Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

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

Practical Ideas for a Better Advent

We are well into the Second Week of Advent. Already! Don’t worry, if you have not begun your watchful preparation, it is not too late… One of my strongest, most enduring memories from my childhood is the time spent preparing for Christmas. We did not have any family traditions involving the Advent Wreath or the Jesse Tree. And most certainly, like all the other […]

Therefore, stay awake!

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). This verse is part of a larger passage (Matthew 24:1 — 25:30) where Jesus speaks about the time before his second coming—that is the time in which we all live. Of course this is immediately followed with the separation of the sheep and […]

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

Qualities of Life in the Kingdom

Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, not only is he our brother and friend, Jesus Christ is our God and our King. And so we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—or Christ the King. This celebration is a recent addition to […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

The Essential Nature of Marriage

In Defense of the Sacraments of Service—Marriage and Holy Orders… Our Vocation In His infinite love and goodness, God created man and woman in freedom to know, love and serve Him in this life and to spend all eternity with Him in the life to come. This call to holiness is our vocation and dignity. “Man is by nature and […]

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Mary and the Saints are Powerful Intercessors

Last Tuesday was the Solemnity of All Saints, a celebration of those who have died and attained Heaven. We remembered those who are undergoing purgation on Wednesday—on All Souls Day. In the featured article by Dr. Marcellino D’ambrosia on All Saints Day, we read that God desires all of us to become saints. Today, I would like to look at the Catholic practice of […]

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

Mercy and Responsibility

We are less than a month away from the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, so we should make sure that we make the most of our prayer time during this month so that our outward acts of love might be more merciful! Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel presents to us three parables of God’s rich mercy: The Lost Sheep, […]

“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 […]