Between the Sundays

A Blog by Joannie Watson

St. James’ Practical Advice

Well, we’re back in Ordinary Time. While it might seem a little sad to return to green vestments, say good bye to the Regina Coeli, and put the Easter candle aside until the next baptism, I love Ordinary Time. I suppose when pressed I would admit I love all the liturgical seasons, just like I love all the meteorological seasons. […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout

Mary and the Early Church

There are many unknowns about Mary’s life during the public ministry of Christ and especially after His death and resurrection. We know that she was present at the Cross, that John the Apostle took her into his home, and that she was present in the Upper Room during the time of the prayer preceding Pentecost. But other than that, answers […]

A Work in Progress

Several of our Christian beliefs can be debated, fine arguments can be made, and opposing views can be discussed. But I think one of the most self-evident beliefs is that of original sin and concupiscence. As Christians, Catholics in particular, we recognize that mankind is a work in progress. The struggle against concupiscence is real, and we can see evidence […]

Change and Original Sin

While reading about the restructuring in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I stopped to say a prayer for everyone involved – everyone from Bishop Zubik to the priests and parish staff to the people in the pew. Change always brings great opportunities and great challenges. As I’ve written before, priest changes can be quite disruptive and difficult for a parish. Change […]

Promises God Didn’t Make

There’s a danger in the Sunday readings this weekend. In both the second reading and the Gospel, we hear the promise that we will be given whatever we ask. If we read the verses out of context, however, we end up with a dangerous concept of God that can be compared to a vending machine. I was recently looking over […]

By Dint of Little Things

I want to be holy. I want to be a saint. That’s all that matters in this life… that someday we all get to heaven. I know that it’s only possible with God’s grace, and I know I have to cooperate with that grace to grow in holiness. But often those thoughts become detached from my every day experience. Priests […]

Pope St. Martin, Martyr for the Truth

Today is the feast of Pope St. Martin I, the last Pope to be venerated as a martyr in the Catholic Church. If you don’t know the story of Pope Martin I, you’re probably not alone. And if you’re assuming right now that he was killed during a persecution by a pagan Roman emperor or by invading barbarians, you’re probably […]

Fish for breakfast and the practicality of love

Today’s Gospel story is one of my favorites (John 21:1-14). The Apostles have returned to Galilee and decide to go fishing. I’ve heard some homilists criticize them for returning to their former way of life, but it seems to me that they’re just getting some food to eat. These guys didn’t have congregations to support them yet, so they needed […]

"The Crucifixion" (detail) by Leon Bonnat

The Day We Call “Good”

We have committed the greatest sin imaginable. Deicide. The creatures have killed their Creator. The mysteries of today abound. We never could have killed our God if He hadn’t allowed it. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again” (John […]

The realness of Christ

“From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom…” began the first reading at Mass one day this week. Years ago, perhaps I would have pictured a brightly-colored cartoon derived from a picture Bible of my youth, or maybe an aging Charlton Heston would walk across my mental image […]