Author Archives: Joel Whitaker

About Joel Whitaker

Joel Whitaker is a long-time professional journalist (Tampa Bay Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Bulletin, Institutional Investor, executive newsletters) and Catholic convert. He is the RCIA coordinator for his parish.

Bread and Water Fasting

It’s Lent, and that means some people are thinking about extreme penances, such as bread and water fasting.  The concept is being popularized by such projects as Nineveh 90, which calls for participants to do a bread and water/juice fast … Continue reading

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Lent Is a Penitential Season. What’s Penance?

Lent is a penitential season, the church tells us.  Some churchmen bemoan the fact that what we do during Lent nowadays seems minor compared to what our ancestors in the faith did. It wasn’t all that long ago, after all, … Continue reading

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Weekend Reading

Sports and the Christian Life With the Olympics under way, Cardinal Wuerl links the values of sport to our lives as everyday Catholic Christians.  Well worth reading. Forgive others and find peace, pope says at Assisi I can personally testify … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Seven Deadly Sins

You may have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, but it’s a fair guess that if you were catechized anytime after 1971 you can’t name them, must less describe them — or recognize how they apply to your life. That’s … Continue reading

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Mortification and Credit Cards

Yesterday’s reading in “In Conversation with God” focused on the concept of mortifications, of “taking up our cross” every day. One possible mortification in this consumer society is to always pay cash.  Or, at any rate, use a payment method … Continue reading

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An Insight into a Young Dorothy Day

When Pope Francis visited Washington a few months ago, he heaped praise on Dorothy Day, saying she was a “representative of the American people” with a “passion for justice.” She was known as a liberal — some would say a … Continue reading

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Brain Scans Reveal 1st Physical Evidence AA Prayers Reduce Cravings

How important is prayer?  A new study gives dramatic evidence that prayer isn’t simply a “spiritual” activity, but one that can have real impacts on people’s lives.  The study may explain how the Lord’s Prayer to “lead us not into … Continue reading

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Praying with Opus Dei — The ‘Norms of Piety’

As I noted last week, with St. Josemaria Escriva was developing the Norms of Piety observed by members of Opus Dei, it was almost impossible for a layperson to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  To start with, the Divine … Continue reading

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How to Pray Always — Without a Breviary

Last week I wrote about how I never go more than three hours without prayer.  For me, the key to that is to pray all seven hours of the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours. But that involves the … Continue reading

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Ritual and Routines Are Key to Prayer

“Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Easier said than done, as anyone who has tried it knows.  It is certainly vital … Continue reading

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