Remarkably Average: The Life of Blessed Chiara Badano

After two years and the loss of the use of her legs it became clear that Chiara Luce wouldn’t survive. Despite her pain she refused morphine so that she could remain lucid and offer all her suffering up to Jesus. She encouraged her parents to go out to dinner together, trying to prepare them for life after her death. Paralyzed in her bed, she kept loving.

In October 1990, Chiara Luce died at home. But her story doesn’t end there.

People became so inspired by the life and holiness of this “average” girl that her bishop opened the cause for her sainthood. In September 2010 she was declared “Blessed” (or one step away from becoming a saint) at a ceremony attended by over 25,000 people from 57 countries. Not bad for a small-town girl who never sought fame.

Good Pope John

He was also known as a pretty witty pope. His most famous quip came after a reporter asked “How many people work in the Vatican?” John XXIII’s answer: “About half of them.”

Another time he met a boy who introduced himself as Angelo. “That was my name,” John XXIII said, then added conspiratorially, “but then they made me change it.”

Moving Toward Heaven Together: The Role of Lay Movements in the Church

When I was in college I decided that I wanted to do more than just go to Church on Sunday. But what should I do? My local youth group was lackluster, and I didn’t want to go to church meetings with elderly ladies who knew me when I was a toddler. My short attention span meant that I wasn’t going to join anything that required me to spend hours at home praying.

I was stuck… so I prayed.

Can We Leave Now?: How to Survive Tough Family Parties

It’s the Christmas season and that means carols, cookies, and remembering which week you light the pink advent candle. It also means family get-togethers and the inevitable gauntlet of questions and comments like: “My nephew got accepted to Harvard. Where are you going to college?” “I can’t believe your parents […]

You Better Work: The Importance and Dignity of Work

If you’re living with your parents you may not have to work to get the things you want. Maybe they buy all your video games. There are still some great reasons to work though. For one thing, spending a few hours freezing your fingers off at the Drive-Thru window makes you appreciate all the hard work your parents do to put a roof over your head.

It also gives you experience in a workplace — like how to get along with others and follow your manager’s orders. You may even get a reference for college, or your next job. And lastly, it’s never too early to start saving money. Trust me.

How to Live in a Dorm

Those of you living in a college dorm are part of a unique community. Being a part of any community means being respectful and kind, and basically loving our neighbors like Jesus said (Mark 12:31). Here are some ways to be a good member of your dorm community. Meet the neighbors, then keep in touch. […]

Your Soul’s Sunscreen

Some people claim that they never tan, only burn. But just because you don't look like a lobster doesn't mean your skin cells can't turn cancerous later. At the very least you'll reach middle age and discover your skin has the consistency of leather.

Sometimes we don't think we need to pray either, because we don't 'feel' like we need God. But the truth is that we always need God. If we don't pray regularly to build a relationship with Him then when hard times come and we finally feel like we need Him, it's difficult to listen to His voice since we're so out of practice. Regular prayer is a necessity.

You’re Not Crazy: Getting Help for Your Mind

Let's imagine that one day in Phys Ed class you're playing volleyball and you twist your ankle while you dive for a save. Everything feels all right, but you wake up the next morning with a giant bruise, a swollen ankle and a lot of pain. What would you do? Most likely you'd go to the doctor's. In fact, if you didn't go, but kept limping around insisting you were all right, your friends would probably drag you there themselves.

We know when it's important to get professional help with our physical ailments. It just makes sense to us. But as a society we have problem seeking professional help with our mental health. We often label people with mental illnesses as 'crazy,' and think that if we can't take care of issues that affect our mental health (like stress, anger, or loss) then we must be weak.

Can I Have Your Movie Money?

Ìâ‰âÂÌâÅÒHold on,' you're asking me, 'Are you telling me I shouldn't own anything fun?' Of course not. Music and movies help us relax, clothes help us express beauty, and smartphones keep us connected and informed (and yes, entertained). These are all good things.

My challenge is this: to look at the things that we're spending money on and ask ourselves, 'Do I really need this thing?' Do I need a new pair of shoes, or are the ones I have okay? Do I have to buy these songs or can I just listen to the radio?