By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) - Sooner or later, it happens to each of us, Richard Rohr says.
“There always will be at least one situation in our lives that we cannot fix, control, explain, change or even understand,” the Franciscan priest said.
Maybe you’ve been laid off from a job you held for years. Perhaps you’ve experienced a nasty divorce. Or maybe the crisis is more subtle: You suddenly realized that you’ll never have the life you dreamed of living.
Any life-changing moment can knock a person down. But it can also open doors if, as Rohr puts it, a person learns how to “fall upward.”
Rohr, a 68-year-old Roman Catholic author and internationally known speaker, says older Americans face a problem: Religious leaders aren’t paying much attention to them.
Much of contemporary religion is geared toward teaching people how to navigate the first half of their lives, when they’re building careers and families. Rohr calls it a “goal-oriented” spirituality.
Yet there’s less help for people dealing with the challenges of aging: the loss of health, the death of friends, and coming to terms with mistakes that cannot be undone, he says.
Rohr’s new book, “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” is his attempt to fill that void. It also functions as a spiritual survival guide for hard times as millions of Americans young and old struggle to cope with “falling”: losing their homes, careers and status.
By Kat Kinsman, CNN
(CNN)–Starve a fever, feed a cold. So goes the conventional wisdom, but what's on the menu for a wounded heart?
Post-funeral meal rituals vary wildly – not just from pole to pole and faith to faith, but from mourner to mourner. Some families decamp to a restaurant, too overwhelmed to tidy a house or light a stove. Some can barely wend their way through their kitchen for all the foil-covered dishes borne over by neighbors doing what they can to fill the suddenly hollow space in a once-full home.
Others gather around coffee urns and cookie plates in church basements and V.F.W. halls and some simply sidle off quietly, too shaken and broken to imagine they'll ever have the strength to eat again.
This past Wednesday, my family said farewell to Reverend William Ribando – my beloved "Uncle Chicken" as I'd called him since my childhood. Parkinson's Disease had taken hold of him, slowly and cruelly. Here, at the end of his journey, two dozen of his brothers in the Congregation of Holy Cross gathered together to bring him to his final resting place.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.