Overcoming confirmation jitters

Re: “The shadow of doubt” (In Focus, July 6).

For myself, an eighth-grader preparing for confirmation, it means a lot to know that many great saints like Mother Teresa and St. Thomas the Apostle had doubts about God during their lives. When I was younger, adults in my life — like my parents and priest ­— seemed certain about God’s plan and expectations for us. Now, thanks to this article and the words of Father Stephen Bevans, I understand the difference between faith and certainty.

This will aid me in my journey toward confirmation and a more faithful relationship with God. I hope to always remember that even in my doubts, Christ is always there to light the way.

Ben Kindberg, via online comments

Mass requirement

Re: “Vatican releases working document for synod” (News Analysis, July 13).

At the October synod, Pope Francis wants to discuss Catholicism as seen by our modern generations. I would hope they would re-evaluate the commandment “thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath.” I would hope God’s judgment at my time of death is based on the totality of my Catholicism, not on a single misstep. I think Sunday Masses should be considered a blessing and an inspiration for a total Sunday observance of keeping holy the Sabbath, not a demand “or else.”

Bill Bandle, Manchester, Missouri

Deny marriage

Re: “Cardinal: Divorced, remarried need support” (News Analysis, July 13).

If a man walked in and asked to be ordained a priest, the Church wouldn’t administer the sacrament to him. So why can two people walk in and ask to be married? Cardinal Collins, in discussing annulments, notes that “after careful study the Church (may) discover that (a couple) did not truly make a binding commitment.” Other studies show that divorce rates are very low among Catholics who go to church and pray together. Perhaps the time for “careful study” is during the mandatory marriage preparation classes, and if it is discovered that the couple are not making a “truly binding commitment,” refuse them the sacrament of marriage! We would consider in some cases denying them the Eucharist, why not marriage?

— Tom Salapatek, Canton, Michigan

Pray for war

Re: “No good option in Iraqi war” (Guest Column, July 6).

Thanks to Russell Shaw for his column. Our option in Iraq is to fall on our knees and beg God’s forgiveness for the slaughter of his children and for the destruction of their lives, health, economy, education, culture, infrastructure, egalitarian status of women, etc. There was bragging that we would “bomb them back into the stone age” and indeed we did. It had been a long climb to the achievements which we destroyed, and it will be a long climb back.

War has let loose demons aplenty, and Satan laughs at the chaos, hatred and bloodshed. The same war agenda seeks a repeat performance in Iran. Let us take up our rosaries and pray a mighty defense against that happening.

Lynn Ellen Dixon, Woodward, Pennsylvania

Healing refugees

Re: “Border ‘bottleneck’ as minors flee violence” (News Analysis, July 6).

Everything in this article is true. But because I fled the civil war of El Salvador in 1989, I know that there is more to this crisis. America made a big mistake by simply sending these refugees back to their nations without first healing their wounds. So what we have here now are the partial results of this big mistake. And so America should not only welcome these refugees, but America should also set up a healing process specifically for them. Their healing just might be what Central America needs to overcome the images and news of those children who make us cry and cringe.

Julio Nelson Ventura, Amarillo, Texas
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