Into the Deep

hain-journey-to-heaven-detail-featured-w740x493

Journey to Heaven — Do you have your map?

Do you know where you are going and how you will get there? There is an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, that is very evocative of one or more of life’s greatest philosophical questions. “‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the [...]

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Practical Lessons from the Day of Death’s Defeat

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! What more fitting conclusion to a week of drama wrought by sin could there be than the triumph of Life over death! There is so much about Easter to help us live our lives in this day. Surely we can more fully embrace all that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today if we [...]

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Paradox of the Cross — Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a [...]

"The Raising of Lazarus" (detail)
Carl Bloch"The Raising of Lazarus" (detail) Carl Bloch

The Path to Life Leads Through Death

The Final Journey to Jerusalem Begins The account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus is the seventh of the seven signs in St. John’s Gospel that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is also the [...]

"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail)
by Duccio"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail) by Duccio

Important Lessons for Living in the Light

In St. John’s Gospel, there is the account of the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). It is the sixth of the seven signs recounted by St. John that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is [...]

"The Annunciation" (detail) by Van der Weyden"The Annunciation" (detail) by Van der Weyden

When All Creation Held its Breath

The Moment There is a moment in time which defines all history; a moment to which all that came before, all that has come after and all that is yet to come, points as supremely significant.  On March 25th of each Liturgical Year, we remember the event that took place then — the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her fiat to God’s request [...]

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

Why the Bible Alone is Not Enough

“Deacon Mike, why do we believe that it belongs to the Church to interpret the bible? Can’t we just read the bible for ourselves? The guys I do bible study with say that we (Catholics) add things that are not there.” A young man who participates in a “non-denominational” bible study asked this just last week. This question comes up from [...]

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Suffering Transfigured Through Love

The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of this love, we are continually invited by God into a deeper communion of prayer with Him… to come to know Him as He [...]

"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy

The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Practice of Fast and Abstinence

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, [...]

"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy

Why do Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one [...]