The Soulful Catholic Blog
by Joyce Coronel, caffeine junkie and mom of five
Bumper sticker religion calls us to witness to Christ and His saving power
The bumper sticker on the car ahead of me caught my attention: “My religion is kindness,” it proclaimed to weary commuters stalled at a red light.
I looked closer and saw it the quote was attributed to the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader to Tibetan Buddhists.
Well, I’m for kindness; aren’t you?
It’s the underlying message that kindness is the apex of religion that makes me balk. At a time in our nation’s history when fewer and fewer people identify as followers of Christ, this kind of declaration shouldn’t surprise us though.
Following Jesus: It’s personal and here’s how you can do it right there in your own neighborhood
As a growing number of Americans claim to have no religious affiliation, it becomes ever more crucial for those who know the Lord Jesus to witness to what His death on the cross accomplished and what His Resurrection means: life, freedom, hope and peace.
As of 2021, about three in 10 Americans, according to Pew Research, claimed to have no religion. Indeed, self-identified Christians in the U.S. are down to 63 percent, a drop from 75 percent just 12 years ago.
The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is the difference between knowing about our Lord Jesus and actually knowing Him personally.
Resisting a tide of corruption with the Word of God
If you’ve ever stood ankle deep in the ocean, you’ve experienced that unmistakable tug of the tide. You plant your feet firmly in the wet sand, refusing to allow it to drag you out to sea.
Or, if you’re the more adventurous among us, you wade out through the waves, perhaps even venturing past them to tread water among the swells, watching surfers as they await the perfect wave.
And that’s where the powerful tide can draw you in, refusing to let go as you drift further and further into the ocean until it swallows you. A strong swimmer might be able to fight his way back, but you’ve got to be very strong indeed to resist the relentless tide and haul yourself toward shore.
Bringing God’s mercy and love to football fans hits the streets — with amazing results
Thousands of football fans streamed into downtown Phoenix last week to enjoy the NFL Super Bowl Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center, right across the street from St. Mary’s Basilica and the Diocese of Phoenix headquarters.
They had no idea the mercy of God would greet them at the corner of Third Street and Monroe.
That’s because a six-foot-high wooden confessional was standing right there on the sidewalk. Nearby, volunteers stood at a table heaped with crucifixes, Miraculous Medals, pamphlets, rosaries and holy cards.
NFL’s Super Bowl Experience offers opportunity to evangelize, share God’s love with football fans
You may have noticed that our churches are not as full as they once were. The reasons for this drop in attendance and in the practice of the faith are myriad but rather than become discouraged, we can choose to see the opportunity in the challenge:
How do we fulfill the urgent mission of evangelization that’s been entrusted to us?
How do we share Christ with those who don’t know Him?
And that’s where it gets exciting. We’ve got the best news in the whole world — God loves us and sent His Son Jesus to redeem us and free us! We don’t have to live in fear or despair or darkness.
Christmas means joy — the real kind that satisfies
The tree, the lights, the presents, the festive mood that permeates our community — all these things can be the cause of much happiness and many smiles.
But they are not the source of our joy.
Think about it: The whole world seems caught up in celebration, but what exactly is being celebrated?
Welcome to our Church this Christmas and always
Our waiting and yearning are almost at an end. Christmas, that glorious season when we celebrate the moment God stepped into time and took on flesh to save us, is nearly here.
At most parishes, that means packed churches on Christmas Eve and the usual grumbling about “Christmas and Easter Catholics” hogging all the good seats.
Resentment certainly has a way of stealing joy, doesn’t it?
It’s almost Election Day: Gentle dialogue in an era of heated debates, fiery conversations
“Just a few more days and it will all be over,” The Soulful Catholic told herself earlier this week. No, not life in general — the election! And heaven knows rational adults will heave a sigh of relief when the 24/7 political commercials and stacks of campaign materials clogging mailboxes have come to a halt.
It’s not that debate isn’t welcome or important; it’s that politics has become blood sport these days.
Now would be an excellent time for us to take a collective deep breath and evaluate how we listen and how we speak to those with whom we disagree.
From gangster to photographer: One man’s stint in solitary confinement leads to fresh beauty, art
Scientists tell us there’s an epidemic of loneliness in our country and its consequences are severe on our mental and physical health. We’re made for God and community, and yet, we often find ourselves alone.
A phone call to a friend, a quick visit to a neighbor, chatting with a coworker — there are lots of ways to reach out and break the isolation. For many people, however, that’s not an option. Our minds naturally turn to the elderly and home-bound, but the current loneliness epidemic goes beyond them to include the young and the middle-aged, too.
A hands-on approach to knowing God gives us courage to endure these troubled times
There’s a good-sized sign that hangs on the wall of the cubicle The Soulful Catholic was assigned to in downtown Phoenix. For over a year now, I’ve walked past the placard every day, but I never actually touched it until last week.
Taking it to the streets: Message of hope, new life in Christ is meant to be shared by us with everyone
Carrying a darling, golden-haired toddler, the woman strolled down the sidewalk next to her husband. They’d just visited a bustling farmer’s market in downtown Detroit on a warm July morning.
They had no idea what we were about to ask them.
America, it’s time to ask ourselves why
That’s the question we should be asking ourselves right now. Why? Why do we have young men walking into schools and shooting innocent children and their teachers?
The day after Salvador Ramos broke the heart of every resident in a sleepy small town in Texas, the day after Americans and people around the world were shaken by the evil that took the lives of 19 innocent children and two teachers, political opportunists began their tirades and temper tantrums.
Protests, vandalism and threats won’t silence Catholic Church’s longstanding defense of unborn babies
“We have received threats to bomb the church, burn it down, hateful and vile messages,” the pastor of the parish said. “We are on high alert to make sure that the church and our people are protected.”
No, Fr. Brian Graebe wasn’t referring to a house of God in Nigeria or India or Egypt where attacks on Christians worshipping are commonplace enough that they hardly raise an eyebrow in the U.S. (We’re apparently too busy with more pressing matters.)
Another Mother’s Day, and we’re together through the miracle of the Eucharist once again
The Soulful Catholic has been silent for a while now. There’s a reason for that and some of it is because of joy. The deep kind. The kind that swells your heart and fills your brain and carries you over the days and nights.
Our son, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, is serving at Okinawa and was finally home for a brief visit after two and a half years.
We did at least a month worth of living during those halcyon 10 days of leave. Hiking, bowling, poker, barbecues, belly laughs and heart-to-heart talks. It felt like a dream having him beside us at Mass two Sunday mornings in a row.
Becoming apostles of mercy as war rages in Ukraine
Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy. That stark appraisal was spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Faustina, a humble nun in Poland on the eve of the Second World War, a war that in the end, took the lives of tens of millions of human...