Blogs

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

On 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 yesterday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on my […]

Beth's Mom and Kids

St. Aquinas (to Moms) on Repaying Favors at Once

Just like I read encyclicals, I read the Summa theologiae like a mother, which lends itself to a more homely brand of scholarship. Moms? Oh, we get the systematic dialectic of St. Thomas because it’s kind of like how we deal with our children. We pose a question. The children say, “No, I think it’s this way.” Another child says, “Well, I think it’s that way.” […]

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Painting with a Purpose — #Art4Sarah

Jeannie Ewing and I “met” virtually about a year ago. In that time, we’ve worked together at CatholicMom.com, where Jeannie’s a regular contributor, and I learned about her family’s incredible story. Part of what makes it so incredible to me is how very hope-filled it seems. I would not have expected that having a child like Sarah would inspire hope, but that’s […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Do People See Jesus When They Look At You?

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

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When We Struggle in Our Prayer Life

One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! I rationalized this by thinking, “Who […]

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Fr. Jean Buridan and the Birth of Modern Science

The reaction to Pierre Duhem’s 1913 volume Le système du monde: histoire des doctrines cosmologiques de Platon à Copernic (The System of World: A History of Cosmological Doctrines from Plato to Copernicus) was both strong and spectacular. His work provided undeniable evidence that in the Middle Ages faith in the predictability of nature was rooted in the theology of God as the […]

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Roger Thomas and His New Novel, The Accidental Marriage

The Accidental Marriage: A Novel (Ignatius Press), by Roger Thomas, is a take on the issue of love that not only got my attention, but that also kept me smiling. Scott and Megan are friends, each in separate same-sex relationships. Megan and her lover decide to have a baby, and it’s natural to Megan that Scott be the donor. As […]

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

“Have you been saved?”

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]