Into the Deep

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

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

Get Ready to Celebrate 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. This year, that date falls on next Friday. Mary’s earthly death has been nearly unanimously held by the Church’s theologians through the centuries. The Church’s liturgies affirm this. Indeed, the Solemnity of the Assumption was first known and celebrated as [...]

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

Jesus does not hold anything back… do you?

There is a great old popular jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons titled All of Me that is one of my favorite tunes.  I particularly like the rendition performed by Louis Armstrong and another done later by Willie Nelson. The song is about a fellow who lost his heart to a girl who left him, so he [...]

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

Inviting Catholics to Come Home

I sometimes wonder why I don’t have more faith. If only my faith was stronger, I think, what amazing things I could do for the Lord. If only I more deeply appreciated the gift of faith I have received. Right? I bet you sometimes wonder the same things about yourself. In today’s Gospel (cf. Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus tells us in no [...]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

Many years ago, I taught 4th Grade CCD for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was taken aback, [...]

help-poor-orphans-featured-w740x493

Help! I need Practical Ideas for Living the Faith

For the last several years, there has been an increased interest in practical advice on how to practice their faith.  Certainly, the uncertainty and growing chaos in the secular world have something to do with this. More recently, we have seen more obvious clashes between our culture and our Church. We can look back through Salvation History and see the pattern. The [...]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Experience the Life of Peace Christ Wants for You

If all we ever do to learn about God is to approach Him as an academic exercise, we may come to know about Him, but we will not come to know Him. In today’s gospel (Matthew 11:25-30), Jesus speaks of a relationship with Him to which He invites us that promises rest for the weary. In light of his other sayings, [...]

United States Supreme CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Supreme Court Sides with Hobby Lobby 5-4 in a Narrowly Defined Decision

  In a narrowly-defined decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby cannot be forced by the HHS Mandate to provide certain medicines/services to its employees that violate the religious beliefs of its owners.  We will need to watch for more information and analysis as the day progresses as to what this means for Hobby Lobby and other employers. Read [...]

"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. [...]

Cathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta
Photography © by Andy CoanCathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta Photography © by Andy Coan

What Does Jesus Ask of You?

The Altar of Sacrifice The Altar of Sacrifice on which the Lord redeemed us is His Cross on Calvary, lifted up nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus has made it possible for that “once for all sacrifice” to be present to us in our day and where we are… no matter when and where that is. To be at Holy Mass [...]

high-altitude-sunrise-glory-be-featured-w740x493

What you need to know about the Mystery of the Most Holy 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 the Trinity is an [...]