Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

The Qualities of Prayer Taught by the Lord

In my parish ministry and work around the archdiocese, one of the questions I receive most frequently is like the question posed to Our Lord in Luke’s Gospel, “He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1) People simply […]

"The Sermon on the Mount" (detail)
Carl Bloch, 1890

To Hear and Receive the Word Proclaimed

In paragraphs 135 – 144 of Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father speaks about the importance of the homily within the liturgical celebration. Right off the bat, Pope Francis describes what the homily can and should be, “an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth” (¶ 135). In […]

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Life Begins at Conception — The Science is Settled

I was checking out the latest tweets on Twitter… did I really just write THAT!?!  Anyway, I stumbled upon a conversation between a solid, pro-life Catholic and someone who thinks that opposition to abortion is ridiculous. So, did I quietly move on, recognizing that 140 character-limit tweets is no place to enter into debate on the culture wars? Nope. Against all […]

The Way of the Cross

Five Discipleship Lessons for Following Jesus

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

Surrender & Strength by Randy Hain

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Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets—the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages fifteen and eighteen, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to tell you […]

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Sharing the Joy of Our Faith with Those Who are Angry with the Church

As joyful witnesses, we are called to share the joy of our faith with everyone, and sometimes that means Catholics who have fallen away from their faith. It might mean talking about our faith with Catholics who are angry and bitter towards the Church. Their reasons may vary, but how we engage with them may mean the difference between their […]

Regular Feature

Martyrdom of Bl. Miguel Pro

The Battle is Not Out There

Twenty years goes by quickly. This past week, my sisters and I met up with other members of our high school youth group for a reunion. The youth group had been a saving grace for all of us during those turbulent high school years. We supported each other, learned about the saints together, went on crazy trips together, and most […]

In the Spotlight

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail)  by Juan Urruchi

A Pro-Life Philosophy

Introduction Thank you. Does this [microphone] work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. Whoever’s absent, please raise your hand. A Review of Logic A couple of preliminary rules. I’m a philosopher, I like to argue, so I’d like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

Daily Extras

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Romans 13:11-12

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the […]

Pope Benedict XVI (Philip Chidell / Shutterstock.com)

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“In this world of ours, in which, despite the profession of good intentions, the value of the person, of human dignity and human rights is seriously threatened by the widespread tendency to have recourse exclusively to the criteria of utility, profit and material possessions, it is important not to detach the concept of justice from its transcendent roots. Justice, indeed, […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word – Ephesians 2:8-10

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live […]

Scripture Reflections

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

The Qualities of Prayer Taught by the Lord

In my parish ministry and work around the archdiocese, one of the questions I receive most frequently is like the question posed to Our Lord in Luke’s Gospel, “He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1) People simply […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Why you should ask God…

I’ve often heard people say that they don’t want to trouble God with their petty needs and concerns. After all, he has more important things to attend to, like running the universe. Yet the New Testament makes God out to be a glutton for punishment. Not only does Jesus often urge us to ask for what we need, (“Ask and […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Distraction of Busyness

I once got a harsh letter from a Baptist lady protesting that she could not find the word “Catholic” anywhere in the Bible. True, the earliest occurrence of the term is in a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch, written twenty years after the last book of the New Testament.  But the idea that the Church is “catholic” pops up everywhere […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Good Samaritan

To this day, the road from Jericho to Jerusalem is long, winding, and desolate. The two travelers could have been heading back home after weeks on temple duty.  Or they could have been on their way to the Temple for their shift (Luke 1:8).  In either case, the priest and the Levite were in a hurry to get where they […]