• Heaven and Hell—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

    In the first two installments of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death and judgment. In this third installment, we will look at what follows judgment: Heaven or Hell. Who goes where? Heaven and Hell Popular, secular opinion seems to conclude either: 1) there is no after-life or 2) everyone and […]

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  • Anatomy of Envy

    Envy, one of the seven deadly sins, is different from mere jealousy – it is darker and much more dangerous.  Yet its cunning can be – and has been – defeated. The readings for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Wisdom 2:17-20; Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8; James 3:16–4:3; Mark 9:30-37. Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of […]

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  • In Defense of Beautiful Churches

    I’m currently leading a pilgrimage in Italy, and one of my favorite parts of these pilgrimages—showing people the beauty of the Church—is often used by people who are looking to criticize the Church. Why does the Church have extravagant churches? Shouldn’t they sell all that art and gold and give the money to the poor? At first glance, the critique […]

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  • Five Simple Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

    “Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs and our families by the media and modern culture?  Are we frustrated and angry over […]

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  • Mysterious Treasures Buried in Mystagogical Catechesis

    The Three Ages of History centered on Christ Incarnate Jesus Christ our Savior is the Lord of all creation! We in the Catholic Church “believe that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.”1 The incarnation of the second person of the Trinity signals the greatest […]

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  • Why does my journey of faith seem so lonely?

    Dear Sister, Sometimes the living of my Catholic faith is a lonely walk for me. Why is that?  Am I doing anything wrong?  Sometimes I think, “Am I the only one feeling this way?” I’ve never had theology classes and would appreciate anything you could send my way to help me understand why I feel so alone sometimes in my […]

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  • Judgment—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

    The Four Last Things Catholic teaching identifies the Four Last Things as: Death Judgment Heaven Hell In the first installment of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death. In this second installment, we will look at the Particular and Universal Judgments, the second of the Four Last Things. The Particular and […]

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  • Amen, Amen: James, Peter and Rock-Solid Faith

    The word amen is familiar to all.  But few know its origins and its true meaning, which actually strikes at the very essence of what it means to believe and have rock-solid faith. The readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalms 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35. Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most […]

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  • The Crucifix’s Reminder

    It’s not easy to be Christian in today’s world. It seems that those who treat their neighbors as stepping stones prosper, that those who seek pleasure have the most fun, and those who disregard even the natural law flourish. It is natural, perhaps, to feel as if we should be rewarded in this life for our obedience to God. And […]

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Into the Deep

Heaven and Hell—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

In the first two installments of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death and judgment. In this third installment, we will look at what follows judgment: Heaven or Hell. Who goes where? Heaven and Hell Popular, secular opinion seems to conclude either: 1) there is no after-life or 2) everyone and […]

Judgment—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

The Four Last Things Catholic teaching identifies the Four Last Things as: Death Judgment Heaven Hell In the first installment of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death. In this second installment, we will look at the Particular and Universal Judgments, the second of the Four Last Things. The Particular and […]

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

“In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” Today we will remember the victims of September 11, 2001 in our prayers as we mark the seventeenth anniversary of that tragic day. As I prepare this article, Florence bears down on the Carolina coasts. We should include the victims of the storms of this year, around the globe, in our prayers as […]

John 6 and Your Eucharistic Faith

Four Sundays ago, I mentioned here that the liturgical calendar of the Church was taking a short break from the Gospel of Mark, which we had been hearing this year at Sunday Mass. Next Sunday, we will return to Mark’s Gospel. Counting today, we have spent five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Its content has been […]

Surrender & Strength

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 […]

Practical Lessons for Integrating Faith and Work

How do we integrate our faith with our work? If you think about it, most of us will likely spend the majority of our adult (awake) lives in the workplace. A typical eight hour work day accounts for a third of the total day, with the other two-thirds devoted to sleeping, family, friends, faith, and so on. In the practice […]

Five Ways to Escape from Apathy-ville

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 […]

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. […]

Regular Feature

In Defense of Beautiful Churches

I’m currently leading a pilgrimage in Italy, and one of my favorite parts of these pilgrimages—showing people the beauty of the Church—is often used by people who are looking to criticize the Church. Why does the Church have extravagant churches? Shouldn’t they sell all that art and gold and give the money to the poor? At first glance, the critique […]

Mysterious Treasures Buried in Mystagogical Catechesis

The Three Ages of History centered on Christ Incarnate Jesus Christ our Savior is the Lord of all creation! We in the Catholic Church “believe that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.”1 The incarnation of the second person of the Trinity signals the greatest […]

The Crucifix’s Reminder

It’s not easy to be Christian in today’s world. It seems that those who treat their neighbors as stepping stones prosper, that those who seek pleasure have the most fun, and those who disregard even the natural law flourish. It is natural, perhaps, to feel as if we should be rewarded in this life for our obedience to God. And […]

Beauty of the Soul

“Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty.” Yes, a little tiny human embryo has an immortal soul, infused into it by God at conception. Of all the wonders of the world, of all that is pleasing to the eye, of all that the ear can hear, there is nothing , one as beautiful as the soul of […]

In the Spotlight

Anchors in the Storm

I have tried in recent columns to respond to some of the many questions that people have been asking about the scandals that began with the revelations about the predations of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, were magnified by the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and have now expanded further with the publication of several testimonies by Archbishop Carlo […]

Staying Faithful As We Endure the Crisis

Two weeks ago I wrote a column attempting to respond to many of the questions friends and reporters had about the crisis of sexual infidelity among clergy. Since that article, I have received many more emails and phone calls, and I would like to continue attempting to answer the questions posed as candidly as I can. Much has happened in […]

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 […]

Daily Extras

Daily Quote — from G. K. Chesterton

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” (G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy) Please share this post on Facebook and other social media below: Print this entry

Encountering the Word — Colossians 1:15-20

“He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

Daily Quote — from G. K. Chesterton

“‘The Church is not a thing like the Athenaeum Club,’ he cried. ‘If the Athenaeum Club lost all its members, the Athenaeum Club would dissolve and cease to exist. But when we belong to the Church we belong to something which is outside all of us: which is outside everything you talk about, outside the Cardinals and the Pope. They belong […]

Scripture Reflections

Anatomy of Envy

Envy, one of the seven deadly sins, is different from mere jealousy – it is darker and much more dangerous.  Yet its cunning can be – and has been – defeated. The readings for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Wisdom 2:17-20; Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8; James 3:16–4:3; Mark 9:30-37. Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of […]

Amen, Amen: James, Peter and Rock-Solid Faith

The word amen is familiar to all.  But few know its origins and its true meaning, which actually strikes at the very essence of what it means to believe and have rock-solid faith. The readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalms 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35. Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most […]

The Motivation for the Miracles

“Ephphatha!” The miracles of Jesus, particularly the story of Jesus’ healing of the deaf – mute in the Gospel of Mark, raise a big questions — did Jesus Christ truly work miracles and if so, was his motivation compassion or glory? The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; James 2:1-5; Mark […]

Does Scripture Bash Tradition?

What does the term Tradition really mean? Is it opposed to the Bible? The sola scriptura principle of the Protestant Reformation assumed it was — here we examine this assumption in the light of a few key scriptures. The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark […]

John 6 and Your Eucharistic Faith

Four Sundays ago, I mentioned here that the liturgical calendar of the Church was taking a short break from the Gospel of Mark, which we had been hearing this year at Sunday Mass. Next Sunday, we will return to Mark’s Gospel. Counting today, we have spent five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Its content has been […]