Why Is Religion Important to Mental Health? An Interview with Jay Mahler and Rev. Laura Mancuso

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As a member of NAMI FaithNet, which “supports faith communities in mental illness outreach, education, and advocacy,” I receive their newsletters. A recent issue featured an interview by Gale Bataille and Bill Berkowitz with Jay Mahler, activist and founder of a grassroots movement which became The California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative, and Rev. Laura […]

Be You Very Well

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St. Francis de Sales had four words of advice for pursuing spiritual excellence: “Be you very well.” I used to think if you survived junior high without too many scars, you could live comfortably in your own skin for the rest of your days. But the last six months at a large consulting firm made […]

Quotes on Perseverance

I needs LOTS of coaching on perseverance because this essential virtue depends on another one called patience, which God ran out of the day He made me. Here are some beautiful quotes on perseverance: “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” –Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme […]

Consider the Flowers of the Field

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I’m big into leading with faith these days. I guess it’s because I have no other option. When you have two adults in a household whose jobs are majorly affected by the economy, you either panic or pray. I’ve panicked for plenty long already. Now it’s time to pray.   Instead of rushing from one […]

God’s Love Is Enough

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Most of the time I’m perfectly happy to be as transparent as I am online and in print. I have great days like the one last week when the mayor recognized me at a coffee shop and told me his wife loved my book and I returned home only to read an unexpected kind and […]

Life Is Like a Game of Candy Land

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“Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates,” said Forrest Gump in the 1994 film. Yeah, well I think it’s more like a game of Candy Land. We’ve been averaging about three games a day in our house ever since the kids got the board game for Christmas. And every game the rules […]

Struggle With, Not Victory Over

This piece is reprinted from awhile back. It’s tempting for anyone who writes about depression and anxiety to preach from hindsight, after he has “recovered” from his mood disorder: “This is what I did to free myself from addiction” … “Here are five steps to instant weight loss” … “These are eight techniques to cure […]

The Samaritan Woman and Loneliness

On the combox of my post, “Struggle With, Not Victory Over,” Beyond Blue reader Ann asked me to reprint my blog about the Samaritan woman I wrote last March. Since the topic deals with loneliness and toxic relationships, I figured it was worth reposting. The Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel is what we could safely […]

7 Favorite Prayers

I’m publishing my seven favorite prayers today because, as I mentioned on Monday’s post, I’ve been more depressed lately than I have been in a long while. I guess that’s good for the blog, ultimately, because I can speak better to where many of you are. So I thought you might like these prayers too. […]

You Can’t Unlearn It

I’ve been repeating to myself lately something my therapist said in our session last month: “You can’t unlearn your progress.” Meaning, I can take a few steps backwards in my recovery from depression and anxiety, but that doesn’t erase all the lessons, skills, and wisdom acquired in my past. Those words are consoling to me […]

The Third Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee– to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy […]

Ring the Bells That Still Can Ring

Last year this time I delivered the Commencement address to my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Since it is graduation season, I thought I’d repost it. Thank you, President Mooney. And thank you to all the professors and staff of Saint Mary’s, especially those who have changed my life: Joe Incandela, […]

Mindful Monday: Empty Yourself This Lent

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For me Lent is about emptying–a glass, a basket, a soul–so that it can be filled up again…with wine (or sparkling cider), peeps (think Easter basket), and hope. The forty days before Easter is one big humbling exercise–where you remind yourself that without God, you’re nothing but a pile of cinders. “Don’t kid yourselves, guys,” […]

12 Ways to Pray During Lent

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This blog post has been also featured as a Beliefnet gallery. To get there click here. Lent, the 40 days preceding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is supposed to be a time of fasting, where we chocoholics take an “s” of out the word “dessert,” and are left with “desert.” I heard somewhere […]