Immaculate Mary—Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast

"Esquilache Immaculate Conception" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From my earliest years, the memories of my mother’s prayers to Our Blessed Mother and her praise and thanksgiving offered to Jesus, her Lord, still travel across the decades of time and touch my heart, especially on each feast day dedicated to Our Lady. My mom would tell me over the years that Our Blessed Mother’s love for me was […]

Life-Changing Lessons from St. John the Baptist

"The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist" by Caravaggio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1-3) St. John the Baptist is […]

Advent Reflection—The Blind See

"Christ Healing the Blind Man" by Eustache Le Sueur [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David.’” (Matthew 9:27) Sin and separation from God is a terrible thing. It is the tragedy when a person experiences such separation. The more we sin, the more difficult it becomes […]

Advent Reflection—The Will of the Father

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" by James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… Jesus said to his disciples: “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) The Father sent the Son. The Son did the will of the Father. He calls us […]

Advent Reflection—Blessed Are They

"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck (Michiel Coxie [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

A Daily Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all […]

Advent Reflection—Rejoice in the Holy Spirit with the Lord

chair-peter-holy-spiritDetail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.’” (Luke 10:21) Humble. Meek. Childlike. These […]

Advent Reflection—Lord, I am not worthy…

"Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant" (detail) by Paolo Veronese [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “But the centurion answered him, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.’” (Matthew 8:8) Another Advent Season has begun and we must be sure we know who and where we are. Before we can journey […]

Stay Awake This Advent

Photograph © by Lisa Missenda | Shutterstock

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). This verse is part of a larger passage (Matthew 24:1 — 25:30) where Jesus speaks about the time before his second coming—that is the time in which we all live. Of course this is immediately followed with the separation of the sheep and […]

Qualities of Life in the Kingdom

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, not only is he our brother and friend, Jesus Christ is our God and our King. And so we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—or Christ the King. This celebration is a recent addition to […]

Self-Satisfied or Self-Aware

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

“We must ask ourselves a question. Which attitude do I represent? Am I self-satisfied in how I live? Or am I honest and self-aware about my weakness and sins and committed to my humble efforts to live in faith and strive for holiness?” The Mass readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Psalms 34:2-3, […]