Chicago Catholic Church

Just because we belong to the same church does not mean we believe exactly the same way. See my review on the book, An Irrepressible Hope, which highlights stories from Catholics in Chicago.

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We are never alone. In our times of greatest sorrow, the Lord surrounds us with his love and the assistance of saints and angels, Mary being the greatest of all. See my review on my book, Grieving with Mary.

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Blessed Are the Merciful

God’s mercy for us is abundant. It is extended to us in spite of the fact that we are sinners. We do nothing to earn it. But we are mandated to extend it to others.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7), says Scripture. We are required to be non-judgmental and compassionate to all those in need. We are to forgive everyone at all times. This is the essence of mercy.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Mercy is considered a moral virtue.

It is expressed in what is considered corporal and spiritual works. Corporal works of mercy include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, ransoming the captive, and burying the dead.

The spiritual works of mercy include instructing the ignorant, advising the doubtful, correcting sinners, showing patience to sinners, willingly forgiving offences, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.

The Sisters of Providence’s mission is committed to performing works of love, mercy, and justice. Saint Theodora and the sisters did, and continue to do, all of these things. Their ministries consist of working with the poor, hungry, needy, and imprisoned. They teach both academics and our faith. They comfort those in need.

And Saint Theodore was an incredible example of forgiveness. Numerous people, including those who were to assist her work in America, treated her poorly. They often obstructed her ministries. However, she quickly and continuously forgave them. Nothing prevented her from what she believed was God’s work and her gratitude for God’s mercy toward her.

She wrote, “As to myself in particular, I cannot cease admiring the merciful ways of God. Thank him for us and beseech Him, let me repeat it, that we may become daughters according to His Heart. “

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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Reclaiming Your Life After Abuse

Bad things do happen to good people. Picking up the pieces and marching on is important in reclaiming your life. See my comments on Michael D. Hoffman’s book, Acts of Recovery, about moving forward after abuse by a priest: Acts of Recovery /

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Angels Ready and Waiting

The Lord has our back. We have a team of angels watching out for us. The Angel Devotion Prayerbook can help you pray to some very special angels. See my write-up on the book on Doyle’s Delights:   Angel Power

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Striving for Excellence From the Back of the Church

We typically are so caught up in our own lives it’s difficult to truly understand life from someone else’s perspective. The book, From the Back of the Pews to the Head of the Class opened my eyes as to what it was like being an African American child in the 1960’s–the push for excellence in the Catholic school, and yet, their relegation to the back of the church. This book is worth reading. See my review here: Doyle’s Delights.

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Prayer List

“Please pray for me.” As I walked out of the convenient store, the man behind me said his name was John and that he was diagnosed with cancer. As a single dad alone with a daughter he needed prayers and asked me to add him to my prayer list.

We request prayers form friends and family but it took courage for John to stop someone he randomly encountered and ask for that kind of help. He had no doubt in the power of prayer. He was in need and reached out to the people God placed in his path.

Scripture tells us to solicit prayers from holy people (See Thessalonians 2 3:1-2, James 5:14-16). It also notes repeatedly that our prayers will be answered. “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). How much clearer or simpler can that be? (See also Psalms 107:28-30; Matthew 7:7-8; 21:22; Mark 9:29; John 14:13-14; Philippians 4:6-7).

As noted in her diaries and letters, Saint Theodora often asked people to pray for her and she prayed for her students, teachers, friends, and family. Especially toward the end of her life, many recognized her unusual goodness and counted on her prayers in acquiring the fulfillment of their needs.  And now that she is recognized as a saint, we are learning of miraculous responses to these prayers.

Studies have shown that people who are prayed for do indeed heal quicker than those who are not. Sometimes we may not feel as if our prayer is answered, but the answer may come in a way we do not expect or initially want. Even a “No” is an answer to a prayer. If we trust in God, we also must trust the response to be in our best interest.

We are never alone. In addition to praying for ourselves, let’ ask others, both living and deceased, to add our needs to their prayers. And maybe we can reach out to a stranger, as John did, to pray for us as well.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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