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The Soulful Catholic Blog

by Joyce Coronel, caffeine junkie and mom of five

Protests, vandalism and threats won’t silence Catholic Church’s longstanding defense of unborn babies

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

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

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...

A most powerful weapon against evil: Humble obedience

A most powerful weapon against evil: Humble obedience

One of the ways you know you’re getting older is that you start getting solicitations from the American Association of Retired Persons. The Soulful Catholic is nowhere near ready to surrender her mouse and keyboard, so these AARP letters generally go straight to the recycle bin.
Nevertheless, a wonderful benefit of having more birthdays behind you than before you is the realization that God’s plans are AWAYS superior to our own. It may not always seem like it when we’re in the midst of heartbreak and disappointment, but as we mature in faith, we realize that God truly does have our best interests at heart. We can trust Him 100 percent. Ourselves? Not so much.

The fruitlessness of trying to live without Jesus

The fruitlessness of trying to live without Jesus

The formerly majestic orange tree in The Soulful Catholic’s backyard provided a powerful metaphor for the current malaise in America.
From a distance, the little tree in our backyard looked healthy, boasting an abundance of dark green leaves. Upon closer inspection, the branches were covered with sharp thorns and there wasn’t a single orange to be had, even though our other citrus trees were covered with tasty fruit ripe for picking.
This sad state of affairs began two years ago when a disease attacked our orange producer and slowly drained the life out of it. That spring, a few “sucker” branches began shooting out of the base of the once-magnificent tree. The next thing we knew, they’d taken over the entire shrub.

Following Jesus means embracing the Truth, even when it’s unpopular or inconvenient

Following Jesus means embracing the Truth, even when it’s unpopular or inconvenient

I took off my jacket and hung it neatly over the back of the chair at the front of the rom, eyeing the 8- and 9-year-old students in my catechism class.
“There now. That’s better,” I said, taking my seat. “I don’t need a jacket in the classroom.
“But you know, my feet are really bothering me today. They’re sore from overdoing it on a hike. Why don’t I just take them off and set them in the corner over there?”

New Year’s dare: Share Jesus with the world!

New Year’s dare: Share Jesus with the world!

There’s something about the dawning of a new year that makes us look back over our shoulder at the past 12 months and recall the many twists and turns of life. Who could have known the challenges and blessings that lay ahead for us all?
God. That’s who.

Remedy for a dying parish: The kind of love that’s not afraid to sacrifice and struggle

Remedy for a dying parish: The kind of love that’s not afraid to sacrifice and struggle

The high-pitched ring tone echoed in my ear as I lay on the bed, listening, hoping, praying he would answer.
It was December 1984, and I was a lovesick college student, barely out of my teens, trying to connect with the man who had stolen my heart. How could I bear to live without him? What if he stayed in his Venezuelan homeland and didn’t return to the U.S. after the Christmas break? Was there a future for us? Could we make it work despite the fact we were from two very different worlds?

The joy of the Lord must be our strength, no matter what’s going on around us

The joy of the Lord must be our strength, no matter what’s going on around us

The Soulful Catholic was feeling especially beloved by God on Oct. 1, the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Ever since reading the children’s version of the saint’s biography at the tender age of 8, there was a kinship with this Doctor of the Church, a French Catholic nun who was unknown to the world until after her death at age 24.

Want real freedom? Jesus Christ shows us how to be truly free

Want real freedom? Jesus Christ shows us how to be truly free

The 12 sets of eyes staring back at me pondered the question: What would happen if at your next soccer game, there were no rules? You could pick up the ball with your hands if you wanted to, even if you weren’t the goalie. There’d be no out-of-bounds at all. And, the score would be whatever you wanted it to be.

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