How to find the grace of God

kids with trees morgue file000152897807Chances are you know a little girl named Grace. It’s one of the 15 most popular girls’ names in the nation right now—with good reason. Who among us does not desire grace? It’s so hard to define grace, yet when we feel it, we know it. Grace is the flow that comes from allowing God’s rhythm to guide our lives. Terry Hershey, author of The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less (Loyola), puts it this way: “I have found grace where I have found God and I found God at the pressure points of life. The grace appeared in my brokenness, messiness, and confusion. When I surrender to grace, I can give up my various sorts of damage control. I am free to own my life—this life, not some tidy, imaginary life.”

By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for   four years running. Here’s a sample issue.

We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out monthly discussion guides.

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When your spouse is suffering

couple in trouble  RGB mhGwPtWWhether it’s a diagnosis of serious illness, a car accident, or job loss, every marriage will eventually include suffering. While moonlit walks on the beach are undoubtedly a more enjoyable way to build closeness with your spouse, suffering has equal or greater potential to bring spouses together. “How you suffer matters greatly; suffering can drive you apart or it can draw you together,” says Mary Jo Pedersen in For Better, For Worse, For God (Loyola). When pain and difficulty make their presence known in your family, enter into the pain together.

Do not flee. Denial is helpful for a very short period of time to keep functionality in the face of immediate crisis. Once the initial shock of the circumstance is over, though, don’t use extended work hours or busyness as a substitute for talking about the problem with your spouse. Pretending everything is normal when it is not leads to a build-up of anger and sometimes depression. Continue reading