A Prayer by St. Ignatius For When You Feel Weak & Helpless

clasped hands in the darkness begging God for strength

Have you felt helpless or weak as you’ve gone through divorce? You’re not alone. St. Ignatius didn’t go through a divorce but he wrote a great prayer for those of us who are suffering in any way. His “Prayer Against Depression” applies to much more than depression, but any time it feels like “all is darkness” and we need a bit of hope. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a strong 16th century man, a soldier. Why in the world did he write a prayer about weakness and  helplessness?” Hard for to imagine, isn’t it? It just shows us that saints had feelings too, just like ours. They cried, they feared, they hurt, and they hoped. I’ve cried, feared, hurt, hoped. And through prayers like this one of St. Ignatius, I’m reminded of God’s love and strength. I shared this prayer on A Million Unheard Souls on Patheos.com,  but I also want to share it here with you. Hope it blesses you. Prayer Against Depression by Saint Ignatius of Loyola O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of your presence, Your love, and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in…

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Divorced Catholic – Support, Encourage, Inform

 My Big News! Lisa Duffy has invited me to add my voice to her blog “A Million Unheard Souls” .  I feel honored that Lisa asked me to be a contributor and excited about this opportunity to share encouragement and hope with divorced Catholics. You can read my articles here at A Million Unheard Souls is on the Catholic Channel hosted by Patheos.com. I hope you’ll visit me there! Lisa Duffy’s Divorce Ministry Lisa has been providing support, encouragement, and resources for divorced Catholics for over twenty years. Not only has she written for many other online and print publications, but she also offers one-on-one divorce and relationship coaching, speaks at conferences and more. Lisa is now happily remarried but continues to be committed to her ministry for divorced Catholics. I hope you’ll come visit with me over at Lisa’s blog for Catholics recovering from divorce. I first learned of Lisa Duffy’s divorce ministry shortly after my divorce. It was this website, DivorcedCatholicMoms, that introduced me to Lisa and her work. That was back when I was a reader rather than a writer here. I still remember my hurt, confusion, and loneliness, feelings I’m sure you understand. Online resources were important because I worked during the…

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God’s Mercy Reached Out to This Divorced Catholic

Divorced Catholic woman angry alone abandoned God mercy

 One day Lisa Duffy’s husband walked out and never came back. She was left alone, abandoned and angry.  Instead of turning to God, his mercy and her Catholic faith, Lisa listened to the well-meaning advice of co-workers and friends. They encouraged her that she would feel better once she started dating. But re-entering the world of dating wasn’t an instant fix. Dating didn’t heal the pain. Her struggle to heal continued for almost seven years. How could she forgive and move on? How could she find peace? God’s Mercy Unwrapped In Episode 13 of Catholic Grandma Kristine Franklin’s podcast series “Mercy Unwrapped,” Lisa Duffy shares how God’s mercy found her as she struggled through the pain of divorce. Her story is sure to inspire you. Here is the encouraging story of God’s mercy in the midst of her ruined marriage. A Surprising New Chapter Through the mercy of God, Lisa is now an author, blogger, and speaker who has ministered to divorced Catholics for fifteen years. She has appeared on NBC news as a divorce recovery expert.Visit her site at LisaDuffy.com for more podcasts, articles, and divorce recovery resources. Every woman’s experience with divorce is different, and not one of us can claim to…

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“Did You Ever Ask God Why?” Part I

Cemetary statue angel clasped hands pleading and looking up why divorcedcatholicmoms.com

A while back a reader asked me, “Have you ever asked God why? Did He answer?” I wrote back to him that the comment box wasn’t large enough for my response and I would post my answer as an article soon. Well “soon” has been many months and I deeply apologize.  Chronic health conditions, including clinical depression and anxiety, are another “why?” in my life. Not answering wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s just that I couldn’t get the words out properly. The Why’s of Catholic Divorce I’m sure many of us have asked “why?” There are so many why’s to ask God: Why are you letting me and the children go through so much suffering? Why are you letting my spouse just walk away? Why are you letting this awful thing happen to my family? Why don’t you stop the evil in the world? Why aren’t you listening to my prayers? Why did you let us get married in the first place? Why couldn’t she love me? Why wasn’t he faithful to his wedding vows? So my short answer is, yes, many times I’ve asked God “why?” and sometimes it seems as though He has answered. Sometimes it…

