Blogs

Practical Ideas for a Better Advent

We are well into the Second Week of Advent. Already! Don’t worry, if you have not begun your watchful preparation, it is not too late… One of my strongest, most enduring memories from my childhood is the time spent preparing for Christmas. We did not have any family traditions involving the Advent Wreath or the Jesse Tree. And most certainly, like all the other […]

Why does my faith walk seem so lonely to me at times?

Dear Sister, Sometimes the living of my Catholic faith is a lonely walk for me. Why is that?  Am I doing anything wrong?  Sometimes I think, “Am I the only one feeling this way?” I’ve never had theology classes and would appreciate anything you could send my way to help me understand why I feel so alone sometimes in my […]

Have Yourself a Counter-Cultural Advent

Here we are once again, beginning my favorite season of the year: Advent.  It’s the longest it can possibly be this year, too, so it’s a good thing I like it. I’ve decided that Advent is the most counter-cultural season we celebrate.  I’m not only referring to the fact that the world seems to celebrate Christmas as soon as it […]

Man at Prayer

For Advent, Let’s Focus on Simplicity

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to overcomplicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

Sigrid Undset

A Guide for Reading Sigrid Undset

If you must read Sigrid Undset—and I recommend you do—you’d better be prepared.  Be prepared for an emotional ride.  Sigrid Undset is a woman, by the way, and a major Norwegian author of the early twentieth century.  A major author of everywhere, actually.  And she ought to be still. Start with Kristin Lavransdatter You’ll probably begin with Kristin Lavransdatter because everyone will make you […]

Therefore, stay awake!

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). This verse is part of a larger passage (Matthew 24:1 — 25:30) where Jesus speaks about the time before his second coming—that is the time in which we all live. Of course this is immediately followed with the separation of the sheep and […]

The Week of “In-betweenness” and the Kingdom of God

There always seems to be a feeling of “in-betweenness” during the last week of Ordinary Time.  We have just celebrated the great feast of Christ the King, which also signals the end of the liturgical year.  After the great feast we have the Thirty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time, but we’re awaiting the first Sunday of Advent.  In some ways, it feels […]

The Simplicity of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.  I only hesitate a little in saying that because it’s a close race with the greatest of feasts in our Church calendar, Christmas and Easter.  But there are a few reasons I really love Thanksgiving. While the Church year is filled to the brim with feasts, this one is a feast celebrated outside the […]

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

Solitude and Carmelite Spirituality

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must […]

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

Qualities of Life in the Kingdom

Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, not only is he our brother and friend, Jesus Christ is our God and our King. And so we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—or Christ the King. This celebration is a recent addition to […]