National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Unintended (But Good) Consequences

Fact of Life

BY The Editors

March 8-14, 2009 Issue | Posted 2/27/09 at 2:28 PM


A few fun factoids from Time magazine’s Feb. 23 special report “How Faith Can Heal/The Biology of Belief”: Regular churchgoers live two to three years longer than non-churchgoers; fasting can lead to feelings of “clarity and bliss”; more than 85% of cancer patients would not be offended if their doctors asked about their spiritual needs (but few doctors ask); and charitable volunteers experience feelings of exhilaration known as “helper’s high,” with 90% saying their good works relieve stress and pain, too. Harvard Medical School professor Ted Kaptchuk told the magazine, “Religious belief is not just a mind question but involves the commitment of one’s body, as well.” As would be evident to anyone observing a Catholic Mass.