The Word Among Us

October 2015 Issue

All Generations Will Call Me Blessed

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Publisher's Letter

Honoring My Mother Mary

When I was a baby, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. The doctors tried drilling into my skull to relieve the pressure, but it didn’t help. In the end, they prescribed a medicine for me—but all it was supposed to do was delay the inevitable—they gave me only six months to live. More »

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Witnessing the Pietà

It is nearing 5:30 p.m., the time when the family will arrive to this small country church called St. Mary Mother of Mercy. The candle flames in the sanctuary fill the absolute quiet with gently rolling greyish shadows. No sounds intrude from outside, not even from the five-lane highway that runs past the front door. There is no rush hour to speak of in this Florida town of Macclenny. More »

A Heart for the Poor and Suffering

Late one night in January 1987, our daughter, Christine, then only three years old, came into our room. Moments later, on her way out, she walked into a wall. Startled, she began to cry and told us that she couldn’t see. I helped her back to her bed and in the morning, I arranged an appointment with an eye doctor. More »

Hail Mary, Fellow Widow

Paul was a wonderful husband. We spent fifty-six years together, growing closer and closer as we weathered all the typical ups and downs of married life. You would think that growing old together like this would help prepare me for the time when the Lord would call one of us to his side—but it didn’t. No matter how much you prepare yourself, grief is still a powerful emotion. So when Paul died of cancer in 2008, a part of me was still overwhelmed with sadness. I remember asking, “Where is God in this? How is he going to comfort me? Where can I go for answers?” More »

Special Feature

Finding the Power to Change

I first met my wife when she was sixteen, and I was nineteen. We took an instant dislike to each other. She found me boorish, and I found her disrespectful. Things did not augur well for any kind of relationship to develop between us. More »

A Faithful Father, a Grateful Son

Some people have profound spiritual experiences while praying in a church or contemplating a sunset or a starry sky. I had one while looking at a weather-beaten farmhouse near Atlantic City, New Jersey. More »

Living Life with Friends

Jeff sat at the end of a large table in the Peace House kitchen. He didn’t say a lot. In fact, he said nothing at all. But he laughed and made our visitors feel welcome by playing the harmonica and showing them his colorful, abstract artwork. Now in his fifties, Jeff is a cornerstone of the L’Arche community in Jacksonville, Florida. He has lived here since 1990, and he has Down syndrome. More »