my friend David Gibson, now I can’t blame Catholicism for my guilt complex. To read his post on a recent study showing that Catholics (as well as other Christians) are actually no more guilt-ridden than anyone else, click […]

Welcome, David Gibson!

posted by Beyond Blue

I don’t know if you’ve heard but David Gibson, the award-winning religion writer who is the Catholic expert in most (okay, all) circles ever since he converted at the age of 30, is now blogging for Beliefnet! His blog, appropriately […]

Gus’s 60-Second Reflections

posted by Beyond Blue

Gus Lloyd, host of “Seize the Day” on Sirius Radio, the Catholic Channel, posts a 60-second reflection on his personal website everyday. Here is the one that we talked about on the air yesterday: Troubled Hearts Today in the first […]

Dan Barry: The View From His Pew

posted by Beyond Blue

There have been many interesting articles on the state of the American Catholic Church, but I found this essay by Dan Barry in the New York Times especially charming and intriguing, probably because I agree with so much of it. […]

10 Reasons Why Catholicism Is the Best Religion For the Mentally Ill

posted by Beyond Blue

With Pope Benedict’s visit to the US (check out Beliefnet’s coverage by clicking here) comes an opportunity for me to explain why Catholicism is, hands down, the best religion for the mentally ill. Here are a few cool devotions and […]

Benedictions: David Gibson’s Blog

posted by Beyond Blue

Be sure to check in with David Gibson, who is blogging for Beliefnet on all aspects of the Pope Benedict’s visit in the US, if you want to know why he is here, and how it’s going.

Stephen Colbert: The Pope Is Coming to Town!

posted by Beyond Blue

My friend Jim Martin has a great video clip from Stephen Colbert’s segment about the pope. In true Colbert, it’s priceless. Click here to see it. Jim Martin writes: There are few people who are more excited about the pope’s […]

Laughing with the Saints

posted by Beyond Blue

You’ve heard of people praying with the saints. I’ve done plenty of crying with the saints. But laughing with the saints? I hadn’t thought of going there until Fr. Jim sent me this youtube video of his presentation at the […]

Fr. Jim Martin on the So-Called Deadly Sins

posted by Beyond Blue

I think my friend, Fr. Jim Martin, did an excellent job of explaining where the media went wrong in all the hype about “the new seven deadly sins.” Below I’ve pasted his blog post from “In All Things,” a blog […]

Modern Mortal Sins: It’s Good to Review

posted by Beyond Blue

Confession: I had to consult my “Catechism of the Catholic Church” today to review what, exactly, is a mortal sin: A grave infraction of the law of God that destroys the divine life in the soul of the sinner (sanctifying […]

What Makes Us Moral??

posted by Beyond Blue

I always got a head ache after my class “The Problem with Evil.” And I continue to write my professor–Dr. Joe Incandela, a Princeton Ph.D. and a brilliant man–every time something goes really wrong in the world: 9/11, sniper attacks, […]

The Moral Compass

posted by Beyond Blue

Mary Elizabeth Williams is one of my semi-famous friends. She’s the Table Talk Host at Salon.com, and every time I page through the TV Guide or People magazine, there her name is. She’s also one of the few Catholics in […]

10 Spiritual Lessons from “The Golden Compass”

posted by Beyond Blue

Donna Freitas, one of Beliefnet’s “Idol Chatter” bloggers, has compiled a beautiful gallery of the spiritual lessons of “The Golden Compass.” Donna writes that this movie, and the book by Philip Pullman that it’s based on, are far from anti-Christian, […]

The “Good O Meter”

posted by Beyond Blue

The Feast of St. Therese

posted by Beyond Blue

Because it is the Feast of St. Therese today, I wanted to share some quotes of hers with you. Interestingly enough, I met Eric on the feast of St. Therese, which consoles me on those days he says things like: […]

Shower of Roses

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the first pieces I wrote about my depression was called “Shower of Roses,” about my devotion to St. Therese. I was so pleased when Jim Manney, senior editor at Loyola Press (who also just published Jim Martin’s book […]

A Little Child Before God

posted by Beyond Blue

One reason that I love my patron saint so much is that she is about becoming a child before God, and given that I am so childlike (idiotic) in so many way, I like this notion of being a baby […]

A Jesuit Off-Broadway

posted by Beyond Blue

Since I’ll be attending my friend Fr. Jim Martin’s book event tonight, celebrating the release of “A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas, and Life’s Big Questions,” I thought I’d share an excerpt from it that I liked, because […]

Fr. Jim Martin on Mother Teresa

posted by Beyond Blue

Fr. Jim Martin wrote the following piece, “In My Soul,” about Mother Teresa’s dark night for the Catholic weekly magazine, “America“: Perhaps Catholics should not have been surprised by the revelations in “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light”, a new […]

Mother Teresa on Comedy Central

posted by Beyond Blue

My friend, Fr. Jim Martin split hairs with Stephen Colbert regarding Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith. I’m so proud of him! Click here to view his appearance.

