Between the Sundays

A Blog by Joannie Watson

"Descent of Christ to Limbo (of the Fathers)" by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze

This Joyful Eastertide

Augustine once proclaimed, “We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” When the Easter Vigil’s beauty is over, when family visits have come to an end, and when the last egg is finally found in the yard, we must not forget that Easter is not merely a one-day celebration. It is a fifty-day celebration.  And more than that, […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

My people, what have I done to you?

The Reproaches The Good Friday Reproaches, or Improperia, are among the most unsettling prayers of the Church’s liturgical tradition. They are fitting for the most unsettling day of the year: that day we dare to call “Good,” the day our churches stand stark and empty, the day when the comforting words of the Holy Mass are not uttered, the day […]

"Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri

Shall I Crucify Your King?

As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we also approach one of the most difficult moments in liturgy: our call to crucify Christ. For the reading of the Passion accounts in these liturgies, there is the option for the Gospel to be read by multiple readers. I would venture to guess that most parishes read the Passion account this […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Four Ways to Finish Lent Well

As we near the end of Lent, it’s a good time to stop and assess how we have done thus far.  Before the revision of the Roman Missal in 1970, this coming Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, was referred to as “Passion Sunday” and marked the beginning of Passiontide.  In his incredible fifteen-volume work on the liturgy, Dom Gueranger […]

Living the Joy of the Gospel

Pope Francis speaks frequently of the need to go out to the peripheries.  While this can be interpreted many different ways, I recently I saw this lived out—not in the “peripheries” of the inner-city poor or on the faraway soil of a foreign country, but smack in the middle of Hollywood. Let’s face it. When it comes to places we […]

The Sacrifice of a Smile

I have been reading a lot of St. Josemaría Escrivá lately, as well as a daily meditation based on the spirituality of Escrivá, and I am often struck how often smiling is mentioned. St. Josemaría’s spirituality is based on the notion that we can all become saints in our ordinary lives, with our ordinary jobs and responsibilities, amidst the ordinary […]

Meat: To Eat or Not To Eat

In many dioceses next week, the bishops have chosen the waive the Friday requirement to abstain from meat in light of St. Patrick’s Day. Since St. Patrick’s Day is not a solemnity in the United States, the requirement to abstain is not lifted unless a bishop chooses to do so in his diocese, which is the prerogative of the individual bishop. […]

Learning to Carry Your Cross

Four years ago, I was in the middle of a rocky phase of life.  I was moving apartments, there were major changes at my workplace, and a priest who kept me sane was suddenly transferred to another mission.  There was change in my personal world, my work world, and my spiritual world. Lent was still several weeks away, but I […]

Reclaiming Carnival

We are in the midst of the season of Carnival right now.  It will culminate next Tuesday on what various cultures call Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday. Like another upcoming holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, this is a festival of the Church which has been stolen by our secular culture that’s obsessed with eating, drinking, and making merry.  To say […]

Love Your Enemies

I was reading a book about the parables the other day, and a statement by the author struck me – not because I didn’t know it, but because I realized that it had ceased to be revolutionary for me: “Only Jesus insists on loving the enemy … He may be the only person in antiquity to have given this instruction.” […]