Your Faith

Prayers for the dead

This month is the first full month of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict. This month gives us at least two wonderful opportunities to grow in faith and to remember in prayer our departed sisters and brothers.

The first day of November is always celebrated as the Feast of All Saints. To read more about the beauty of this feast day, and how you can more fully emulate the sanctity of saints, please visit www.dioceseoflansing.org and click on the Spiritual Fitness column link.

Resisting an Aggressive Secularism

It was with barely concealed delight that “Chicago Sun-Times” columnist Neil Steinberg conveyed the findings of the recent Pew Forum survey that the “nones,” those who claim no particular religious affiliation, are sharply on the rise in America. Moreover, he crowed, the survey revealed that a disproportionate number of young people placed themselves firmly in the “none” camp, thus indicating that religion’s decline would only accelerate in the years to come.

How do I shake this funk I am in?

Dear Fr. Joe: I’m really in a funk and I can’t shake it. At college, I find that I really don’t have good friends and I’m struggling in my prayer life … everyone around me seems to be happy but me. What can I do?

I’m so sorry that things are like this right now. Life is a challenge most days; at times, these struggles can threaten to overwhelm us. I’m glad you asked for help and pray that God guides my words.

Recently, I went through an exceptionally difficult time in my life and was really struggling. A lot of things crashed in on me and I felt lost and scared.

What’s the point of asking God for what we want?

Dear Fr. Joe: Why do we ask God for things? Doesn’t he just do what he wants and what is best for us?

What a great question! The answer to this can help us understand God and his workings a bit better, as well as ourselves. Let’s dive right in. The first thing we’ve got to establish is that God wants to hear our petitions. That means asking God to do something. Look at 1Timothy 2:1:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people …”

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