• Answering Objections to Christianity

    The Uniqueness of Christianity Ronald Knox once quipped that “the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious.” The reason, as G. K. Chesterton says, is that, according to most “scholars” of comparative religion, “Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism.” But any Christian who does apologetics must think about comparative religions because the […]

    Read More

  • Just Getting By

    “Let her alone, Henry. This is an excellent paper, and she’s going to ace it.” I tried to pretend I agreed with the favorable judgment being made of me before my brother Henry interrupted: “Yes, but she’s lazy and complacent. She had weeks to write this term paper, and she’s only now getting around to writing it – the day […]

    Read More

  • Come to the Banquet Table

    Some do the minimum in order to survive.  But we are called to seize every opportunity so we can truly thrive.  Proverbs says Wisdom has set a table for us.  Christ, Divine Wisdom incarnate, actually feeds us with two abundant tables – the feast of the Word and the Sacrament. This post centers on the abundant life brought by the […]

    Read More

  • Gratitude for John 6

    For a few weeks during Year B, the Sunday lectionary takes a break from the Gospel of Mark to bring us the Bread of Life discourse from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Beginning with the multiplication of the loaves and fish, the narrative brings us to the next day, when Jesus is back at his home base in […]

    Read More

  • These Children are a Blessing

    Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.  —CCC 2276 One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. […]

    Read More

  • Celebrating the Assumption of Mary

    On August 15th of each Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the United States, the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it  falls on a Saturday or Monday, in which case the precept to attend Mass is abrogated: “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, […]

    Read More

  • Keeping Love Loving and Open to God

    On July 25, the Church marks the fiftieth anniversary of the most reviled and rejected magisterial document of all time. Many papal encyclicals remain unread, others are perused and ignored, but Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae was pervasively condemned and opposed. This antipathy came not only from predictable sources, like radical secularists, sexual revolutionaries and anti-Catholic Christians, but also from remarkably […]

    Read More

  • Elijah and the Lord—Lessons for Living!

    Here’s a quick test for you!  You didn’t know there was going to be a pop quiz, did you?  I thought one might be in order to celebrate the start of the coming school year. Yes?  No? Seriously!  Here’s the question… “Who was the famous prophet in today’s first reading?” The prophet is none other than Elijah!  In his ministry, he […]

    Read More

  • Elijah’s Bread

    Somehow, we can all relate to the discouragement and exhaustion of Elijah.  So we need to learn from the solution proposed by God to revitalize and energize him for the long journey he needed to make and the important work he was going to do.  The bread God provided is a figure of a more wondrous bread that is available […]

    Read More

Into the Deep

Food That Endures For Eternal Life

Today’s Gospel is taken from St. John and continues our short five-week break from Mark’s Gospel that we’ve been hearing during this liturgical year. The focus of the passages during these five weeks is the Eucharist and the Lord’s abundant love for each of us. So much power and promise are contained in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, that […]

Receive, O Lord. I am all Yours!

There is a great old popular jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons titled All of Me that is one of my favorite tunes.  I particularly like the rendition performed by Louis Armstrong and another done later by Willie Nelson. The song is about a fellow who lost his heart to a girl who left him, so he […]

Surrender & Strength

These Children are a Blessing

Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.  —CCC 2276 One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. […]

The Invitation

“Here we go again,” Steve thought to himself as Brian walked across the parking lot towards his car. “Hey Steve, looks like we’re both running a little late today!  How was your weekend?” “It was ok.  Before you say anything Brian, I will go ahead and tell you I didn’t make it to Mass yesterday.  I meant to, but I […]

Choosing to Live Gratefully

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G. K. Chesterton   I remember at a very young age the constant urging of my parents to always say “thank you” in response to any kindness or friendly words shared in my direction. For many years, I saw […]

A Simple and Public Act of Faith

“Our behavior will be the proving ground of our deepest convictions.  This firmness in the Faith is often an excellent testimony to the beliefs of the Christian.  In some cases it can cause people to begin their return to the House of the Father” (Father Francis Fernandez; In Conversation with God). Several weeks ago I had lunch with one of my new […]

Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]

Regular Feature

Answering Objections to Christianity

The Uniqueness of Christianity Ronald Knox once quipped that “the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious.” The reason, as G. K. Chesterton says, is that, according to most “scholars” of comparative religion, “Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism.” But any Christian who does apologetics must think about comparative religions because the […]

Gratitude for John 6

For a few weeks during Year B, the Sunday lectionary takes a break from the Gospel of Mark to bring us the Bread of Life discourse from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Beginning with the multiplication of the loaves and fish, the narrative brings us to the next day, when Jesus is back at his home base in […]

Our Family History

I love saint stories.   I know I’m not alone – even the saints loved saint stories.  St. Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion was spurred by reading the life of Christ and the lives of the saints.  Edith Stein stayed up all night reading the life of St. Teresa of Avila.  There is an attraction in the radical witness of holiness that […]

Sacramentals in Our Time

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at sacramentals, the integration of our life, and a sacramental worldview. In this last post on sacramentals, I want to look at the place sacramentals can play in the evangelization and restoration of our culture. How do we evangelize our culture? How do we protect our families from the encroachment of secularism? […]

In the Spotlight

Just Getting By

“Let her alone, Henry. This is an excellent paper, and she’s going to ace it.” I tried to pretend I agreed with the favorable judgment being made of me before my brother Henry interrupted: “Yes, but she’s lazy and complacent. She had weeks to write this term paper, and she’s only now getting around to writing it – the day […]

Keeping Love Loving and Open to God

On July 25, the Church marks the fiftieth anniversary of the most reviled and rejected magisterial document of all time. Many papal encyclicals remain unread, others are perused and ignored, but Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae was pervasively condemned and opposed. This antipathy came not only from predictable sources, like radical secularists, sexual revolutionaries and anti-Catholic Christians, but also from remarkably […]

All Sinners are Welcome!

While I was in central Georgia, filming the Flannery O’Connor episode of my Pivotal Players series, I saw a sign on the outside of a church, which would have delighted the famously prickly Catholic author: “All Sinners Are Welcome!” I thought it was a wonderfully Christian spin on the etiquette of welcome that is so pervasive in our culture today. In a […]

Where in the World is Carmel?

An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be […]

Daily Extras

Daily Reflection — Is the Lord calling you?

A Daily Reflection on Sacred Scripture — John 1:35-39 DRAFT   “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ And they […]

Daily Quote — from St. Maximilian Kolbe

“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.” (St. Maximilian Kolbe) The Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (1894 – 1941) is August 14. Please share on social media. Print this entry

Daily Quote — from Saint John Paul II

“The essential act of penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of love which one has for God and which is reborn with repentance…”  (Pope St. John Paul II) The Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II (1920 – […]

Scripture Reflections

Come to the Banquet Table

Some do the minimum in order to survive.  But we are called to seize every opportunity so we can truly thrive.  Proverbs says Wisdom has set a table for us.  Christ, Divine Wisdom incarnate, actually feeds us with two abundant tables – the feast of the Word and the Sacrament. This post centers on the abundant life brought by the […]

Elijah’s Bread

Somehow, we can all relate to the discouragement and exhaustion of Elijah.  So we need to learn from the solution proposed by God to revitalize and energize him for the long journey he needed to make and the important work he was going to do.  The bread God provided is a figure of a more wondrous bread that is available […]

Food That Endures For Eternal Life

Today’s Gospel is taken from St. John and continues our short five-week break from Mark’s Gospel that we’ve been hearing during this liturgical year. The focus of the passages during these five weeks is the Eucharist and the Lord’s abundant love for each of us. So much power and promise are contained in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, that […]

You Are What You Eat

The only miracle recorded in all four gospels was the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Could this be to emphasize the central importance of the spiritual nutrition that Jesus, the Bread of Life, provides for us through the Eucharist? And could it be that a diet of junk food rather than the eucharistic banquet might just be a factor […]