Into the Deep

The Biblical Truth About Fasting

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, to […]

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one […]

Surrender & Strength

Exploring the Paradox of Help

Back in 2006, shortly after I came into the Catholic Church, a friend and fellow parishioner shared an observation with me after Mass one morning which had a profound effect on me:  “Randy, I have noticed that you really enjoy helping people.  But, you are very uncomfortable when people try to help you.  By not allowing them the opportunity to […]

Struggling with a Restless Heart

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While praying in preparation for Lent not long ago, I prayed for strength and courage to stay focused on the path Christ […]

Fighting Our Own Indifference

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under attack around the world, our country is divided, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in America and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your attention on today’s realities.  In times […]

Regular Feature

Traps & Tips for Spiritual Workouts

As part of our health insurance, they bribe, er, encourage us to stay healthy and active.  So the other day (in order to earn “points” for the program) I was reading an article about beginning a workout regimen.  The advice given was good—things like how to make your exercise a habit so that you can stick with it when life gets busy, […]

Lost sabbaths and the sin of sloth

An intriguing phrase caught my attention while looking over the Mass readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B). The first reading comes from the end of 2 Chronicles, as it recaps the story of the Babylonian captivity and subsequent restoration of Jerusalem. It clearly teaches that God allowed the Israelites to be taken into captivity because of their […]

In the Spotlight

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. I love Augustine, but it is hard to deny that […]

True Versus False Human Rights

2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed three years after the 1945 foundation of the United Nations to give definition to the “fundamental human rights” and “fundamental freedoms” mentioned in the UN Charter. The motivation behind it was to counteract the barbarous acts that occurred at the time of World War II, […]

Daily Extras

Encountering the Word — Matthew 2:13-15

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, […]

Daily Quote — from St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland

St. Patrick’s Breastplate, I Bind Unto Myself Today I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three. I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation; his baptism in Jordan river; his death on cross for my salvation; his bursting from […]

Encountering the Word — John 7:45-47

“The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why did you not bring him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this man!’ The Pharisees answered them, ‘Are you led astray, you also?’” (John 7:45-47) Please share on social media. Print this entry

Scripture Reflections

A Love Stronger Than Death

As we approach Easter, the Church switches our focus from our Lenten sacrifices to a much more important sacrifice.  It was motivated by a love stronger than death, a choice for fruitfulness over comfort and safety.  Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die, it remains just a grain of wheat.   This post focuses on that […]

An End to Business As Usual

Religion is not supposed to the opposite of spirituality.  But sometimes religion becomes a cold routine, even a business.  The Lord’s cleansing of the Temple spells the end of business as usual.  Our religion must be a matter of living faith, zeal and fidelity to the Ten Commandments. This post is a reflection on the readings for the Third Sunday […]