Living the Faith

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 […]

Our Responsibility as the Flock

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

Today we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The Gospel for the feast is Matthew’s account of the events at Caesarea Philippi, where Peter receives the mission from Jesus to lead His Church. This year, we happened to hear Mark’s account of the incident just yesterday, on the Thursday of the 6th Week of Ordinary Time. It […]

What have you been given?

Our culture loves to make up fake holidays. National Hot Dog Day, National Get Out Your Guitar Day, World Nutella Day … every food, occupation, habit, or weird hobby has a day. This past week was the annual celebration the world has named Satisfied to be Single Day. It might sound funny, but every February 11 for the past thirteen […]

Unworthy for the Mission

This Sunday, the Mass readings revolve around the theme of being called and sent. God calls Isaiah in the first reading, Paul in the second, and Peter in the Gospel. As I reread the readings, both fairly familiar stories, I was struck by a detail: all were unworthy for the mission, and all recognized their unworthiness. Discipleship is a buzz […]