US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The Bible’s famines, fasts, and feasts

A close look at scripture shows the importance of food throughout human history.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

The first meal ever recorded in the Bible was pretty sparse: a mythical piece of fruit. Today this would amount to a healthy snack. At the time, it was the most harmful bite imaginable. Of course, the story in Genesis 3 isn’t about eating so much as it is about hunger. We humans seem to be hungry all the time. We crave food and drink, sweet and salty flavors available to many of us at arm’s length. But we’re also hungry for the love and support of others, for attention and recognition.


It’s a brave new world—embrace it

Instead of being shaken to your core by the new and unknown, see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

Life is more than we bargain for. The election results last November proved that, in an hour of frank astonishment for every side of the social debate. Behold, all things are new and all bets are off! It’s a brave new world. Even the most discerning among us has no idea what’s next on the horizon.


Naming the 333 women in the Bible

While some biblical women are nameless and silent figures, others are movers and shakers in their own rights.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

The Catholic canon of the Bible contains 73 books. Three of them bear women’s names: Ruth, Judith, and Esther. These three texts also make the actions of women their central concern. I consider them Exhibits A, B, and C in the argument against the Bible being a hopelessly sexist document. Why male editors gave the green light to the inclusion of these texts is the real mystery.


The word on biblical women

Are women in the Bible really as weak and suggestible as Christians sometimes believe?

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

You may have seen the bumper sticker: “Eve was framed.” The biblical perspective on women is set at a rather low bar in the opening chapters of Genesis. Simply put, it suggests women are the problem. If they weren’t inherently weak, morally suggestible, and all-out power hungry, the world would be a paradise right now.


The Bible through her eyes

Scripture scholar Barbara Reid says women have something powerful to offer when interpreting the Bible.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Your Faith

Scripture scholar and Dominican Sister Barbara Reid took her first Bible course when she was a junior in college. It was an elective. “I was just so amazed at how it opened up a whole world for me,” she says. “I was also a little angry and thought, ‘Why didn’t anyone ever teach me anything about the Bible?’ ” 


Start the new year with a beginner's mind

What's so new about the new year?

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

When someone wishes us a Happy New Year, too often the spirit of the cynic is tempted to rise up from its subterranean swamp in our souls. What’s so new about it, after all? Why be happy about turning a calendar page? The difference between December and January is an incremental movement of a second hand on an analog clock. Or the merest flicker on a digital timepiece. If you’re flooded with free calendars every year, as I am, January 1 is mostly about choosing whether to spend the next 12 months looking at pictures of monkeys, dolphins, flowers, or fruit bowls.


Why was Mary a virgin?

Mary isn't a virgin for biological reasons, but theological ones.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

My all-time favorite footnote involves a scholar’s wry gloss on the maps used by Jesus. Commenting on a passage in which Jesus had to cross into Gentile territory on his way to Jerusalem, the footnote reads: “This trip was evidently a theological necessity, not a geographical one. More direct routes were available.” 


Be the peace

Make the peaceable kingdom more than a Christmas card.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

It’s Christmas card season again. Expect an avalanche of Renaissance Madonnas in your mailbox. And there will be angels too, of course: both the cute and chubby kind who look like escapees from Saturday morning cartoons and the long, severe, ethereal models who actually appear capable of bearing fateful tidings from God. 


We are not alone in our grief and fear

Lament gives us space to let the pain breathe and a way to rail against God.

By Emily Sanna |
blog Your Faith

There are times when words fail us. When the future seems unbearable, when we see no way forward, when all we can do is scream at God, “Why, God, why?”

It’s tempting, at times like these, to give up. To curl up in bed and shut out the rest of the world. To turn our backs on God—who didn’t protect us from the tragedy. To wrap ourselves in a community of like-minded individuals and rail against the state of the world while simultaneously pretending it doesn’t exist. I think it’s safe to say most of us have felt this way at some point in the last 12 months.


When the world is falling apart, keep going

The future is a scary place, but we have to face it head-on—even if we’d rather deal with change by hiding our heads in the sand.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

What do you do when the sky is falling? This is not just a problem for Chicken Little to solve in the familiar children’s story. It’s a life question all of us have to answer sooner or later. As is the case with most fables and nursery rhymes, the famous fowl must address a certain grim reality nested in the experience of a world at risk.


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