Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

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

The Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross

Five Discipleship Lessons for Following Jesus

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

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

“Have you been saved?”

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

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

Operation Overlord

Seventy-two 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 […]

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail)
by Sandro BotticelliSt. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

A Testimony to Faith

Deep within each and every one of us there is a hunger and a thirst.  We all experience this yearning of the soul—a heart that burns with longing—but we don’t always recognize what it is for which we yearn.  We can spend years trying to satisfy this yearning, yet never be satisfied. St. Augustine expresses this reality so beautifully, “Thou […]

"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. […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Christ’s Gift of the Eucharist—Do you believe?

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—Corpus Christi. Jesus began to prepare us for this great gift of the True Presence of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist when He performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and by His Bread of Life Discourse. This teaching […]

sunrise-mountains-trinity-featured-w740x493

Why you need to know and love the Mystery of the Blessed 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 God as a Trinity of Divine Persons is […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

Pentecost—You can Set the World on Fire

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

Santuário de Fátima
Bascilica of Our Lady of the RosarySantuário de Fátima Bascilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

Praying the Five Prayers of Fatima

Today, May 13, 2016, we celebrate the ninety-ninth anniversary of the first apparition of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, to the three young seers at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal during 1917. Later that year, on October 13, the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by up to one hundred thousand people. The children were Lucia de Jesus dos Santos (age 10), Blessed […]