Into the Deep

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

Making All Things New

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Have you ever felt that something you were doing was going so badly that you just wished you could start all over? Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most of us have […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Is Mary God’s Mother?

Each January 1st (on the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]

Surrender & Strength

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

God is Asking Something Heroic of Us

“The disciple of Christ consents to ‘live in the truth,’ that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. ‘If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.”— CCC, 2470 I first interacted with Father Roger Landry […]

Praying the Rosary

Five Ways to Show Catholic Courage at Work

Do we ever stop to consider how many times a day our thinking and actions about our Catholic faith are influenced by a misguided concern for what others think of us? During the day, how many times have we missed opportunities to stand up for Christ or share our faith?  Is it the conversation we avoid with a troubled co-worker?  […]

Regular Feature

Child Praying the Rosary

Should We Pray Out Loud?

Elizabeth Pack Photography One of the questions St. Thomas Aquinas posed in his short treatise on prayer (Summa Theologiæ, II-II, Q. 13, Art. 12) was, “Should prayer be vocal?” The answer is: Yes, if it increases our devotion. Obviously, group prayer should be vocal. The priest at Mass must pray out loud so the faithful can know the prayers that are being offered, and so […]

"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - by Lucas van Leyden
(detail; click for full image)

The Real St. Anthony

January 17 is the Memorial of St. Antony, Abbot (A.D. 251-356). St. Athanasius (A.D. 296-373) is the great Church Doctor who stood against the world in defense of the “Trinitarian doctrine, whole and undefiled” thus earning the title “contra mundum.” He battled the Arian heresy as fearlessly and steadfastly as his mentor St. Anthony (A.D. 251-356) lived out the devout […]

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Thoughts About Online Catholic Education

I should explain my background before hypothesizing. I taught high school chemistry in a Texas public school in the 1990’s for two years. I was 21, three years into a biology degree, and had taken no education classes because I had no plans to teach. But science teachers were in demand, the university granted me a Broadfield Science bachelor degree, and I became a teacher. […]

In the Spotlight

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Hugging Jesus

I thoroughly enjoy my work and ministry of writing and speaking about the Catholic faith and God’s amazing love for us, as well as meeting the countless fascinating people along the way throughout my travels. One such captivating encounter occurred in an airport as I was traveling to do a speaking event. I ended up chatting with a woman (I’ll […]

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A Peek at My Prayer Corner — What I’m Reading in 2015

I recently had the great chance to be interviewed by Patheos’ Thomas MacDonald for his very cool How I Pray feature. If you haven’t checked out Tom’s interviewees (including Elizabeth Scalia), be sure to check here for some inspiration. The interview left me thinking about how I’d like to be more organized about my prayer resources in the New Year. One of […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy Coan

Leaving Early? Really?

You have been invited to a wonderful dinner by one of your friends and/or family. You had no worries about cooking the meal or going out that night, and were just able to relax and enjoy a nice home cooked-meal. As your host is walking in with the dessert that he/she spent an hour preparing, you get up, put your […]

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From Memory to Hope

In the modern world people often talk about the importance of harmonizing mind, body and spirit. But in the 1500s, St. Teresa referred to a different three. She said we need to train the “faculties of the intellect, will and memory.” Her breakdown, regarding divisions of the Self, is more useful for the true spiritual journey. In her framework, these […]

Daily Extras

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

“Therefore the Eucharistic Celebration is much more than simple banquet: it is exactly the memorial of Jesus’ Pascal Sacrifice, the mystery at the centre of salvation. Memorial does not simply mean a remembrance, a mere memory; it means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we participate in the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.” (Pope Francis, […]

Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Called by God

When I was growing up, we were urged to pray for vocations. That meant to pray for more priests and nuns. After all, they were the ones especially called by God. The rest of us had to figure out for ourselves what to do with our lives, what school to go to, who to marry, what job to get. This […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Why Jesus Asked to be Baptized

At first glance, the scene makes little sense. John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response. People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness. They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing. Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus. Wait a minute. What’s Jesus, the sinless one, doing […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Holy Family

The Passion of the Christ was the most intense movie I’ve ever seen. But there was a moment of comic relief, a flashback to a young Jesus in the back yard, building a new invention. It was the kind of table that is now a commonplace. But in a society where people reclined to dine, this table would have put […]