Becoming Mary: My Way of Serving

posted by Beyond Blue

Wow! What a lively discussion there is on the message board of my “Lady Codependency, a Good Samaritan?” post. Thanks, especially to reader Jeri who wrote: I don’t think this lady [me, in case you missed it] is a codependent; […]

Lady Codependency, a Good Samaritan?

posted by Beyond Blue

There is a Bible story that (kind of) goes like this … Lady Codependency was on her way to work one day when a beggar asked her for change. “Come join me for breakfast,” she said, wanting desperately to please […]

What’s Compassionate and What’s “Street” Stupid?

posted by Beyond Blue

I find it interesting to gather people’s opinions on what the right thing to do is when you are hit up for money. One very compassionate person said, “What would Jesus do?” as she gave the beggar a five dollar […]

Edith Piaf Loved St. Therese Too!

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s a cool blog post (click here) by Wendy Schuman about the singer Edith Piaf, who prayed to St. Therese of Lisieux (whom she credited with curing her childhood blindness). In the movie, she hears Therese’s voice. I’m always intrigued […]

On Defending My Faith

posted by Beyond Blue

About twice a year, I feel like I’m back on the set of the show “Politically Correct,” sitting across the stage from the beautiful Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (Jane Seymour) and of course the irreverent and sarcastic host Bill Maher […]

My Response to the Priest Scandal

posted by Beyond Blue

I wrote an op-ed that ran in the “Baltimore Sun” and other papers shortly after news broke about the Boston priest scandal in winter of 2002. Here are excerpts from that piece: I almost wiped off the black smudge from […]

Bishop Battles Depression–and Its Stigma

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s an excellent article written by Douglas Todd for Religion News Service about Archbishop Roussin’s depression and how he is fighting for better understanding of mental illness within religious communities. Once again, Roussin is my hero! Archbishop Raymond Roussin remembers […]

Even Saints Aren’t Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

I have a magnet on my refrigerator that reads “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an a—hole.” It’s a gentle but effective reminder that on those days that I manage to piss off every person around me, God […]

Smart People Get Me Thinking

posted by Beyond Blue

I sent my “Mentally Ill, Psychopath, or Evil? I Need to Know” post to a hundred or so of my closest friends. I invited my former theology professors and past and present colleagues in Catholic publishing to weigh in on […]

The Interior Castle: With a Foundation

posted by Beyond Blue

Medical intuitive and renowned author Caroline Myss and I have a few things in common: we both have studied theology, and we were both taught by nuns. But when it comes to interpreting sacred texts, like Teresa of Avila’s classic […]

Catch Me on Sirius

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m going to be appearing regularly on Sirius radio, on the Catholic Channel to discuss my Beyond Blue posts that have Catholic themes. I’ll let you know when my next appearance is so you can tune in.

Reader Response: I Like Being Catholic!

posted by Beyond Blue

We’ve had quite a lively discussion on the comments board of my guilt post. It appears I’m not the only one with a guilt complex. But please let me reiterate this point: I do like being Catholic! I like it […]

Guilt: My Confirmation Name

posted by Beyond Blue

Thank you to reader Peg, who, in addition to her remark about Recovery, Inc., posted the following comment: “As a cradle Catholic and one who was raised in a girls’ Catholic boarding school for 10 years (from ’49 to ’59), […]

A Confession About Confession

posted by Beyond Blue

“The sacrament of Reconciliation is a place to bring all of our chaos into contact with the healing love of the Lord Jesus,” writes Kathryn J. Hermes in her excellent book, “Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach.” Several people–even my therapist […]

Merton’s Cheese

posted by Beyond Blue

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton was able to articulate in beautiful language so many of my struggles as a mentally ill person stuck in destructive thoughts and patterns. The following passage from one of his letters (published in a collection […]

Reader Response: Should He Tell?

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Rich for his question about how much to disclose about mental health in a job interview. If he’s going for a position in a psychiatric unit, he asked, is it okay to tell them about the mental […]

Dear God

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God, It’s me, Therese (not Margaret). I hate to be a white, whiny, ungrateful pest (I’ve been called that before). Really, I do. But I’m feeling a bit like Job (you know, from your instruction book, the Bible). First […]

God Doesn’t Use Labels

posted by Beyond Blue

I try not to worry too much about discriminations and uninformed labels here on earth because I know the Kingdom of God is stereotype-free. I was reminded of that as I sang the beautiful lyrics to “One Bread, One Body,” […]

Start at Home

posted by Beyond Blue

Any buzz I had going from my HappyLite was definitely killed by Fr. Dave’s holiday e-mail. A missionary who travels all around the world, his annual update read a little like a “State of the World” address. And if you’ve […]

Miracle of the Poinsettia

posted by Beyond Blue

Every year for Christmas I send poinsettias to a few special people in my life, and I buy a few for our home (which die quickly because I forget to water them). I always think about the legend of this […]

There’s Something About Mary

posted by Beyond Blue

I think about Mary often this time of year. More than usual, which is a lot. Mary loves desperate people–the ones who have already tried Jesus and, for whatever reason, didn’t get results. That’s how my mom explained it when […]

No One Left Unaided

posted by Beyond Blue

I have prayed the Memorare every day since my mom (and others) told me to go to Mary with my depression. It’s clear from the words of this prayer that Mary hears all pleas, but especially those uttered in desperation: […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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