Into the Deep

To Begin Again

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Most of us have at times felt that things were going so badly that we just wished we could start all over! A second chance! Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most […]

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. […]

Surrender & Strength

Too Busy for God?

For years I have heard people say they don’t have enough time to pray, get involved in parish ministry, attend daily Mass, take part in Eucharistic adoration, be involved in children’s activities, serve in the community, etc. I believe our misconception about time is one of the biggest obstacles, along with living in “silos” and failing to surrender to Christ, to […]

Thinking About Christmas & Easter Catholics

I admit it: I love Disney World.  My parents took me as a child and my wife and I have taken our kids a few times.  The theme parks make me reminisce about the fun adventures I enjoyed as a young boy and I experience a degree of nostalgic longing every spring for my family to experience Mickey and friends […]

For Advent, Let’s Focus on Simplicity

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to over-complicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

Regular Feature

Finding Time to Breathe

Suffice it to say that everyone is “busy” these days. Some of us use the word loosely, as an excuse to bypass the things in life we’d rather not face, what’s inconvenient, or what we view as boring. Others of us (the majority, I’d argue) are truly busy. We shuffle kids to and fro—school, extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments, and the like—and […]

Reaping What We’re Sowing

“A culture of chastity is needed now more than ever.” Before Christmas, Time Magazine named the “Silence Breakers” their 2017 Persons of the Year. Time focused fundamentally on the women who courageously came forward to bring into the light the sordid sexual abuse and harassment they had suffered silently years at the clutches of powerful entertainment and political leaders who, […]

The Truth About Mary

Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came up with his own […]

Witness of the Shepherds

As we continue to ponder the familiar stories of the infancy narratives throughout the Christmas season, we imitate our Blessed Mother, who “kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51). The first time we see that phrase in Luke’s Gospel (our indication of where he gathered source material for his infancy account) occurs during the visit of the shepherds […]

In the Spotlight

Temptation is Good for Us

I used to be a full fledged alcoholic. At the time I was actually proud of it. I gave in to every temptation to get drunk without putting up any kind of fight. However, when I began to understand that there were detrimental effects to my drinking, my falls to temptation became a source of despair. After fully converting to […]

Learning from the Shepherds at Midnight Mass

This message, indeed, “cannot leave us indifferent.” Because it is true, “it changes everything.” There is something beautifully symbolic about the tradition of Midnight Mass. It shows that Christians are so eager for Christmas to begin that they want to start celebrating on the first moment of Christmas day. People who ordinarily never go out late at night and are […]

Daily Extras

Daily Quote — from St. Antony of the Desert, Abbot

“The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross.” (St. Antony of the Desert, Abbot) The Memorial of St. Antony, Abbot (251-356) is January 17 Please […]

Encountering the Word — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“…but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I […]

Encountering the Word — Ephesians 4:1-6

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called […]

Scripture Reflections

Saint and Witness

Yes, we are called to holiness.  But no, vocation is not a matter of a particular state in life.   Holiness surely involves purity.  Yet it does not include a prudish disdain for the body and the pleasures of ordinary human life. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) — First Samuel 3:3-10, 19; […]

The Magi and their Gifts

This commentary on the Feast of the Epiphany uncovers the meaning of the term epiphany and explains why the Magi — Caspar, Balthasar, Melchior, the three kings of Orient riding camels and carrying gold, frankincense, and myrrh — are found, complete with crowns and camels, in every nativity scene. Reflection on the Mass readings for Christmastide: The Epiphany of the […]

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. […]