Into the Deep

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

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

Inviting Catholics to Come Home

I sometimes wonder why I don’t have more faith. If only my faith was stronger, I think, what amazing things I could do for the Lord. If only I more deeply appreciated the gift of faith I have received. Right? I bet you sometimes wonder the same things about yourself. In today’s Gospel (cf. Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus tells us in no [...]

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

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

Many years ago, I taught 4th Grade CCD for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was taken aback, [...]

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Help! I need Practical Ideas for Living the Faith

For the last several years, there has been an increased interest in practical advice on how to practice their faith.  Certainly, the uncertainty and growing chaos in the secular world have something to do with this. More recently, we have seen more obvious clashes between our culture and our Church. We can look back through Salvation History and see the pattern. The [...]

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

Experience the Life of Peace Christ Wants for You

If all we ever do to learn about God is to approach Him as an academic exercise, we may come to know about Him, but we will not come to know Him. In today’s gospel (Matthew 11:25-30), Jesus speaks of a relationship with Him to which He invites us that promises rest for the weary. In light of his other sayings, [...]

United States Supreme CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Supreme Court Sides with Hobby Lobby 5-4 in a Narrowly Defined Decision

  In a narrowly-defined decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby cannot be forced by the HHS Mandate to provide certain medicines/services to its employees that violate the religious beliefs of its owners.  We will need to watch for more information and analysis as the day progresses as to what this means for Hobby Lobby and other employers. Read [...]

"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers

Why you should practice devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

One can discover a wide and deep variety of devotions and spiritualities in the Catholic faith. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most visible and important. Very few people whom I know would be unfamiliar with at least the title Sacred Heart. Many parishes and Catholic institutions are named in honor of and dedicated to the Sacred Heart. [...]

Cathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta
Photography © by Andy CoanCathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta Photography © by Andy Coan

What Does Jesus Ask of You?

The Altar of Sacrifice The Altar of Sacrifice on which the Lord redeemed us is His Cross on Calvary, lifted up nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus has made it possible for that “once for all sacrifice” to be present to us in our day and where we are… no matter when and where that is. To be at Holy Mass [...]

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What you need to know about the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity

We are able to know certain eternal truths without the light of faith. According the Church for example, the greatest truth of all – God exists – is knowable from the light of human reason and the works of creation alone. But there exist truths that we cannot discover until God reveals them to us. The doctrine of the Trinity is an [...]

American War Cemetery near Omaha Beach, Normandy (Colleville-sur-Mer )American War Cemetery near Omaha Beach, Normandy (Colleville-sur-Mer )

Operation Overlord

Seventy years ago today, the largest invasion by armed forces in the history of the world took place as Allied forces during World War II landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. The operation, code-named “Operation Overlord”, began on June 6, 1944 and continued until late August of that year when Northern France was liberated. Each year, fewer veterans from this [...]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

What the Lord’s Ascension Means to our Daily Lives Today

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was 30 years old when He began His public [...]