"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Mercy and Responsibility

We are less than a month away from the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, so we should make sure that we make the most of our prayer time during this month so that our outward acts of love might be more merciful! Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel presents to us three parables of God’s rich mercy: The Lost Sheep, […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

John Paul II and the Communion of Saints

A few years ago, my friend Megan and I headed to Rome to celebrate the feast of John Paul II.  At the time, he was newly beatified and was not yet on the calendar for the church in the United States.  It was his first feast day, and barring special permission, Mass for his feast could be celebrated in only […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]


Be Inspired by October’s Twin Intentions

October is both the month of the rosary and respect life month. Those two intentions are tied together intimately in my heart.  It’s not such a stretch, though, when I look at what the rosary is about: human life in its most divine and perfect form. As we walk—or, in my case, stumble and plod—through the rosary, mystery to mystery, we […]


Four Helpful Tips for When You Find the Rosary Difficult

My guardian angel has prayed more rosaries than I have.  There’s a pious saying that if you fall asleep while praying your prayers, your guardian angel finishes them. Well, for many years, I knew I should be saying a daily rosary, but I thought if I started the Creed as my head hit the pillow at night, I could at […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Four Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

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

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me—working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. I thought […]


Holding Mary’s Hand in the Rosary

As Our Lady of the Rosary, Mary smiles at me the same way I smile at my seven-year-old struggling to learn to spell words and write sentences or my four-year-old beginning to form shapes and lines that make sense. She was given the title after appearing to Saint Dominic in 1208 in a church in Prouille, France. Later, in 1571, Pope Pius […]

Madonna of the Rosary (detail) by Guido ReniMadonna of the Rosary (detail) by Guido Reni

Why the Rosary Matters

I think I probably scandalized a whole room full of women a few months ago when I was leading a women’s day of reflection. They had asked me about my daily prayer routine, and I mentioned that if saying the Rosary was difficult or tedious, maybe you should do something else. My sister joked that I wasn’t going to be invited […]