Last Sunday night was the beginning of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and every year at this time I send along to you, my dear readers, a brutally edited short version of my Rosh Hashana sermon. Hope you all have a sweet new year whenever you count its beginning. God bless you.
This is a sermon...Read more
I feel like Michael Corleone. I am trying to get out of the signs from dead people game, but then I get letters like this that pull me back in:
Back in the 1970's, J, who was a close Jewish family friend of my wife's, passed away. We got married in 1977 and had our first Christmas together that year. For a Christmas present, I found a book "...Read more
Q: My 20-year-old cousin took her own life this past Sunday. My heart is heavy in the loss. I’ve asked this question to a few people. Got different responses, too. Will my cousin be forgiven of this sin?
I know our God is a loving God, and forgiving God. Would he have such an unforgiving heart for someone with mental illness, including, ...Read more
Q: I read your "Why do we pray" column with the usual great interest I bring to your columns. When I read the ending which quoted the Psalm 130, I knew I had to write.
Many years ago, I was quite ill. I remember sitting up in bed and praying this Psalm again and again with increasing fervor. I remember asking God if He would be with me in ...Read more
Q: I have been suffering from depression for over a year now. I take my medication religiously and I pray constantly for God’s help. Why won’t God answer my prayers? I am Catholic and was taught that you should pray for help. Is God not answering my prayers his way of telling me he's not going to help, so why bother praying? -- (From R)
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the aged: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:32
Q: What happens when you just don’t know what to pray for? My Mom is 90 and up until two months ago she was living alone in the home we grew up in, dressing herself, bathing herself, cooking herself delicious meals, walking with...Read more
Q: My daughter, Kathleen, was close to her grandfather, Poppa. After he died Kathleen would mention that Poppa was here. She could smell him. Poppa was there when Kathleen had a sonogram to see her unborn baby. Once, when she was walking on campus, a friend told her to stop and said that Kathleen had two shadows. -- (From A in NY)
A: Good one...Read more
Q: My stepson was killed and robbed on May 2021. I have loved this little boy since he was three. I was his first crush and started helping raise him with his father when he was 11. He was 29 when he passed. I see signs from him from cardinals landing right by me as his father and I are talking or crying about him, chirping and ...Read more
Q: My father passed away on Jan. 14, seven months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma. In his final weeks, he was unable to communicate with us. I desperately would love a clear sign from him like you received from your friend, Father Tom Hartman. In what manner did you receive the message? Any advice on how I can get a ...Read more
Q: I was taught in religious school that the reason Moses was not allowed by God to enter the Holy Land was his killing of the taskmaster in Egypt. Recently, I was told that I was wrong. Who is right? -- A
A: Sorry, dear A, but you are wrong. I wrote this answer in 1984 (before I had even met Father Tom Hartman) and I am sticking to it now: ...Read more
Q: In your recent column, “Are there many paths to heavenly salvation?”, you discussed the differences in worshiping God. As you pointed out, non-Christians have perhaps the most difficulty with John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the father but by me.” Yes, this verse serves as a ...Read more
Q: I want to have faith but I am having trouble. The reasons for believing in God seem so arbitrary and so silly. They all seem to come down to “just because I say so.” I am a regular reader but I hope you can do better. Is there a reason to believe? -- Anonymous
A: Thanks for an easy question! Let’s begin by asking what is the ...Read more
Q: A member of my family believes that people that do not believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior will be denied eternal life and final salvation. I do not agree with this way of thinking since I was raised to respect other religions, choosing instead to accept and respect people that do not share my beliefs. We can’t judge others for what ...Read more
As all faithful readers of The God Squad know, I am a big fan of holidays. Holidays, though I'd rather call them Holy Days, remind us that there are two kinds of time: Secular time and sacred time. Secular time is the way we measure ordinary events. Every piece of secular time is equal. Every second is the same as every other second. Sacred ...Read more
My column on how long grief should last generated a flood of heartfelt responses so let me take a few weeks to take a deeper dive into what I believe about grief.
As a believer, this is the most important thing I know: I know that the only spiritual antidote to grief is hope and the only effective source of hope is heaven and the only reason ...Read more
Thanks for the enthusiastic responses to my column on how to fit miracles into a faith that does not require you to be ignorant of science.
Q: I certainly sympathize with those attempting to explain apparent biblical miracles with naturally occurring cosmic events such as you proposed for the "crossing of the Red Sea." Unfortunately, this will ...Read more