Prayer / Spiritual Life

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

The Holy Spirit—The Principle of Unity throughout Scripture

  The principle of unity throughout scripture is the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus, describes this sanctifying—and therefore unifying—role of the Spirit of Father and Son: Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray! Beautiful words, but poignant as well for anyone who has ever struggled to […]

St. Teresa's Interior CastleSt. Teresa's Interior Castle

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

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. […]

Santuário de Fátima
Bascilica of Our Lady of the RosarySantuário de Fátima Bascilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

Get to Know the Prayers of Fatima

Today, May 13, 2015, we celebrate the 98th 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. The children were Lucia de Jesus dos Santos (age 10), Blessed Francisco Marto (age 9) and Blessed Jacinta Marto (age 7). Francisco and Jacinto died within a few years of […]

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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 […]

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A Mother’s Serenity Prayer

When the heat goes out and the temperature is minus-two degrees outside and I wonder when the oil company will arrive to save us from this dangerous situation, —Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. When we are on day […]

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 […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

The Weight of Glory

We can believe we are mere mortals dreaming the dream of immortality, while in fact, we are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality. We all know what the weight of glory is, whether or not we have read Lewis’ golden sermon. We know it from the magic words of the poets; or we know it from the wordless […]

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Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. 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 to detect. In silence, God listens to us. In silence, listen to Him. In silence, God speaks to our souls and the […]

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Five Biblical Truths About Fasting

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, […]

"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

A Prophet’s Legacy

Have you ever been the excited recipient of an inheritance? If so, you may have received money, property or a treasured family heirloom. As a high school student I became one of the beneficiaries of my paternal grandfather’s inheritance. Knowing that I had intended to go on to a Teacher’s College, he had investigated the tuition for the four years, […]