Prayer / Spiritual Life

Crossing the Threshold of Holy Week

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

It caught me by surprise that the Carmelite Sisters keep a complete and prayerful silence during the Holy Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, not speaking until the conclusion of the evening Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. I remember when I was the “new kid on the block,” a recently-arrived postulant who was learning more and […]

Christ’s Last Will and Testament

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

It is very important to listen to what a person says in the final months, days and hours of one’s life.  It can tell us a great deal about that person. But if we cannot actually hear what a person says, if we are not in his or her presence, we can find a written expression of the person’s last […]

Being Intentional About Our Prayer Lives

As I wrote this post I reflected on my experiences as a Catholic from my conversion in 2005 until now. One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling […]

This World Seems Upside Down

Imagine if you will, that you took a copy of the morning newspaper, turned it upside down and then tried to read and make sense of it. This example actually comes from the French philosopher Simone Weil when she attempted to describe how we humans experience our eternal reality and our relationship with God, while looking at things through our […]

The Stone Walls Surrounding our Heart Must Come Down

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30) This verse from the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the well-known Old Testament story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. But, truthfully, the story has a much larger meaning for each of us. In the context of our individual spiritual […]

Winter of Our Discontent

As these winter months drag to a close, many of us have become familiar with, or been reminded of, the experience expressed in the title of the well-known John Steinbeck novel cited above. Literary buffs might know that the line is actually from William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun [or […]

An Eternal Hope for Healing

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) I heard someone say recently that the number one thing Christ brought to us, aside from the gift of our eternal salvation, was the gift of healing. And I agree, […]

The Pure In Heart Shall See God

“Saint Thomas Aquinas” by Diego Velázquez The Angelic Doctor is girded with the Mystical Belt of Purity

In Matthew 5:8, Jesus promises us that the pure in heart shall see God. Truly this is a worthwhile reward, but do we need to wait till heaven to receive it? We do wait for the Beatific Vision, but even now with a pure heart we can see the world as God sees it, which means we can perceive the […]

I Believe in the Love of God

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

There is a very simple question we Christians should wrestle with at some point in our lives, indeed, we should wrestle with it continuously. Do we Believe in a God of love? Do we really believe that the One who created the Universe, who holds the stars in place, who created and maintains the oceans knows each of us by […]

Spiritual Tips for Toddlers

Parenting toddlers and little ones can be daunting! There are so many things you are advised to keep in mind as you guide your growing child. Everything from self-esteem, discipline, manners, etc. For a Christian parent, however, there is another dimension that needs to be carefully developed: spiritual growth. And this depends directly upon your own personal prayer life and […]