Category Archives: Religion

God’s Answers to Your Problems

From Happy Catholic:

“God’s Answers to Your Problems

Thanks to Father Joe for this! It strikes me that this would be good to print out and then go through reading each verse … as a contemplation aid.

  • You say: ‘It’s impossible’
    God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
  • You say: ‘I’m too tired’
    God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • You say: ‘Nobody really loves me’
    God says: I love you (John 3:1 6 & John 3:34)
  • You say: ‘I can’t go on’
    God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
  • You say: ‘I can’t figure things out’
    God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5- 6)
  • You say: ‘I can’t do it’
    God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)
  • You say: ‘I’m not able’
    God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)
  • You say: ‘It’s not worth it’
    God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 )
  • You say: ‘I can’t forgive myself’
    God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
  • You say: ‘I can’t manage’
    God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
  • You say: ‘I’m afraid’
    God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)
  • You say: ‘I’m always worried and frustrated’
    God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
  • You say: ‘I’m not smart enough’
    God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
  • You say: ‘I feel all alone’
    God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)


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Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

-Albert Einstein

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Happy Catholic: Well Said

Well Said

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.

Taylor Caldwell


Happy Catholic: Well Said.

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BehindTheMedspeak: God can ease your pain

Cool. Nicely designed study. And beautiful paintings…

BehindTheMedspeak: God can ease your pain: “


‘Brain scans of volunteers who were subjected to electrical shocks revealed that Roman Catholics felt less pain than atheists and agnostics when they were shown a painting of the Virgin Mary.’

The quote above is the second paragraph of an October 1, 2008 Guardian article by science correspondent Ian Sample about recent research by scientists at Oxford University.

Here’s the Guardian story.

    Religious belief can help relieve pain, say researchers

    Scientists have uncovered an ancient and elaborate source of pain relief that is based purely on the power of the mind, according to research published today.

    Brain scans of volunteers who were subjected to electrical shocks revealed that Roman Catholics felt less pain than atheists and agnostics when they were shown a painting of the Virgin Mary.

    Images of the volunteers’ brains showed that in devout believers, an area of the brain that suppresses reactions to threatening situations lit up when they were shown the picture.

    Researchers at Oxford University, led by Katja Wiech, recruited 12 nonbelievers and 12 practising Roman Catholic students. In the tests, participants were shown either an image of the Virgin Mary by the 17th-century Italian painter Sassoferrato [top] or Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th-century ‘Lady with an Ermine’ [below]. After looking at the picture for 30 seconds, the volunteers were zapped with electrical pulses for 12 seconds. Each time, they were asked to rank how painful the shocks were on a scale of zero to 100.

    The researchers describe how Roman Catholics and nonbelievers reported similar levels of pain after viewing the Leonardo painting. But the two groups responded very differently to the Virgin Mary painting, with Catholics experiencing 12% less pain.

    When Wiech’s team looked at the brain scans of the two groups, they found marked differences between them. After seeing the Virgin Mary, an area in the brain called the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex lit up in the religious volunteers.

    ‘The Roman Catholics engaged a brain mechanism that is well known from research into the placebo effect, analgesia and emotional disengagement,’ said Wiech. ‘It helps people to reinterpret pain, and make it less threatening. These people felt safe by looking at the Virgin Mary, they felt looked after, so the whole context of the test changed for them.’

    It is highly likely that non-religious people could achieve a similar ability to control pain, perhaps through meditation or other mental strategies. ‘There’s no suggestion that this effect is specific to religion and we’ve not found the God blob in the brain. This is about the state of mind you can achieve,’ said Wiech.

    Preliminary studies on lapsed Catholics suggest that images of the Virgin Mary lessen their sense of pain too, the researchers said.



Above, ‘Lady with an Ermine’ (1489-1490) by Leonardo da Vinci.

[via Christopher Davis writing in the December 2008 issue of Anesthesiology News]

(Via bookofjoe.)

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