A Family Saying Grace Before MealA Family Saying Grace Before Meal

Family prayer, one meal at a time

“Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment…” Growing up, visitors to our dinner table never quite knew when to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of grace. In addition to the usual “Bless us, O Lord,” we always added the invocation “Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us” after grace. During Advent, we added an […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

Expanding Our Hearts

In these difficult times, it can be very challenging to think of others and not just ourselves. Our personal struggles often become obstacles to helping our brothers and sisters in Christ.  If these words resonate with you, I would like to provide some encouragement to break out of this inward focus and consider our Christian obligation to love and serve […]


Desires are not Rights

“May you live in interesting times.” There is some debate about whether this quote is an ancient Chinese curse or something more recent, yet the fact of the matter is: we live in interesting times. Around the world we hear of the recent violent events in Paris and Mali, combined with the greatest mass migration of a group of people […]


Armed with My Rosary

According to my confessor and spiritual director, we all have habitual sins. Each of us has an area of weakness, and that’s where our personal tempters and/or the devil attack first. In fact, when we’ve talked about my habitual sin, he used the word “addiction.” I don’t know about you, but thinking of sin as an addiction took some getting […]

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

King of the Universe—Cause of My Hope

“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King—King of the Universe. Not only is Jesus Christ the Messiah and our Savior, not only is he our brother and our friend, Jesus Christ is our Lord and King. To […]

"Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man" by Nicolas Poussin (1655)"Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man" by Nicolas Poussin (1655)

How do I offer something up?

Someone once pointed out to me that Jesus didn’t cure all the sick in Israel.  We were discussing the mystery of suffering, so it sounded like a nice thought at the time, and I accepted it without much thought.  But it bothered me later. How do we know?  In Matthew 13 we hear that Jesus did not perform many miracles in […]

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

Being Grateful for…Our Challenges?

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up on Tuesday of this week not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having […]


What does the Catholic Church Teach About Holy Orders?

In Defense of the Sacraments of Service—Marriage and Holy Orders On Sunday, we looked at the teaching of the Church on Christian Vocation and answered common objections to its teachings regarding marriage. Today, our focus is on Holy Orders. Common Objections Concerning Holy Orders Objection to Holy Orders #1: There is no need for priesthood. Jesus is the one mediator between […]

The Miraculous MedalThe Miraculous Medal

Mary’s Love Note to Me: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

It started out as a series of love notes.  He worked in the back of the John Deere dealership, as a mechanic, and I was at the parts counter.  Every morning, I would leave a little note stuck in his toolbox. After a few months of this, I missed a day.  Maybe I was tired that morning, maybe I didn’t […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One ManMarriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

The Essential Nature of Marriage

In Defense of the Sacraments of Service—Marriage and Holy Orders Our Vocation In His infinite love and goodness, God created man and woman in freedom to know, love and serve Him in this life and to spend all eternity with Him in the life to come. This call to holiness is our vocation and dignity. “Man is by nature and […]