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5 Keys to Healing After Divorce

If you haven’t heard of Lisa Duffy yet, you’ve got to meet her through an online webinar she’s offering November 28th at 4pm. Lisa is presenting one of her most popular presentations “5 Keys to Healing:How to Heal After Divorce.” This is a free webinar, a gift that can help us move past divorce and to happiness. Attending the webinar will be easy and Lisa Duffy is sure to be an inspiration. Lisa wrote the books Divorced. Catholic. Now What? and The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce: Cultivating the Five Qualities That Free You to Love and currently writes at CatholicMatch and Patheos. Lisa speaks with great compassion to those of us who’ve suffered through divorce. Her spirituality is inspiring but never preachy. I heard this presentation in 2011 at the Journey of Hope, a conference for divorced Catholics, and it was great! It is a step by step road map to help us leave the past behind and move on to the future. She is a real person, a Catholic woman like us, who has experienced the devastation of divorce. You can learn more about her and her ministry to divorced Catholics at www.LisaDuffy.com. There are limited spaces available, so I encourage you to…

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Souls Need to Pray!

St. Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite saints. She was one tough cookie when she was reforming the Carmelite Order in mid-sixteenth century Spain. She was also a doctor of the Church, a mystic, and a wonderful teacher of prayer. I love reading and re-reading her vivid descriptions and explanations of the spiritual life. When St. Teresa talks, I want to listen! Souls who do not have the habit of prayer are like paralyzed bodies with hands and feet they cannot use. It seems to me that to stop praying is to take a wrong turn, because prayer is the door through which all God’s graces come to us. If this door is closed, I do not know what might happen. St. Teresa of Avila As divorced Catholic moms, we need the door to God’s graces wide open, therefore we really need to pray, right?i Is it Selfish to Pray? It felt selfish when I would leave the kids at home and go off to the chapel to pray for an hour or so, but I needed the strength God gave me through that time of prayer. The chapel was the only place I could cry. I soaked…

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Sharing the Holidays: Merry Christmas From My Broken Family

The holidays will never be the same for any of us with families broken by divorce. My family’s experience of the holidays are likely very different from yours. We were blessed to have a “cordial” divorce. There were no abusive behaviors or viciousness in the marriage, during the divorce process, or afterwards. Your family must choose, with the grace of God, how to re-create and share holidays to best fit your unique families. Holidays are a reminder of the brokeness in my family.  Although our divorce agreement spells out the shared holiday schedule, we have never gone by it. In fact, I couldn’t tell you where my children are supposed to be this Easter, but I can know where they will be. Every year, every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, my children do what they have always done. They start the morning at home with Mass and breakfast. Then at some point between 11am and 1pm off they go to the big family meal with grand-parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We used to do that as a family. Now they all go without me. It’s Not Fair It’s my legal right to have the children all to myself on certain holidays. But just because…

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Surviving Divorce: Our Weakness, God’s Strength

Battle scene our inner battle

How do you survive after the destruction of divorce? The only way I was able to make it day-to-day after divorce was through the strength God gave me. My marriage broke up over a year and a half that felt like glass shattering in my hands as I tried to hold onto life as a family. When my husband finally moved out, I was devastated. I used scripture verses to help me survive day-by-day as we went through the divorce and as I survived through the first couple of years afterwards. This was one of my favorites verses; I memorized it and recited it to myself throughout the day: “Out of weakness we were made more powerful, became strong in battle, and pushed back foreign invaders.” Hebrews 11:34 Here is the entire passage to relish and see the context before I adapted it: “What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned…

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