Mary Pope-Handy 408 204-7673

When dreams die: a religious perspective

GraveyardMost of us experience the loss of dreams gone unrealized at some point, if not at many times in our lives.  Sometimes it’s a college application that got a rejection, a career that didn’t pan out, or a relationship that didn’t work.  Perhaps it’s ending up single or childless when you wanted to be married with kids.  Or maybe it was having an unexpected death or illness rob you of what you thought you would be doing or experiencing.

Significant loss, whether it’s a relationship, work, health, financial stability, or anything else, can tend to rock us to the core.  We know it can happen.  No one is immune from terminal illness, car accidents, layoffs, divorce, infertility or a host of other unhappy occurrences. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

And yet, we see a huge range of responses to these situations, these times when dreams die.  That is what I would like to focus on today. (more…)

Nasty comments, myths and anti-Catholicism

The other day, a friend of mine thanked me for starting this blog. She asked if I could address the topic of what to do when people say nasty things to you about  being Catholic.  In other words, how to respond to myths and prejudice.

Right now, with the terrible pedophilia and cover up scandals ravaging many parts of the church (both in dioceses and with “regular” or ordinary priests and also within religious orders, in many countries), on top of misunderstandings and bias we have genuine and deserved anger from both within and without.  So perhaps the unpleasant comments are coming a little faster and more openly than usual.

But how to respond when faced with nasty comments?  Often they are based on incorrect information.  It can be hard to answer when you may not have a solid footing on the topic yourself.  Ideally, then, it can be an opportunity for you to talk to others who might be able to fill you in on that subject and have your own knowledge (and maybe even your faith) grow in the process.

There’s a wonderful little book, light reading with solid content, that I have given away probably 2 dozen or more times.  For many Catholics, it goes over “the basics” in an easy to digest way that makes sense and is easy to read and absorb.  Written with humor (and cartoons) at times, it was something I found helpful when I was a teacher of high school students.  The book is titled “How to Survive Being Married to a Catholic” and is published by Paulist Press.  It’s really a book aimed at explaining basic Catholic tenants in a simple, matter of fact way.  You can order it online or see if Ave Maria Community Book Center*, our large, local Catholic bookstore, carries it.