Into the Deep

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

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Practical Lessons for a Deeper Faith this Lent

An Invitation to Enter the Desert with Christ As we begin this Lenten season this Wednesday, we are called to enter the desert with Christ; to turn away from sin and towards our God. Many of us realize that we are called to face difficult questions during this penitential season.  The challenge we face is not only for us to ask those […]

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

Do You Reveal Jesus When People See 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 […]

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The Abortion Culture’s Assault on Babies

An oppressive darkness has settled upon the United States of America. Forty-three 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” out of expediency […]

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What’s so ordinary about 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 on Sunday, January 10th. And now we are well into the second week of Ordinary Time, the longest season of the Church’s liturgical year. Ordinary Time comprises two parts of the liturgical year, separated by the […]

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

To Begin Anew

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’s Search for 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

Celebrating Mary as 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 your family can learn from the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Each year, this celebration occurs on the Sunday following Christmas Day, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, then it falls on the following Friday. The Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our […]

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

The Greatest of Gifts

“You will always have me.” 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 […]

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

Mary, Ark of the New Covenant, Leads Us to Her Son

We have arrived at the final Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just five days away. Hopefully, we have all completed our shopping and decorating. Our children have all mailed their letters to Santa! Many of us are completing preparations for our families to gather together to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. So, hopefully, we have also been attentive […]