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top PARABLE Cover Grace

Grace

What is it and why is it amazing?

By Father John Grace and Gary Bouchard
Photography by Jeff Dachowski

Many years ago, while walking on a Chicago street with my father on the way to a baseball game, we passed by a homeless man sitting with his cardboard sign and dish of donated money. “There, but for the grace of God,” my dad said, “go I.” I had heard the expression before, but that moment seared it in my mind forever. My dad taught me in that instance not only that we share in the humanity and suffering of all people, but that all the accomplishments and good things he had known in his life, and all that I would know in mine, did not stem from our virtues and hard work, but from God’s grace.

Want to learn more about grace and read stories from New Hampshire Catholics who share moments when they particularly felt God’s grace in their lives? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE Kerper

Dear Father Kerper

Dear Father Kerper: A few years ago, I began studying about prayer. Through my reading, I discovered things like meditation, contemplation and mysticism. I had never heard about these things from priests or my religious education teachers, and so I began exploring. All these things appeal to me and have deepened my relationship with God. Now some Catholic friends have warned me against these practices because of their links with Buddhism and Hinduism. Can a person practice meditation and contemplation and still be Catholic?

Your question arises in the hearts of many younger Catholics who sincerely seek an experience of God. Sad to say, many of these “seekers'' drift away from the Church, thinking that “mystical” experiences occur only in Asian religions, never in Catholicism. This happens because most Catholics end their religious education as children and never move beyond the rote memorization of some basic prayers. A vast realm of Catholic spirituality may remain hidden from them. As a result, “seekers'' like yourself who search for deeper union with God may suffer disappointment with Catholicism.

Want to read more of Father Kerper's response?  Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE Fisher

Building Stable, Safe Homes

When I was a new mom, I worried so much about how chaotic our home was. Everything felt so unstable and disorderly. I saw other moms turning out these beautiful, Instagram-worthy lunches in themed bento boxes, while my kids were slogging off to school with a cold ear of corn in tin foil, salami on the side. Other families were posing for family photos on the beach wearing matching linen tunics, and my kids were turning up for Mass with potholders on their feet. Other families were fretting about being overdue to get their vehicles waxed, while I was wondering if that bumper I spotted on the highway shoulder belonged to our van, and if not, if anyone would miss it. We were, in other words, a big mess, all the time.

Want to read more of Simcha Fisher's article on building stable, safe homes?  Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

Other Columns in the Current Issue

Bishop's MessageLet’s Take a Walk
Journeying with the Saints - Black Catholics Who Lived Lives Worthy of Heaven

Dear Father Kerper - Catholic Practices of Meditation and Contemplative Prayer
Catholic Quiz
Marriage and Family Life - Building Stable, Safe Homes
Always Faithful - New Year’s and Newborns
Faith on Fire: Profiles of NH Youth - Ricky Ruiz: Faith Awakening Leads Teen to Inspire Others
Cover Story - Grace - What is It and Why is It Amazing? | Grace-Filled Moments
Your Faith - Hit the ‘Pause’ Button and Ask Jesus to Enter your Day
Catholic Charities Report - ‘True Soldiers’ of Health Care
Local News
Calendar of Events
7 Days a Pastor: Reflections From Father Andrew Nelson - An Evening to Remember
Mission Moment - Better Together: The St. Joseph Perinatal Bereavement Group