Living the Faith

The Dream of Claudia

“While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream.’”  During Holy Week, my meditation often centers on the various characters of the Passion. There are the ones we know well, like the Blessed Mother and Pontius […]

Following Jesus to His Hour

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

“Walk with Him, both in His triumphal entry and on His way to Calvary.”  Jesus entered Jerusalem many times throughout His life. As an observant Jew, he would have traveled up to the Holy City for the festivals of Tabernacles, Pentecost, and Passover each year. We have countless references to Him teaching in Jerusalem or traveling up to Jerusalem. But […]

Are we too casual at Mass?

“If a non-Catholic witnessed my behavior before, during, and after Mass, would they know what I believed?”  Traveling recently, I found myself at a Sunday Mass that seemed remarkably casual. The people were friendly and the priest was welcoming, but there was a marked feeling of imprecision or even complacency that hung in the church like incense. I came away […]

Lord, Enter Into the Mess

“No other religion has a god who created and also entered into time and space, entered into that creation. No other religion has a god that enters into the mess.”  I like to try to pretend I’m not an adult, but it’s getting harder and harder to deny that I’m growing up. And with all the perks of being adult, […]

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]

The Proposal of God — To Serve

— “We are called to serve.  In fact, we were created to serve. It’s radically counter-cultural.”  In many parishes this weekend, we will hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, parishes have the option to read from the readings for Year A, particularly if they have people preparing […]

Walking the Way of the Cross

When I was growing up, praying the Stations of the Cross was a staple of every Friday in Lent. We often prayed them in school on Friday afternoons. My family would go to the church on Friday evenings to pray them with the parish. In many places, Fridays in Lent are synonymous with parish Fish Fries. This is a great […]

Your plan this Lent… or God’s?

The prayers of the liturgy are rich, and one of my favorites is the collect of the Mass for Ash Wednesday: “Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.” I love the image of entering […]

Remember that you are dust

"Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" (detail) by Cole Thomas

Next week, our churches will be packed with people, as the human spirit is drawn to the annual observance of our sinfulness. Why are people drawn to church on Ash Wednesday? I would like to believe that even amongst the din of modern culture and the silencing of conscience, there remains something in us that remembers who we were created […]

The Winning Strategy

St. Michael the Archangel

Editor’s Note: Dr. Kreeft’s classic essay on successfully winning the culture wars is timeless. For more information, see his book, How to Win the Culture War. To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are: (1) that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or strategies can defeat him. You cannot […]