Purifying Our Hearts

Saint Augustine and his mother, Saint Monica

Effective prayer always requires preparation. Some of the most important preparation required is making sure our hearts are clear of anything that might impede the quality of our prayer. The Psalms provide us some of the best scriptural advice we can find on how to both prepare for and offer effective prayers. They also have a way of getting to […]

We Are His Offspring

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Most Poetic Line in Any Language There is a verse in Scripture that speaks about who we are as human beings. It may not be overstating the point to suggest that it is the single best explanation of the meaning of human existence. The verse is from a speech Paul was giving to the wise men of Athens. He […]

A Broken and Contrite Heart O God

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Recently I was reminded of a wonderful movie of faith, courage and redemption. It was the story from the book “Unbroken,” about the life of Louie Zamperini, an American who ran the 5,000 meter in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Louie was later drafted as a gunner aboard B-24 Bombers during World War II. He was shot down in the Pacific and […]

Let’s All Get In the Game

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell […]

Man’s Best Friend

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

Despite what many dog lovers may believe, it turns out that man’s best friend is not our canine companions, although they are certainly high on the list. Instead, the greatest friend to man is someone most of us spend precious little time getting to know, and this Person was someone whom Jesus Christ introduced us to before He ascended to […]

The Freedom of Love

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

There has been a great deal of talk for many years now about individual rights in our society. It is nothing new, but this idea does seem to have reached a fever pitch in the past few years. People are demanding their right to do as they please. Everyone is demanding to be free. Unfortunately, many people are working with […]

Anatomy of Hope

There is perhaps a no more important nor consoling reflection for us than to focus on the gift of hope. After all, everyone of us enters each new year with hope for a brighter future. But if our expectation of hope offers only some future fulfillment, that would be disappointing indeed, and not the same hope promised to us by […]

Life is not fair!

"The Beheading of St. John the Baptist" by Caravaggio

We have all heard this line before. Most of us probably heard it first from our parents when they tried to help us come to grips with the hard times that life inevitably doles out to all of us. No doubt many, if not all of us, have said this to ourselves a few times throughout our life. And frankly, […]

Gifts Differing—The Lord’s Purpose for You

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

Any of us can occasionally fall into the trap of believing that the life we lead, the things that interest us, the occupations we work at or our unique circumstances are somehow accidental to the Lord’s call for our life. They are not. The Lord never does anything or allows anything to happen by accident; there is purpose to everything […]

The Power of Humility

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

If finding true peace within our souls is something one desires—and it should be, as it is an absolute prerequisite for effective prayer—then we need to ask, what is it that will allow us to establish ourselves in peace? When looking for guidance in Scripture, we can never go wrong by looking at the words spoken by Jesus Himself. And […]