Prayer / Spiritual Life

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is [...]

"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail)
Duccio di Buoninsegna"The Temptation of Christ on the Mount" (detail) Duccio di Buoninsegna

Baptism by the Fires of Temptation

The Exodus Prefigures the Spiritual Journey of Christians During Lent God’s Chosen people remained in Egyptian captivity for 400 years and with hardened hearts and withering minds due to drudgery, they had forgotten God. Moses was sent to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land, but not before a 40 year trudge of purification through the barren [...]

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Get To Know Yourself

“This was why I was made, which is an amazing thing to grasp.” Those were the words of Fr. John Riccardo, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel church in Plymouth, Michigan.  He said them during an interview for his vocation story.  It was as if an invisible highlighter made his words glow as he spoke them.  Yes, what an [...]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Can You Hear Him Now?

It is Lent and God is continuing to call us closer to Him. But are we listening? That’s what the Pope wants to know.  He raised the question more than once over the weekend.  First, at his weekly Angelus message to thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square this past Sunday.  Later that day when he celebrated Mass at [...]

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail)
by Sandro BotticelliSt. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

St. Augustine On the Beatitudes

In 393, Saint Augustine wrote his Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. In this edifying treatise, he begins with the weighty proclamation that “anyone who piously and earnestly ponders the Sermon on the Mount — as we read in the Gospel according to Mathew — I believe he will find therein… the perfect standard of the Christian Life.” And [...]

Photography © by the Carmelite SistersPhotography © by the Carmelite Sisters

To Begin Again

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103). Don’t you love the idea, the notion, the concept of a fresh start? I love to read about new beginnings. Or listen to life-changing stories and testimonies of people. They renew and energize us. They give us the opportunity to [...]

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There is Something About St. Patrick

There is something about St. Patrick that is breathtaking. No, it is not a shamrock, although the meaning behind the shamrock has something to do with it. If you would ask someone what St. Patrick’s Day is all about, they would probably say “shamrocks” or “Ireland” or “St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland forever.” I’m not saying those [...]

"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy

The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Practice of Fast and Abstinence

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, [...]

Artwork © by Judith CostelloArtwork © by Judith Costello

The Fiery Furnace

These three young men are written about in the Bible (Daniel 3:1-96). They were Jewish but the pagan king changed their names and trained them to work for him. The young men, along with Daniel, kept up the practices of the Hebrews. When the king told them to worship  a golden statue, they refused. In a rage, the king had [...]

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Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. Spirituality Series – Discovering God in Silence by Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in the gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet [...]