Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

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

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

A Faith that is Mature

There are two dangers to the spiritual life that are all too common. First, we can spend so much time learning about God through study that we never come to know him in prayer. In this sense, study becomes a false god. Second, our efforts at “doing and ministering” become all about the “serving” and not about the one who […]

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

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

“In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” Editor’s note: As we remember the victims of September 11, 2001 in our prayers, we can reflect and find consolation in the following truth of God’s love and Providence in and over our lives. Deep within each of us is a hunger and thirst. For some, the feeling is so strong that […]

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

Is it okay for Catholics to call their priests “Father”?

[NB: Do not miss the video at the end of this article. You will be blessed. —Deacon Mike] “Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Throughout history, including that time since the days when Jesus uttered these words, we have referred to others on earth as father. This title is used […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Practical Suggestions for Spiritual Growth

What Life’s All About When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them sanctifying grace, that is, they were able to partake in the Divine Nature—they had a share of the Divine Life in their souls. They had no right to this grace; it was freely given them by God. They also were granted what is referred to as the […]

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Lord, will those who are saved be few?

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to preach on the “fact” that there will be so few in heaven. He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, […]

"The Assumption of the Virgin" (detail) by Guido Reni"The Assumption of the Virgin" (detail) by Guido Reni

What we should know about the Dormition and Assumption of Mary

On August 15th of each Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the United States, the assumption is ordinarily a Holy Day of Obligation, but because it falls on Monday this year, the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated: “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of […]

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

Suffering Transfigured

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 […]