Into the Deep

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Is Your Heart Troubled?

Are you at peace or is your heart troubled? “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Do Catholics Really Pray To Mary and the Saints in Heaven?

I overheard a conversation after a morning bible study at my parish about praying to Mary and the Saints.  It went something like this (names changed)… “Thanks so much for inviting me, Beth. You have a wonderful group here. I have a question, though. I hope it doesn’t offend you, but being non-Catholic, I just don’t understand this praying to […]

Surrender & Strength

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Six Practical Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became […]

Regular Feature

Painting with a Purpose — #Art4Sarah

Jeannie Ewing and I “met” virtually about a year ago. In that time, we’ve worked together at CatholicMom.com, where Jeannie’s a regular contributor, and I learned about her family’s incredible story. Part of what makes it so incredible to me is how very hope-filled it seems. I would not have expected that having a child like Sarah would inspire hope, but that’s […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

Condemnations of 1277

Fr. Jean Buridan and the Birth of Modern Science

The reaction to Pierre Duhem’s 1913 volume Le système du monde: histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon à Copernic (The System of World: A History of Cosmological Doctrines from Plato to Copernicus) was both strong and spectacular. His work provided undeniable evidence that in the Middle Ages faith in the predictability of nature was rooted in the theology of God as the […]

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]

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When Children Wonder if Faith Conflicts With Science

My first grader, Lucy, is learning about Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and The Fall. Typically, she’s dotting her i’s and crossing t’s. Typically, I’m bracing for the usual question. “Wait Mommy, who did Cain and Abel marry?” I’ll explain how we do not know, and for the first time she may wonder if faith conflicts with science. That pains me a little. […]

In the Spotlight

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Twelve Surprises About Catholicism and Evangelicalism

Over the past dozen years I’ve had the amazing and accidental opportunity to do something few Christians get to do: dive deeply into both the Catholic and Evangelical worlds.  That experience has been enlightening, confusing, encouraging, frustrating and inspiring all at once.  As a result, I’ve arrived at 12 realizations that surprised me about each side of Christianity, and the […]

Artwork © by Jef Murray

The Portal

The land surrounding Shaker Village in Kentucky might have been pulled fresh from the pages of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales. It encompasses rolling hills, small farm buildings, pleasant forests and streams, and ’round about its many pastures are dry stone fences that have stood for centuries. In a few spots along these fences, those who built them creatively worked […]

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Men, Women, and Tenderness

Holding hands, sharing an embrace or a kiss—these can be innocent expressions of love. But without great vigilance and virtue, these outward expressions can easily become a form of utilitarianism that actually ends up driving two people farther apart from each other and preventing love from fully developing. John Paul II—then Karol Wojtyla—makes this point when he addresses the topic […]

Daily Extras

Praying the Rosary

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Fr. Romano Guardini

“The Christian heart has always known Mary as the essence of compassion and love, to whom man can turn with particular and unreserved confidence. This is expressed so well by the intimate name that was given her from the beginning the name of mother.” (Fr. Romano Guardini, The Rosary of Our Lady) Print this entry

Pope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at a heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb…It can be said that the rosary is, in some […]

Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Parable of the Talents

I’ve seen it time and time again.  Someone decides to seek a better paying job, or pursue and investment strategy, or launch a new business.  Invariably some pious person in the parish objects that maybe this is too worldly, that it will be a distraction from Church and family priorities, that one should be satisfied with what one has. You’d […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Render to Caesar

Despite their flattering words, they were trying to trap him, to force him into a no win situation. Consider the circumstances. They are living under the iron boot of a brutal empire which filled the earth with its idolatry. Patriotic Jews longed to throw off the tyrants’ yoke. They prayed for an anointed king who would free them from the […]