The Word Among Us

September 2011 Issue

Gracious Gifts from a Generous God

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Publisher's Letter

Amazing Grace

Like you, there have been a number of moments when I have experienced God’s grace in my life. There were the narrow escapes from car accidents, the minor concussions in sports activities that were a bump away from major, or the flashes of insight into how to solve a difficult problem. All of us can point to ways that God has sustained and protected us by his grace. More »


Exploring the Mystery of Grace

Every time we celebrate Mass, the priest begins with words of welcome. He says to us something like the following: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” More »

Grace and Sin

"Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more." (Romans 5:20) Whether we know it or not, we are engaged in a spiritual battle. This battle “is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). So if we want to fight and win this battle, we need to “put on the armor of God” (6:11). More »

Changed by His Grace

"O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay and you the potter: We are all the work of your hands." (Isaiah 64:7) This well-known image from Scripture gives us a good idea of the way God wants to shape our lives with his grace. Just as a potter shapes a lump of clay into a vessel, so God wants to shape us into vessels of his grace—vessels that can hold his divine grace and pour that grace out to the people around us. More »

Special Feature

Traitor, Fanatic, or Saint?

It was a warm summer night in 1938. In a tiny Austrian village, Franz Jaegerstaetter startled awake, terrified by a vivid dream. In it he saw a “shining train circling a mountain” and men, women, and children rushing to get a place on it. Then, suddenly, he heard a voice that warned: “This train is going to hell.” More »

Joining in the “Holy Duet”

As a fallen-away Protestant, I’ve found it difficult to develop an authentic relationship with the Virgin Mary. On the one hand, warned by the preachers of my youth, I’m leery of sentimentalism or excessive Marian piety that borders on idolatry and magic. Surely God alone deserves our worship and answers our prayers! And yet, spiritual mentors for whom I have the greatest respect—including no less than Blessed John Paul II—unabashedly proclaim their total devotion to the Mother of God. More »

Someone to Watch over Me

As September 11, 2001, dawned, I was feeling no need for a protector. Young and energetic, I had moved from San Antonio, Texas, to New York City and was loving the adventure of being on my own. More »