Into the Deep

A blog by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff about practical faith for ordinary daily life.

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The Abortion Culture’s Assault on Innocent Human Life

This is a dark day in the history of the United States of America. Forty-two years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ‘legalized’ abortion on demand and this country has never recovered from the damage inflicted on our moral fiber as tens of millions of children have been sacrificed on the ‘altar of self’ […]

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How to Observe Ordinary Time

Ordinary Time and the Liturgical Seasons The liturgical season of Christmas came to an end with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord this past Sunday. We have just concluded the first week of Ordinary Time, the longest season of the Church’s liturgical year, which began Monday. Ordinary Time is separated into two parts of the […]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

Making All Things New

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Have you ever felt that something you were doing was going so badly that you just wished you could start all over? Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most of us have […]

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

God has Come in Search of You

We often hear of our search for God, but seldom, if ever hear of God’s search for us—or at least we do not think we do. But, the truth is that God first seeks us out, so that we might seek Him. He thirsts for us, so that we might thirst for Him (cf. CCC nos. 2560-2567). How do we […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Is Mary God’s Mother?

Each January 1st (on the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

What You Need to Know to Become a Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. It’s place on the liturgical calendar is the Sunday following Christmas, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday. When that occurs, as it did three years ago, the feast is celebrated on Friday, December 30th. Pope Benedict XVI observed […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst

The Greatest Gift

Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some less so. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say give me holidays and family any day; warts and all! Especially give me Christmas, one of the two greatest of all holiday celebrations, if you […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Five Essentials for Discovering God’s Plan for You

When God has a Different Plan I think most of us can remember an occasion when we had something all planned out. It might have been something relatively minor or it might have concerned something of greater significance to our lives. And then, everything changed and the plans we had made had to be set aside for a while or […]

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The Lord Draws Near… Don’t Let Him Pass By

All across the parish I am encountering people who give witness to the nearness of the Lord. The consolations received, the passion expressed, the apostolic zeal displayed, all give evidence to the Lord’s grace in the life of the parish family. This is not unusual for our parish, but this Advent and the weeks that led up to the season […]

Detail of Murillo's "Immaculate Conception"Detail of Murillo's "Immaculate Conception"

What my mother taught me about Our Mother

From my earliest years, the memories of my mother’s prayers to Our Blessed Mother and her praise and thanksgiving offered to Jesus, her Lord, still travel across the decades of time and touch my heart, especially on each feast day dedicated to Our Lady. My mom would tell me over the years that Our Blessed Mother’s love for me was […]