Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

Is it okay for Catholics to call their priests “Father”?

[NB: Do not miss the video at the end of this article. You will be blessed. —Deacon Mike] “Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Throughout history, including that time since the days when Jesus uttered these words, we have referred to others on earth as father. This title is used […]

Surrender & Strength by Randy Hain

Regular Feature

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

A Mother Who Inspires us to Love

What if Pope Francis gave you a special mission? Wouldn’t you find it hard to ignore? I, for one, paid attention when the Holy Father issued a commission to me and my companions during a private audience in Rome back in October of 2013. We had gathered together for a study seminar hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity […]

"Legend of St. Francis [15] Sermon to the Birds" (detail) by Giotto

Misquoting St. Francis

  In a few weeks, I get to go back to one of my favorite places in the world: Assisi. The medieval hillside town is like no other place in this world, and there’s something about walking those streets that has a way of re-calibrating your life.  Many people try to go to Assisi as a day trip, but I’m […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Henceforth, You Will be Called

  “I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Such joy! A baby is born. So innocent. So pure. So new. “What is the baby’s name?” you ask. In our Catholic tradition, parents are asked to give the name of a saint to their child. That saint becomes the child’s patron and most Catholic families read stories […]

In the Spotlight

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Beyond the Sexual Urge

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles written by Dr. Edward Sri on Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The series is reprinted here with permission and originally appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Lay Witness magazine. © 2005 Catholics United for the Faith / www.cuf.org/Laywitness/index.asp In our first reflection on Pope John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, we considered […]

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The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

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Getting it Right—The Foundation of Friendship

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles written by Dr. Edward Sri on Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The series is reprinted here with permission and originally appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Lay Witness magazine. © 2005 Catholics United for the Faith / www.cuf.org/Laywitness/index.asp In his book Love and Responsibility, Karl Wojtyla—now known as John Paul II—reflects […]

Daily Extras

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Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Vincent de Paul

“You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy—the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.”  (St. Vincent de Paul) The Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (1581 – 1660) is September 27. Print this entry

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Daily Catholic Quote — from Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory. It was this Court’s own decision in Roe v. Wade—1973—to exclude the unborn child from the human family. You ruled that a mother, in consultation with her doctor, has broad discretion, guaranteed against infringement by the United States Constitution, to choose to destroy […]

Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Protecting Our Addictions

Temperance.  For older American, that word conjures up images of Carrie Nation shattering bottles of gin to usher in Prohibition. But the word temperance does not mean abstinence from alcohol or total abstinence from anything, for that matter.  It means that the desire for pleasures of various sorts is brought into balance with other legitimate needs and obligations.  Also called […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Responsible Generosity

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life. Like it or […]