Prayer / Spiritual Life

Oh What a Treasure!

It might be a tough message to hear, but truthfully, it is often our very difficulties in this life that represent our greatest blessings. In fact, that is exactly what St. Paul tells us in his Second letter to the Corinthians. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not […]

Praying for Fallen Away Loved Ones

On October 17, the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey that showed that 65 percent of American adults now say that they’re Christians, down 12 percentage points in just the last ten years. Those describing themselves as atheists, agnostics and “nothing in particular” are now at 26 percent of the population, up from 17 percent in 2009. […]

People Can Change

"Moses Breaking the Tablets" (detail) by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a remarkable story of transformation that occurs in the Old Testament, and it happens to a character we all know very well. “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, […]

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 […]

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

Purifying Our Hearts

Saint Augustine and his mother, Saint Monica

Effective prayer always requires preparation. Some of the most important preparation required is making sure our hearts are clear of anything that might impede the quality of our prayer. The Psalms provide us some of the best scriptural advice we can find on how to both prepare for and offer effective prayers. They also have a way of getting to […]

If You But Knew the Gift of God

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

How do you get to know someone better? When my Dad first became interested in my Mom, he learned where she lived and then went to her home hoping to visit with her. However, my grandmother was not too keen on his attempt to get closer to her and chased him away with a broom!  He didn’t give up though, […]

We Are His Offspring

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Most Poetic Line in Any Language There is a verse in Scripture that speaks about who we are as human beings. It may not be overstating the point to suggest that it is the single best explanation of the meaning of human existence. The verse is from a speech Paul was giving to the wise men of Athens. He […]

Once Upon a Day of Prayer—Rediscovering St. Thérèse

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1873 – 1897) is October 1. The following is a reflection on the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The Little Way Every month each Carmelite Sister steps aside from her daily service to God’s people and makes a one-day spiritual retreat. To most of […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

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

In this great post from the archives, Dr. Peter Kreeft offers a beautiful and powerful reflection on the Cross of Christ and it’s impact on our life of faith as disciples of the Lord. We are grateful for generous permission to share this article here. “When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often […]