Prayer / Spiritual Life

"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers

12 Promises from the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As a small child, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, 1647-1690, preferred prayer and contemplation over childish play, owing perhaps to the extraordinary virtue of her parents. However, she had heavy burdens from her earliest years. She lost her father to pneumonia when she was only eight years old. After her father died she was sent to the Urbanist sisters where the […]

The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima — October 13, 1917

The Exclamation Point of the Fatima Apparitions

In the first article of this mini-series in celebration of the centenary of the apparitions in Fatima, we looked at how the Church, in approving private revelations as worthy of belief, does not oblige the faithful to believe in them with the faith with which they believe in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, or even at all. Rather, it calls them […]

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

I Will Proclaim Your Praise

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) These words ring out in the chapel, breaking the silence of the early morning. It is still dark outside and our community of sisters, albeit still a bit bleary-eyed, has gathered to begin the day singing the Divine Office. The words of the psalms fill the air: “It […]

Saint John Paul II and Sister Lucia of Fatima

Fatima’s Great and Hidden Servant Who Stayed a “Little Longer”

The history of Fatima is a continuous illustration of God’s words to us through the Prophet Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Is 55:8). The divergence between divine and human ways, between God’s thinking and ours, is seen in the selection of three uneducated shepherd children in a small out-of-the-way Portuguese village to […]

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 […]

Tips for Praying and Studying the Faith Within the Time Demands of Parenting and Work

I remember one particularly spiritually dry day early on in my second pregnancy. It was late at night and my energy was spent that day keeping a nap-protesting toddler content, doing chores and cooking, and grabbing spare moments to keep up with ministry work before collapsing onto my bed that night. My connection with God that day felt weak and […]

When You Feel Stuck

Right now I feel stuck. I mean good and rooted in some kind of nowhere, a limbo of sorts, a holding pattern. Call it what you want, feeling like nothing is moving forward is a frustrating place to be. Of course, there are all sorts of beautiful and poetic spiritual treatises available to explain the gift of spiritual dryness, but […]

Pray Without Ceasing… Seven Gifts of Praying the Rosary

We live in a pretty practical society; everything needs a “useful” purpose to have value. Now, we know that there is purpose in less tangible things, like beauty, a smile, time spent thinking rather than just working…but it’s hard to explain that to the world in which we live. That simply means we have to speak to the world in […]

Santuário de Fátima Bascilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

Today is a Great Day to Begin Praying the Five Prayers of Fatima

Today, May 13, 2017, we celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the first apparition of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, to the three young seers at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal during 1917. Later that year, on October 13, the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by up to one hundred thousand people. The children were Lucia de Jesus dos Santos (age 10), […]

Pray Always?

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as […]