Prayer / Spiritual Life

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Love Yourself For God’s Sake

The Joy of the Gospel can be found in putting others before ourselves and loving one another as we love ourselves. Consequently, a disordered love of self, both in excess and in defect, can hinder our mission to live out this core truth. While there will often be a temptation toward either extreme, a balanced love of self is possible […]

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Something for Everyone: Living the Dominican Four Pillars

  This past fall I was blessed to begin formation with my local Lay Dominican chapter, happily coinciding with the opening of the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers. My husband and I count a few Dominican friars among our friends, but it wasn’t until I met sisters that I recognized my attraction to all things Dominican. As it […]

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God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

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 […]

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Lack of Prayer is the Cause of Lack of 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 […]

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

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

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Scrupulosity—A Beginner’s Guide

What is Scrupulosity? A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding This “Pious Problem” Recently, Simcha Fisher raised the issue of scrupulosity, the state of being perpetually afraid of sin, at the National Catholic Register.  As someone who battles scrupulosity, I was thrilled to see someone raising the issue. Scruples can plague a person and wreak all kinds of havoc in his relationship with […]

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

Lord, Open My Lips

“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 […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Paschal Mystery

Burning but not consumed! This was the strange sight that Moses beheld in the desert—a bush on fire yet contained. Such a strange phenomenon! Moses moved closer to examine the mystery before him. “No, Moses, stop where you are and remove your sandals for this is holy ground!” This was no natural mystery as Moses would now realize, but one […]

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

Praying the Five Prayers of Fatima

Today, May 13, 2016, we celebrate the ninety-ninth 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), Blessed […]