Into the Deep

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

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Assault on Unborn Children

An oppressive darkness has settled upon the United States of America. Forty-five 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 […]

Living the Faith in the Ordinary Moments of Life

We are only two weeks into the new year and I have already heard many comments about how quickly Christmas “came and went” and how “soon Lent will be upon us!” That’s what happens in this earthly life—we move through time. We mark moments in time that represent important events. Time is one of the essential elements by which we […]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

To Begin Again

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Most of us have at times felt that things were going so badly that we just wished we could start all over! A second chance! 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 […]

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

The Epiphany and God’s Search for You

Our Search for God It is likely that each of us here actively seek the Lord. Jesus, Himself, instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (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. […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

What You 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 […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

Remembering the Holy Innocents

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

Willing to Lay Down Your Life

“But he [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, […]

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

Love’s Greatest Gift

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together, don’t they?. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some not so much. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say, give me holidays and family any day; warts and […]

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

Discovering God’s Magnificent Plan Just 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 […]