Faith

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

“In the Nicene Creed we profess the four Marks of the Church which are one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These four marks are intrinsically intertwined. These are those things by which we can distinguish the true Church from a false one provided all four are properly fulfilled by the true nature and essence of the One True Church built upon […]

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

Want To Save The World? Start With The People You See Everyday

In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group. Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for […]

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Women’s Leadership Conference Reveals the Gift of Feminine Genius

In a culture that lauds feminist ideology, many lay and women religious chose to respond to St. John Paul II’s definition of “feminine genius” this year instead.  In early June, a new women’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. with the title GIVEN, a word that, according to Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, defines more than just the gifts we have.  […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

"The Sermon on the Mount" (detail)
Carl Bloch, 1890"The Sermon on the Mount" (detail) Carl Bloch, 1890

To Hear and Receive the Word Proclaimed

In paragraphs 135 – 144 of Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father speaks about the importance of the homily within the liturgical celebration. Right off the bat, Pope Francis describes what the homily can and should be, “an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth” (¶ 135). In […]

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Sharing the Joy of Our Faith with Those Who are Angry with the Church

As joyful witnesses, we are called to share the joy of our faith with everyone, and sometimes that means Catholics who have fallen away from their faith. It might mean talking about our faith with Catholics who are angry and bitter towards the Church. Their reasons may vary, but how we engage with them may mean the difference between their […]

Scruples and Moderation: Understanding the Advice of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Near the end of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises is a curious section titled, “Some Notes Concerning Scruples.” Scrupulosity is one of those pesky spiritual problems that we don’t always recognize but can give us a lot a grief if left unchecked. Believe me, I know! Never heard of scrupulosity? How about Catholic Guilt? Scrupulosity is Catholic Guilt run […]

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

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]

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Lack of Prayer is the Cause of Lack of Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]