Faith

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All of Life is Bittersweet

Come, Lord, and tarry not; Bring the long looked-for day; Why these years of waiting here, These ages of delay? (Advent hymn) I left the neuropsychologist’s office dumbfounded. If Sarah had received a diagnosis of autism, I would have understood. If ADHD had been a resounding secondary diagnosis to her Apert syndrome, I wouldn’t have flinched. But, in fact, I […]

Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and in spirit. It is […]

"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail) by Edmund Blair Leighton

How to Respond When You Meet Suffering

In 2005 while undergoing chemotherapy, I was sitting in an uncomfortable recliner on the sixth floor of the medical facility. An IV dripped poison into my veins that would simultaneously cure me of the cancer in my body, and wreak havoc on it, sending waves of nausea, chills, malaise. The concoction did not discriminate between healthy and cancer cells. It […]

Empty-Handed at the End

Yesterday was the start of the Catholic New Year, the first day of the liturgical year.  Once Advent starts, we begin to think about the birth of Jesus, but the gospels for the first week of Advent don’t seem to align with our joyful anticipation of Christmas.  The first week of Advent gospels always warn us to be ready because […]

The Annunciation (detail) by Caravaggio

A Practical Plan for Advent

“But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his […]

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

Truly Right and Just Thanksgiving

From November 25, 2016… It is truly right and just At every Mass, one of the most significant dialogues in human life occurs. The priest says, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,” the faithful respond, “It is right and just,” and the priest replies with a saying of great theological depth: “It is truly right and just, […]

A Dozen Thank Yous

I can still hear it—the sound of the old car horn and the commotion in the house as my sisters and I scrambled toward the door trying to make it to the car before it drove off without us. It was the same ritual, or shall I say “ordeal,” every morning before school. Mom was always up before the rest […]

Getting Ready: A Simple Plan for the Best Advent Ever

Advent is just around the corner, and if you are like many people, you probably feel like it snuck up, perhaps catching you by surprise. In the busyness of this life, what can you do to prepare well without overwhelming? It’s not too late! Here are some ideas to get you started to have the best Advent ever: Kick off […]

Photography © by Mark Armstrong

Father Solanus Casey is Now Blessed

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong The Heavens were weeping today, Saturday, November 18, 2017, over Detroit, Michigan.  Not for sadness, but for joy.  The pouring rain did not stop the nearly 70,000 people from streaming inside to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, […]

Father Solanus seated in his Capuchin habit with his family on his parents' 50th anniversary in 1913. (Courtesy of the Father Solanus Casey Guild)

Three Things about Father Solanus Casey You May Not Know

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong Tomorrow (11-18-17) is the Beatification Mass in Detroit, Michigan for Father Solanus Casey—over 66,000 people will be there. Yesterday we left Bismarck, North Dakota, overnighted with our son and his young family near St. Paul, Minnesota, and got up […]