Into the Deep

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

You Can be Healed by Jesus and His Divine Mercy

All Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are celebrations of the highest importance on the Church’s liturgical calendar. These days, plus a few others, are known as solemnities. Two solemnities are so important that the Church celebrates them for eight days. We call these solemnities, octaves. They are Christmas and Easter. Essentially, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday are celebrated for […]

Surrender & Strength

Father and Son

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]

Man at Prayer

The Fruit that Came from Obeying God’s Will

Last September, on the day after turning in the manuscript for Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic to my publisher, I went to Eucharistic adoration seeking peace and quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament. I was exhausted, having written three books in 18 months in addition to running my business and performing my normal duties as a husband […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]

Bride and Groom

On Marriage, Leadership and Honoring Our Wives

Marriage is in trouble everywhere, especially in our country where over half of marriages end in divorce. Our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and materialism, has set about creating a society which no longer values marriage and the family, but instead favors one which glorifies selfishness, greed and offers false idols for us to worship instead of God. As an […]

Man at Prayer

A Man I Know

I lit a candle and prayed in our parish chapel not long ago for a man I know in his mid-70s who is struggling with various health issues as he gets older.  The candle I lit burned brightly, more brightly than the others, for the hour I was in the chapel.  The light reminded me of his life filled with […]

Man at Prayer

On Living Intentionally

“Will-power. A very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things — which are never futile or trivial — with God’s grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a […]

Regular Feature

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

The Eclipse of Reason

Pope Benedict’s 2010 Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia, a Catholic version of the American “State of the Union Address,” was notable for the emphasis placed upon human reason. His Holiness did not so much focus on the loss of Faith occurring in Western Democracies as he did the loss of Reason. At one point in his address he stated: […]

"Jesus Teaches the Child" (detail) by Judith Costello

A Big Truth: “I Don’t Know”

My husband says, “If you don’t know what you don’t know, then you are dangerous.” That bit of wisdom is important….but it requires some effort to puzzle through what it means. Although he is eighty-three and knows so much more than the average adult because he’s a voracious reader and deep thinker, Jurgen never pretends to “know it all.” He […]

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

sunrise-through-kitchen-garden-featured-w740x493

Being the Cheerful Giver

I’ve heard it enough that it makes me roll my eyes: “God loves a cheerful giver.” I mean, hey, it’s in the bible and everything (cf., 2 Corinthians 9:7). Until recently, though, I didn’t understand it from God’s point of view. To me, that was just another rule, another nice thing I needed to do for God. It was one […]

Artwork © by Jef Murray

On Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

We are, it would seem, living in a golden age of science fiction and fantasy stories. Films exploring other worlds and other times regularly explode onto the big screen, with each offering seemingly more spectacular and frenetic than the last. Even when the original source material for such films is modest, as with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the final products […]

In the Spotlight

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

The Holy Spirit—The Principle of Unity throughout Scripture

  The principle of unity throughout scripture is the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus, describes this sanctifying—and therefore unifying—role of the Spirit of Father and Son: Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray! Beautiful words, but poignant as well for anyone who has ever struggled to […]

Daily Extras

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Josemaría Escrivá

“Christian couples should be aware that they are called to sanctity themselves and to sanctify others, that they are called to be apostles and that their first apostolate is in the home. They should understand that founding a family, educating their children, and exercising a Christian influence in society, are supernatural tasks. The effectiveness and the success of their life […]

biblepage-coan-featured-w740x493.jpg

Encountering the Word — Genesis 1:26-28

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man […]

Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Why the Trinity Matters

Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth.  Most honor him as a great moral teacher.  Many even confess him as Savior.  But the Incarnation of the Eternal God?  Second person of the Holy Trinity?  God can’t be one and three at the same time.  Such a notion is at worst illogical, at […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Love Unlimited!

Some people seem to think that the Catholic Church is just another multi-national corporation, Catholicism, Inc., with the Pope as CEO. Obviously, this view is a bit skewed, but is not totally off base. The Church is in fact an international organization. That’s actually one of the meanings of the word Catholic—this church is no small sect limited to a […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Bearing Much Fruit

No one was more zealous than Saul.  He burned with passion to promote the Law of Moses and the traditions of his ancestors.  From Turkey to Palestine to Syria he had relentlessly pursued his quest for the glory of God. But all his hard work did more harm than good.  Oh, his efforts bore fruit all right– the sour grapes […]